Gravity Constraints Drive Biological Systems Toward Specific Organization Patterns: Commitment of cell specification is constrained by physical cues

Mariano Bizzarri, Maria Grazia Masiello, Alessandro Giuliani, Alessandra Cucina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Different cell lineages growing in microgravity undergo a spontaneous transition leading to the emergence of two distinct phenotypes. By returning these populations in a normal gravitational field, the two phenotypes collapse, recovering their original configuration. In this review, we hypothesize that, once the gravitational constraint is removed, the system freely explores its phenotypic space, while, when in a gravitational field, cells are “constrained” to adopt only one favored configuration. We suggest that the genome allows for a wide range of “possibilities” but it is unable per se to choose among them: the emergence of a specific phenotype is enabled by physical constraints that drive the system toward a preferred solution. These findings may help in understanding how cells and tissues behave in both development and cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700138
JournalBioEssays
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • biological organization principles
  • cell fate transition
  • differentiation
  • dissipative systems
  • microgravity
  • physical constraints

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Gravity Constraints Drive Biological Systems Toward Specific Organization Patterns: Commitment of cell specification is constrained by physical cues'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this