ASCB Rainbow

Subgroup P

Subgroup P: Cell-Cell Fusion

1:30 – 5:30 pm, Room 108A
Organizers: Elizabeth Chen, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; and Mark Rose, Georgetown University

Cell-cell fusion is a fundamental cellular process required for fertilization, development, and regeneration. The past two decades have witnessed remarkable progress in understanding this process, highlighted by the identification of transmembrane fusogens in C. elegans, Chlamydomonas and the placenta, the discovery of a highly conserved asymmetric fusogenic synapse, where mechanical forces generated by actin polymerization and actomyosin contraction drive cell membrane fusion, and the identification of highly conserved proteins regulating cell fusion in fungal mating. What used to be a small and upcoming field has been gaining a lot of momentum and attracting an influx of new investigators. Recently, the field is buzzing with excitement as new studies have structurally linked the C. elegans and Chlamydomonas fusogens, molecularly linked a fusogen and the actin cytoskeleton, and uncovered a potential bipartite skeletal muscle-specific fusogen. This subgroup aims to bring together investigators studying cell-cell fusion in different organisms and with different methodologies, showcase the recent developments in the field, and provide a platform for exchanging ideas and synergizing future studies.


First session moderated by Elizabeth Chen

1:30-1:35 pm- Introduction. Elizabeth Chen, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; and Mark Rose, Georgetown University
1:35-1:55 pm- Positive and negative regulation of cell fusion in budding yeast. Mark Rose, Georgetown University
1:55-2:15 pm- Fusing yeast cells once and only once. Sophie Martin, University of Lausanne
2:15-2:35 pm- The gamete membrane fusion reaction: many adhesins, a single protein (HAP2) for bilayer merger. Bill Snell, University of Maryland
2:35-2:55 pm- The first superfamily of cell-cell fusion: Fusexins are sexual, viral and somatic fusogens. Benjamin Podbilewicz, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
2:55-3:15 pm- Phosphatidylserine signaling in viral and developmental fusion. Leonid Chernomordik, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH
3:15-3:30 pm- Break

Second session moderated by Mark Rose

3:30-3:50 pm- Mechanical tension drives cell-cell fusion. Elizabeth Chen, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
3:50-4:10 pm- Serum response factor controls myoblast fusion through the maintenance of actin architecture. Athanassia Sotiropoulos, Inserm – French National Institute of Health and Medical Research
4:10-4:30 pm- The micropeptide myomixer controls cell fusion and skeletal muscle formation. Pengpeng Bi, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
4:30-4:50 pm- Role of myomaker and myomerger during myoblast fusion. Douglas Millay, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
4:50-5:10 pm- Convergent evolution of viral and cellular membrane fusion proteins. Roy Duncan, Dalhousie University
5:10-5:30 pm- Human placental syncytialization: from the very first fusion event to the largest syncytia. Hongmei Wang, Chinese Academy of Sciences

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