Intercellular communication of Cell Fitness

Prof. Dr. Eduardo Moreno

Institute of Cell Biology (ICB) University of Bern, Switzerland

14:00 VENDREDI 18 AVRIL, 2014

ENS LYON – Site Monod, 46, allée d’Italie, 69007 Lyon  – Salle des Thèses

Humans are able to detect fitness decay in other colleagues by simply looking at the graying of the hair or the wrinkles in their faces. Work from my laboratory in the last few years showed that cells can also detect fitness levels of neighboring cells using a molecular code. This molecular code is encoded by different isoforms of a transmembrane protein called Flower that creates a novel mechanism used to reveal the fitness of a cell to its neighbors. Those « fitness fingerprints » can be used to mediate cell selection by recognizing and eliminating less fit cells. In terms of basic biology, we are currently interested in the molecular and genetic mechanisms that drive active cell selection within tissues. In terms of more applied science, we want to explore how disruption of the mechanisms that mediate cell selection create tissue degeneration, including neurodegeneration, cancer and aging.

Selected references

  1. Merino MM, Rhiner C, Portela M, Moreno E. (2013). « Fitness fingerprints » mediate physiological culling of unwanted neurons in Drosophila. Curr Biol. 23:1300-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.05.053. Epub 2013 Jun 27.

  2. Lolo, F., Casas-Tinto S. and Moreno E. (2012). Cell competition timeline: winners kill losers, which are extruded and engulfed by hemocytes. Cell reports 2:526-539. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2012.08.012.

  3. Rhiner C, López-Gay JM, Soldini D, Casas-Tinto S, Martín FA, Lombardía L, Moreno E. (2010). Flower Forms an Extracellular Code that Reveals the Fitness of a Cell to its Neighbors in Drosophila. Dev. Cell 18:985-998.

Hosts : Bertrand Mollereau and François Leulier ( and