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Cell geometry

  Beyond the structural elegance of DNA and the astonishing versatility of protein machines lies a landscape of substantially uncharted dynamic complexity in the architecture of single cells. The aim of this series is to explore the mysteries of cell geometry from questions of scaling and cytoskeletal remodelling that operate at all levels of cellular life, to symmetry breaking and the adhesive interactions that lie at the heart of metazoan development. The unicellular ciliate Stentor, which is the emblem of the series, is the classical example of the complexity of which a single cell is capable, and the principles of whose organization are far from fully understood. Many fundamental questions remain to be answered. How do cells know what size they are? What are the origins of the specialized systems of membrane-bounded compartments that define eukaryotes? What is the influence of cell shape on cell division? What can pathogens tell us about the mechanisms underlying specializations of cellular architecture? What is the essential role of the centrosome? How does the remodelling of cellular architecture lead to the coherent remodelling of tissues in the developing embryo? These and many others are questions to be explored. We welcome research papers that address them.

Gillian Griffiths, Marc Kirschner, Mark Marsh, Sean Munro, Julie Theriot

  1. Content type: Review

    The rod is a ubiquitous shape adopted by walled cells from diverse organisms ranging from bacteria to fungi to plants. Although rod-like shapes are found in cells of vastly different sizes and are constructed ...

    Authors: Fred Chang and Kerwyn Casey Huang

    Citation: BMC Biology 2014 12:54

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  2. Content type: Forum

    Authors: Wallace F Marshall, Kevin D Young, Matthew Swaffer, Elizabeth Wood, Paul Nurse, Akatsuki Kimura, Joseph Frankel, John Wallingford, Virginia Walbot, Xian Qu and Adrienne HK Roeder

    Citation: BMC Biology 2012 10:101

    Published on:

  3. Content type: Research article

    Gastrulation is a key transition in embryogenesis; it requires self-organized cellular coordination, which has to be both robust to allow efficient development and plastic to provide adaptability. Despite the ...

    Authors: Christian Pohl, Michael Tiongson, Julia L Moore, Anthony Santella and Zhirong Bao

    Citation: BMC Biology 2012 10:94

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  4. Content type: Commentary

    Eukaryotic cells are distinguished by their compartmentalization into membrane-enclosed organelles that exchange membranes and content in a highly ordered manner. Central in defining membrane identity are the ...

    Authors: Harald Stenmark

    Citation: BMC Biology 2012 10:68

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  5. Content type: Opinion

    Cells are highly complex and orderly machines, with defined shapes and a startling variety of internal organizations. Complex geometry is a feature of both free-living unicellular organisms and cells inside mu...

    Authors: Wallace F Marshall

    Citation: BMC Biology 2011 9:57

    Published on:

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