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From Molecules to Living Organisms: An Interplay Between Biology and Physics
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From Molecules to Living Organisms: An Interplay Between Biology and Physics: Lecture Notes of the Les Houches School of Physics: Volume 102, July 2014

Eva Pebay-Peyroula, Hugues Nury, François Parcy, Rob W. H. Ruigrok, Christine Ziegler, and Leticia F. Cugliandolo


The aim of this book is to provide new ideas for studying living matter by a simultaneous understanding of behavior from molecules to the cell, to the whole organism in the light of physical concepts. Indeed, forces guide most biological phenomena. In some cases these forces can be well-described and thus used to model a particular biological phenomenon. This is exemplified here by the study of membranes, where their shapes and curvatures can be modeled using a limited number of parameters that are measured experimentally. The growth of plants is another example where the combination of physic ... More

Keywords: forces in biology, integrated structural cell biology, physical concepts, thermodynamics, plant development, host–pathogen interactions, membranes proteins, molecular modeling

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198752950
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198752950.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Eva Pebay-Peyroula, editor
Institut de Biologie Structurale, CEA-CNRS Université, France

Hugues Nury, editor
Institut de Biologie Structurale, CEA-CNRS Université, France

François Parcy, editor
Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire et Végétale, CNRS-CEA-INRA-Université, France

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Part 1 Concepts in cell biology and examples of multiscale studies in biology

1 Introduction to cell biology

Franz Bruckert, grenoble INP Phelma, France

2 A small leak will sink a great ship: HIV–host interactions

Nikolas Herold*, Hans-Georg Kräusslich, and Barbara Müller, department of Infectious Diseases, Virology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany *Present address: Childhood Cancer Research Unit, Karolinska Institutet, Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

3 Floral development: an integrated view

Hicham Chahtane,*1,2,3,4 Grégoire Denay,*1,2,3,4 Julia Engelhorn,*1,2,3,4 Marie Monniaux,*5 Edwige Moyroud,*6 Fanny Moreau,1,2,3,4 Cristel Carles,1,2,3,4 Gabrielle Tichtinsky,1,2,3,4 Chloe Zubieta,1,2,3,4 François Parcy1,2,3,4 1CNRS, Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire et Végétale, Grenoble, France 2Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France 3CEA, DSV, iRTSV, LPCV, Grenoble, France 4INRA, LPCV, Grenoble, France 5Department of Comparative Development and Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Köln, Germany 6Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK *These authors made equal contributions.

Part 2 Concepts in physics and emerging methods

4 Thermodynamics (a reminder)

Giuseppe (Joe) Zaccai, CNRS, Institut de Biologie Structurale, and Institut Laue Langevin, Grenoble, France

5 NMR spectroscopy: from basic concepts to advanced methods

Enrico Luchinat, magnetic Resonance Center – CERM and Department of Biomedical, Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Florence, Italy

Part 3 Plant development: from genes to growth

7 Mechanisms controlling time measurement in plants and their significance in natural populations

George Coupland, max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne, Germany

8 Forces in plant development

Olivier Hamant, plant Reproduction and Development Lab, ENS Lyon, France

9 An introduction to modeling the initiation of the floral primordium

Christophe Godin1, Eugenio Azpeitia2 and Etienne Farcot3 1Inria, Virtual Plants Inria-Cirad-Inra Team, Montpellier, France. 2Inria, Virtual Plants Inria-Cirad-Inra Team, Montpellier, France. 3School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.

Part 4 Forces in biology: reshaping membranes

10 Membrane remodeling: theoretical principles, structures of protein scaffolds and forces involved

Michael M. Kozlov1, Winfried Weissenhorn2,3,*, and Patricia Bassereau4,5,6 1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel 2Université Grenoble Alpes, UVHCI, Grenoble, France 3CNRS, UVHCI, Grenoble, France 4Institut Curie, Centre de Recherche, Paris, France 5CNRS, PhysicoChimie Curie, UMR 168, Paris, France 6Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France *Present address: Institut de Biologie Structurale (IBS) CEA-CNRS-Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France.

Part 5 Conformational changes and their implications in diseases

11 Protein conformational changes

Yves Gaudin, institute for Integrative Biology of the Cell (I2BC), Université Paris-Saclay, CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-Sud, Gif-sur-Yvette cedex, France

Part 6 Membrane transporters: from structure to function

12 The dos and don’ts of handling membrane proteins for structural studies

Christine Ziegler, university of Regensburg, Faculty of Biology and Preclinical Studies, Department of Membrane Protein Crystallography, Regensburg, Germany

13 Molecular simulation: a virtual microscope in the toolbox of integrated structural biology

François Dehez, laboratoire International Associé CNRS and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champain, UMR SRSMC N°7565, CNRS-Université de Lorraine, Nancy, France