How can signal transduction communicate quantities and values? Sensors and dials of cell size homeostasis.

29 March 2019

Ran Kafri
Department of Molecular Genetics
University of Toronto


Form and function in biology are programmed with definite quantities and ratios. Over the past decades, entire landscapes of signal transduction pathways have been revealed. Yet, while we continuously accumulate details on signals that activate or repress different branches of signaling, our understanding on how signal transduction determines quantities seems somewhat unsatisfying.

For the last years, our lab has been investigating molecular mechanisms that determine cell size. It is well known that growth in cell size is promoted by signaling downstream mTORC1. And still, how is mTORC1 (or other signals) regulated to specify a different and specific size for each of the different cell types? In this talk, we would like to share with the audience several conceptual frameworks and conceptual distinctions that have evolved in our lab while thinking about these subjects.

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