BarrierForce is an Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence (CoE; 2022 – 2029). We combine expertise from five different groups, based in Turku and Helsinki, to understand how tissue barriers formed by endothelial, epithelial and keratinocyte cell layers perform their protective roles and how these are disrupted in disease. We aim to provide a comprehensive overview of barrier physiology and pathology across different scales (molecules – cells – tissues) with the ultimate goal of finding therapeutic strategies.
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Tools at our disposal
At the molecular scale
Atomistic molecular dynamics simulation (500 ns) revealing how actin-binding protein cofilin associates with the plasma membrane. Work from the Lappalainen and Vattulainen labs. See also Senju et al., 2017, PNAS.
iPALM imaging of kank-1 z-distribution in the large focal adhesions of a hPS cell. Kank is in green and paxilin in red. Movie from the Ivaska lab, adapted from Stubb et al., 2019, Nat Commun.
At the cellular scale
Stretch on the nucleus
EM tomography showing the 3D chromatin ultrastructure of a cell in response to stretch. Condensed chromatin is labeled in purple and the nuclear envelope in yellow. Movie from the Wickström lab, adapted from Nava et al., 2020 Cell.
At the tissue scale
Evans Blue leakage (with colour coding) from blood vessels in intact ear mouse skin, imaged using multiphoton microscope. Work from the Saharinen lab.