Russian Academy of Sciences

Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics

Colloquium

Eukaryotic cell polarity and protein sorting

Andrea Gamba, Politecnico di Torino

April 27, 2018

I will review some of the biophysical processes that allow eukaryotic cells to break their native symmetry and polarize in order to provide adequate responses to signals and properly adapt to the environment. An essential part of the process is the incessant spatial reorganization of membrane-bound proteins due to the action of reinforcing biochemical feedback loops that contrast the homogenizing effect of diffusion. A second component is the coupling of protein and lipid dynamics: protein crowding induces the bending of lipid membranes and the nucleation of small lipid vesicles enriched in specific molecular factors destined to be targeted to appropriate destinations. This mechanism leads to an incessant distillation process controlled by the strength of protein-protein interactions. A phenomenological theory of the process can be developed, predicting the existence of an optimal distillation regime characterized by simple scaling laws. Experiments suggest that living cells work close to this optimal regime, likely as the result of evolutionary pressure.

Presentation
Video

Chiral magnetic crystals

Markus Garst (TU Dresden)

March 23, 2018 г.

The weak Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction in chiral cubic magnets like MnSi, FeGe or Cu2OSeO3 twists the magnetization on long length scales resulting in spatially periodic magnetic textures — magnetic crystals. There exist especially magnetic crystals with a one- and two-dimensional periodicity corresponding to the magnetic helix and the topologically non-trivial skyrmion lattice, respectively. In this talk, we provide an overview of their properties. In particular, we discuss the crystallization process of these magnetic crystals that is characterized by strongly correlated chiral paramagnons that drive the transition first-order [1,2]. This fluctuation-induced first-order transition is well described by a theory put forward by Brazovskii. We will introduce the magnon band structure and their non-reciprocal properties in the presence of a magnetic field [3,4]. For the skyrmion lattice, this band structure is topological and characterized by finite Chern numbers that can be attributed to the formation of magnon Landau levels due to an emergent orbital magnetic field [5,6,7]. Finally, we will discuss domain walls of helimagnets that share similarities with grain boundaries consisting of disclination and dislocation defects of the helimagnetic order [8].

References:

  • [1] M. Janoschek et al. Phys. Rev. B 87, 134407 (2013).
  • [2] A. Bauer, M. Garst and C. Pfleiderer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 177207 (2013).
  • [3] M. Kugler et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 097203 (2015)
  • [4] T. Weber et al. arXiv:1708.02098
  • [5] C. Schütte and M. Garst, Phys. Rev. B 90, 094423 (2014).
  • [6] T. Schwarze, J. Waizner, M. Garst, A. Bauer, I. Stasinopoulos, H. Berger, C. Pfleiderer, and D. Grundler, Nat. Mater. 14, 478 (2015).
  • [7] M. Garst J. Waizner, and D. Grundler, J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 50, 293002 (2017)
  • [8] P. Schoenherr et al. Nat. Phys. in press, arXiv:1704.06288
Presentation
Video