Int. J. Dev. Biol. In Press
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.200220jc
© UPV/EHU Press

Cell fusion and fusogens - an interview with Benjamin Podbilewicz

Jesús Chimal-Monroy*,1 and Diana María Escalante-Alcalde*,2

1Departamento de Medicina Genómica y Toxicología Ambiental, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas and 2División de Neurociencias, Instituto de Fisiología Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Ciudad de México, México

ABSTRACT Cell fusion is a process in which cells unite their membranes and cytoplasm and is fundamental for sexual reproduction and embryonic development. Among the best-known cell fusion processes during animal development are fertilization, myoblast fusion, osteoclast generation, and vulva formation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Although it is involved in many other functions in unicellular and multicellular organisms, little is known about the mechanisms of cell fusion and the genes that code for the proteins participating in this process. Benjamin Podbilewicz has dedicated many years to understanding the process and mechanisms of cell fusion. In this interview, he spoke to us about how he began his studies of this process, his contributions to this exciting field, scientific ties with Ibero-America and his strategies for a well-balanced scientific/personal life.

Keywords:

Cell fusion, fusogens, Caenorhabditis elegans

*Corresponding author e-mail: jchimal@unam.mx ; descalan@ifc.unam.mx