Zdenek Lansky Group

Biophysics of cytoskeletal networks

Institute of Biotechnology, CAS

TPC group associated to DIGS-BB

Zdenek Lansky

Networks of cytoskeletal filaments form the internal dynamic scaffold of cells. Remodeling of these networks underpins essential cellular processes, such as cell division. Our aim is to understand the physical principles governing the interplay of the individual elements of the networks and to explain how the individual elements mechanically cooperate to drive the network remodeling.

Our main experimental strategy is to reconstitute the cytoskeletal networks from individual components in vitro and explore them in a controlled environment. We use genetic manipulations and biochemical methods to purify the individual cytoskeletal components and combine them in a minimal model system in vitro. We use biophysical methods, such as force measurement and manipulation techniques with single molecule resolution in combination with single molecule imaging, to investigate the system's self-assembly and the system's response to external mechanical perturbations. We combine our experimental approach with mathematical modeling to generate a comprehensive mechanistic description of the investigated system.

Zdenek Lansky Group
Legend: Overlay of consecutive snapshots of a ring composed of multiple actin filaments, contracting in the absence of molecular motors. Contraction is driven by entropic forces generated by actin crosslinking molecules confined in the overlaps between the filaments.


Force generation within actin networks and the network's contractility is essential for example during cell division or within the cell cortex during development. This contractility is canonically attributed to myosin motor proteins. However, in multiple organisms these processes have been shown to be to various extent molecular motor independent. Our aim is to understand how are forces in cytoskeletal networks generated in the absence of active motor-generated forces. We are interested in the interplay of the motor-dependent and motor-independent contractility. We aim to decipher how the motor-dependent and motor-independent forces work in concert to drive the remodeling of membranes in processes such as cell division. 


Institute of Biotechnology, Czech Academy of Sciences

Prumyslova 595, 25250 Vestec, Prague West

Czech Republic


since 2016

Group leader, Institute of Biotechnology, Czech Academy of Sciences, BIOCEV


Postdoc, B CUBE - Center for Molecular Bioengineering, TU Dresden, Germany


Postdoc, Wageningen University, The Netherlands


Postdoc, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


PhD in Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Prague

Selected publications

Henrichs V, Grycova L, Barinka C, Nahacka Z, Neuzil J, Diez S, Rohlena J, Braun M, Lansky Z. Mitochondria-adaptor TRAK1 promotes kinesin-1 driven transport in crowded environments.
Nature Communications, 2020, 11(1):3123.

Zhernov I, Diez S, Braun M, Lansky Z.
Intrinsically Disordered Domain of Kinesin-3 Kif14 Enables Unique Functional Diversity.
Current Biology, 2020, 30(17):3342-3351.

Schmidt-Cernohorska M, Zhernov I, Steib E, Le Guennec M, Achek R, Borgers S, Demurtas D, Mouawad L, Lansky Z, Hamel V, Guichard P.
Flagellar microtubule doublet assembly in vitro reveals a regulatory role of tubulin C-terminal tails.
Science, 2019, 363(6424):285-288.

Lansky Z, Braun M, Lüdecke A, Schlierf M, ten Wolde PR, Janson ME, Diez S.
Diffusible Crosslinkers Generate Directed Forces in Microtubule Networks.
Cell, 2015, 160: 1159–1168.