Home > Teams > Cytoskeletal dynamics and membrane trafficking (C. Merrifield)
Cytoskeletal dynamics and membrane trafficking PDF Print E-mail

 

Group Leader: Christien Merrifield


The plasma membrane defines the surface of a cell and receptors - which are specialized proteins floating in the plasma membrane lipid bilayer - convey messages inside the cell to tell it to move, change shape, stick to neighbouring cells, divide or die. It is clearly important that cells carefully control the concentration of receptors in the plasma membrane and indeed the misregulation of receptor signalling underlies many disease states. Our lab is interested in the mechanism of endocytosis by which cells remove receptors from the plasma membrane. In one particular type of endocytosis, referred to as clathrin mediated endocytosis, the endocytic machinery concentrates receptors into specialized patches which curve into ~100nm membrane vesicles and pinch off into the cell interior. To understand how components of the endocytic machinery are coordinated to effect vesicle formation and membrane scission we developed specialized imaging techniques to measure the formation of individual vesicles in living cells while simultaneously measuring the arrival and departure of individual endocytic proteins. Using such novel imaging techniques in combination with cell, molecular and biochemical techniques we are addressing the role played by the cytoskeleton in both constitutive and ligand-triggered endocytosis and the role played by the scission reaction itself in the signalling events conveyed by receptor cargo.

Techniques used
Single event analysis of constitutive and ligand-triggered endocytosis using custom perfusion systems and custom total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIR-FM); high throughput image analysis; electron microscopy; standard cell, molecular and biochemical techniques.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 January 2012 11:17
 

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