Fellow 2021, General Biology
Inaugural Lectures by Fellows/Associates
Membrane Fission: Insights From Reconstituting Organelle Form and Chemistry
The lipid bilayer is highly resilient to rupture and explains why it was selected over the course of evolution to serve a barrier function. Yet fission, or the splitting of a membrane compartment, is a central theme in biology that manifests during cell division, organelle biogenesis and vesicular transport. Fission involves the local application of forces to bend and constrict or thin down a membrane tube. Since bending requires the bilayer to deviate from its preferred planar configuration, fission is energetically unfavorable. Using reconstitution approaches that involve biochemical screens, we have discovered novel proteins that catalyze fission and have elucidated their mechanism and cellular functions. This talk will describe these recent developments.