SFB/Transregio 83 - Molekulare Architektur und zelluläre Funktionen von Lipid/Protein Komplexen:
We aim to dissect the molecular mechanisms underlying early endosome tethering and fusion using in vitroreconstituted vesicles, biochemical, biophysical and microscopy-based assays. Several challenging technical and instrumentation hurdles have been crossed, and we now have specific tools to discern molecular mechanisms, observe the structure of endosomal machineries, and integrate these techniques through cell biology. By visualizing structural features of the molecules, we can now discern broadly the mechanisms of tethers, scaffolds, and activating proteins in trafficking beyond endosomes. Our long-term goal is to recapitulate the function of early endosomes in synthetic endosomes. Therefore, we will address trafficking through the following specific aims:
-The molecular mechanism of entropic collapse and its generalization beyond the endosome
-The specific molecular role of Rab effectors in membrane tethering-to-fusion
-Mechanisms of spatial segregation of the Rab5 machinery on the membrane.