Mechanisms of cell surface recycling pathways

Year of award: 2016


  • Dr Chris MacDonald

    University of York

Project summary

The cell surface is very important to the viability of a cell as it represents the barrier between the inside of the cell and the environment. Regulating what molecules are present at the cell surface is critical in determining how a cell interacts with its environment. To achieve this, surface proteins are continually internalised to ‘endosome’ compartments where proteins are physically separated into different categories such as those to be sent back to the surface or those to be kept inside. The recycling from endosomes back to the surface is dysregulated in cells taken from patients with diseases, including diabetes, cancers and cardiovascular disease. Despite its clear physiological importance, little is known about the machinery that regulates recycling.

By taking advantage of evolutionary conservation that exists between yeast and humans I have identified the responsible components of this trafficking pathway to the surface of the cell. I now propose specific ideas to investigate exactly how this machinery works. Human cells have a version of the proteins that I identified in yeast, so I will test their function in human cells using techniques developed by a collaborator.