Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Jamie Shiah L&S Sciences

Investigating the membrane remodeling activity of ESCRT-III helical polymers with ATPase spastin

The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) complexes encompass an evolutionarily conserved, multi-subunit machinery that mediates unique membrane remodeling and scission away from the cytoplasm. This requires stabilization of negative membrane curvature, as induced by the ESCRT complexes.
Now, studies have shown that ESCRTs can also direct membrane budding of the opposite topology, akin to that of clathrin-mediated endocytosis by dynamin. Human ESCRT-III subunits, charged multivesicular body protein (CHMP1B) and increased sodium tolerance 1 (IST1), co-polymerize to form spirals coating the outside of membrane tubules to facilitate positive membrane curvature in vitro and in vivo. On another note, CHMP1B recruits AAA ATPase spastin to endosomes and the cytokinetic midbody, mediating microtubule severing and scission in cytokinesis. My project aims to reproduce the assembly of these ESCRT-III polymers wrapped around small unilamellar vesicles (SUVs), and take the experiment one step further by adding spastin and ATP to promote scission of these microtubules through optical tweezing and membrane pulling nanotube methods. The scission of CHMP1B and IST1 coated membrane tubes by spastin would illuminate the possibility of yet another pathway through which membranes remodel in the cell.

Message To Sponsor

I would like to thank the Banatao Fund for providing me with the opportunity to dedicate this summer to full-time research. I was able to immerse myself in research and my project and to further engage in the depths of both the challenges and opportunities that research has to offer. This would not have been possible without your support, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.
Profile image of Jamie Shiah
Major: MCB: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Mentor: Jim Hurley
Sponsor: Banatao Fund
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