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Dynamics of multi-vesicular and Late Endocytic Membranes: Invagination versus Tubulation


Eukaryotic cells are composed of internal compartments. They communicate with each other to allow the exchange of molecules between them and therefore the survival of the cell. To ensure this function, small vesicles need to be formed, move, and fuse with their acceptor compartment.

Concerning the endocytic pathway, it has been shown that multivesicular bodies and late endosomes can deform their membrane for tubulation or invagination. Several proteins (like Rab7, Hrs, ESCRT complexes, Alix and PI3 kinase) and lipids (like cholesterol, PI3P and LBPA) have been implicated in these processes but it is not known to what extent they interact to regulate them. This will be a first point I intend to study during this training.

A second point I want to address is t he duality of functions for proteins involved in both invagination and tubulation of late endosomal membranes, as literature suggest about the small GTPase Rab7 or Alix, an endophilin partner (the latter is known to be implicated in tubulation of endosomal membranes) involved in the regulation of invagination process of endosomal membrane driven by lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA).

A better characterization of this duality of functions will allow a better understanding of the mechanisms playing a role in the dynamics of multivesicular and endosomal membranes and how proteins and lipids involved in these processes can interact to regulate them.

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