In vitro analysis of actin cortex-membrane interactions


The actin cortex adjacent to the plasma membrane seems to play a dual role in regulating the organization and dynamics of membrane-associated proteins, both confining them and aiding their mobility. Mobility in turn regulates protein clustering, often necessary for signaling.

In order to shed light on this dual function, we are collaborating with the Rosen lab at UTSW to study an in vitro system that reconstitutes protein clustering (specifically phospho-LAT) in an artificial lipid bilayer with an adjacent acto-myosin meshwork. The molecular manipulation power of in vitro systems combined with quantitative analysis will allow us to thoroughly characterize the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of protein mobility and clustering in the membrane by the actin meshwork.