Chemistry Seminar

Guest Speaker: Erin Sheets - University of Minnesota - Duluth

Date & Time:

Friday, October 30, 2015
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM


OWS 251
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105

Dr. Erin Sheets of the University of Minnesota - Duluth will present her work entitled:

Life as a lipid: rafts, dynamics and interactions

Molecular ordering of lipids within biomembranes can profoundly influence the local biophysical properties, such as diffusion, permeability and fluidity.  These properties, in turn, may affect membrane protein activity, transient compartmentalization, and trafficking of vesicular compartments.  We are studying various aspects of these properties in living cells and biomimetic membranes.  In particular, we are using fluorescence imaging and correlation spectroscopy to investigate the effects of annexin binding to biomimetic membranes.  Annexin A5, a peripheral intracellular protein, binds specifically and tightly to anionic membranes in the presence of calcium.  Membrane binding controls annexin self-organization, which in turn affects the membrane organization and transport in a lipid-specific manner.  These biomimetic studies complement our fluorescence lifetime and polarization anisotropy imaging studies of the spatiotemporal dynamics of nanodomain interactions associated with immunoreceptor signaling in RBL mast cells.  We also use these approaches to investigate macromolecular crowding.  These experimental approaches should be directly applicable to any signaling pathway that may be dependent upon local membrane ordering.

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