Thomas Langer (University of Cologne) is exploring how mitochondrial proteases control mitochondrial dynamics. The processing and stability of the dynamin-like GTPase OPA1 is emerging as a central mechanism to monitor mitochondrial integrity. Using yeast and mice as model systems, Langer’s group examines the relevance of stress-induced degradation of OPA1 for mitochondrial quality control and neuronal survival.
Finally, Gia Voeltz (University of Colorado-Boulder) will describe the mechanisms that regulate the three-dimensional structure of the endoplasmic reticulum. Her talk will focus on how three main factors – membrane shaping proteins, cytoskeletal dynamics and interactions with other organelles – work together to distribute the endoplasmic reticulum throughout the cytoplasm and generate the complexity of ER functional domains.
Organization of the secretory pathway
The third session will focus on how compartments of the secretory pathway are generated and maintained. Ben Glick (University of Chicago) will describe how the ER export domains known as transitional ER sites are established within the rough ER. Transitional ER sites are defined by a dynamic balance between growth and export-mediated shrinkage. His group is studying how a protein called Sec16 controls tER dynamics by regulating ER export.
Nava Segev (University of Illinois at Chicago) studies molecular switches and cascades regulating protein traffic in yeast. She focuses on the roles and interactions of small GTPases of the conserved Ypt/Rab family, which regulates multiple steps of transport in the secretory and endocytic pathways. Her group is investigating how various Ypt/Rab GTPases cooperate to specify compartment identity and turnover.
Adam Linstedt (Carnegie Mellon University) studies the mammalian secretory pathway with an emphasis on the Golgi apparatus. His work includes structure-function studies of tethering proteins, which have multiple roles in the capture of transport vesicles and the establishment of Golgi structure.
Endomembrane system dynamics
The fourth session will focus on how compartments of the secretory and endocytic pathways communicate and change over time. Christian Ungermann (University of Osnabrück in Germany) studies membrane dynamics of endosomes and lysosomes (or vacuoles in yeast). He will describe how Rab GTPases work together with large tethering complexes to regulate membrane fusion and endosome maturation.