The contribution of clathrin light chains to the generation of endocytic force


During endocytosis cells internalize cargo bound by receptors in their membranes to regulate interactions with their environment, influencing nutrition, growth and infection. Endocytosis is controlled by the clathrin protein, which polymerizes into a lattice on the intracellular face of the plasma membrane to capture membrane-inserted receptors. This project at the interface between cell biology and biophysics will use optical and magnetic tweezers to pull on the cell surface and assess “force” of endocytosis, and how that force changes as clathrin properties are genetically manipulated. We will establish how changing clathrin rigidity influences membrane bending and regulates cargo uptake.

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Diversity of clathrin function: new tricks for an old protein. Brodsky, FM. Annu. Rev. Cell Dev. Biol. (2012)


Conformation switching of clathrin light chain regulates clathrin lattice assembly. Wilbur, JD et al. Dev. Cell (2010)


Optical trapping and manipulation of nanostructures. Maragò, OM, Jones, PH, Gucciardi, PG, Volpe, G & Ferrari, AC. Nature Nanotechnology 8 807-819 (2013)


FemtoNewton force sensing with optically trapped nanotubes. Maragò, OM, Jones, PH, Scardaci, V, Bonaccorso, F, Gucciardi, PG, Rozhin, A & Ferrari, AC. Nano Letters, 8 3211-3216 (2008)

Biological Areas:

Cell Biology


Genes, development and STEM approaches to biology