Exocytosis and endocytosis are two fundamental cellular processes in nearly all cells, including neurons. They underlie many important functions, such as intracellular trafficking, nutrient uptake, viral infection, hormone secretion, blood glucose regulation, and synaptic transmission that is essential for our brain functions. We aim at understanding vesicle exo- and endocytosis with respect to their dynamic structural changes, molecular mechanisms, and functions at the sub-vesicle resolution at millisecond time scale. We study the structural changes and molecular mechanisms that mediate fusion between two bilayer membranes, that open a fusion pore, that expand a fusion pore, that constrict a fusion or fission pore, that close a fusion or fission pore and that generate a membrane curvature. We study how these structural changes control release of vesicular contents and recycling of vesicles. We used a variety of advanced techniques, including confocal imaging, super-resolution STED imaging, super-resolution STORM imaging, molecular biological techniques, electron microscopy, and advanced electrophysiological techniques (e.g., whole-cell current and capacitance recordings, cell-attached single channel current and capacitance recordings). We used three preparations, the giant calyx of Held nerve terminal, the cultured hippocampal synapse and the neuroendocrine adrenal chromaffin cell.
The lab is constantly seeking highly talented and motivated postdoctoral candidates with experience in molecular biology (e.g., knockdown or knockout), cell biology (e.g., live-cell fluorescence imaging), electron microscopy, and/or electrophysiology. The lab is also seeking graduate students majored in Neurobiology, Cell Biology, Pharmacology, Genetics, and Biomedical Engineering, with an interest in exo- and endocytosis. Contact Dr. Wu for further information.
- Shin W, Zucker B, Kundu N, Lee SH, Shi B, Chan CY, Guo X, Harrison JT, Turechek JM, Hinshaw JE, Kozlov MM, Wu LG. Molecular mechanics underlying flat-to-round membrane budding in live secretory cells. Nat Commun. 2022;13(1):3697.
- Ge L, Shin W, Arpino G, Wei L, Chan CY, Bleck CKE, Zhao W, Wu LG. Sequential compound fusion and kiss-and-run mediate exo- and endocytosis in excitable cells. Sci Adv. 2022;8(24):eabm6049.
- Shin W, Wei L, Arpino G, Ge L, Guo X, Chan CY, Hamid E, Shupliakov O, Bleck CKE, Wu LG. Preformed Ω-profile closure and kiss-and-run mediate endocytosis and diverse endocytic modes in neuroendocrine chromaffin cells. Neuron. 2021;109(19):3119-3134.e5.
- Shin W, Ge L, Arpino G, Villarreal SA, Hamid E, Liu H, Zhao WD, Wen PJ, Chiang HC, Wu LG. Visualization of Membrane Pore in Live Cells Reveals a Dynamic-Pore Theory Governing Fusion and Endocytosis. Cell. 2018;173(4):934-945.e12.
- Zhao WD, Hamid E, Shin W, Wen PJ, Krystofiak ES, Villarreal SA, Chiang HC, Kachar B, Wu LG. Hemi-fused structure mediates and controls fusion and fission in live cells. Nature. 2016;534(7608):548-52.
Related Scientific Focus Areas
Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics
This page was last updated on Friday, August 11, 2023