2004, Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society
Membrane and protein transport are essential processes in the cell. Proteins have to be delivered to the correct cellular compartment where they function. Most of the cellular organelles are surrounded by membranes in order to prevent uncontrolled mixing of the content of the compartment with the cytoplasm. The communication between the organelles is mediated by vesicles that travel between different compartments. We investigate the regulation of membrane and protein traffic in different systems. In the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we focus on the life cycle of a transport vesicle that is formed at the Golgi apparatus and destined for the endoplasmic reticulum. In contrast, in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we study the membrane delivery into the division plane during cytokinesis. Cytokinesis is the last step in cell division. After the DNA has been equally divided and has been distributed onto two poles, new membrane is inserted in between the two poles at the plasma membrane, which divides the cellular content resulting in two cells that can start a cell-cycle anew.