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How cells form cups

Presented by: 
Robert Kay
Tuesday 15th September 2015 - 10:00 to 11:00
INI Seminar Room 1
Many cells can take in relatively large solid objects or droplets of medium by forming cup-shaped structures from their plasma membrane. These projections extend, close, and after membrane fusion produce an intracellular vesicle in which the contents can be digested and useful molecules extracted. Cups are extended from the plasma membrane by a ring of actin polymerization which can be several microns in diameter. In the uptake of solid particles – phagocytosis – the particle itself is thought to trigger uptake and guide formation of the cup that engulfs it. However, in the case of fluid uptake, no such template is available, and the questions arises of how can a cell organize actin polymerisation into a ring? Dictyostelium amoebae are adept at both phagocytosis and macropinocytosis, and I will describe how our recent work leads to a hypothesis of actin ring formation.

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University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons