#46 Physics of cellular degradation - a paradigm shift triggered by MaxSynBio
Roland L. Knorr (Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces / University of Tokyo, Potsdam)
Tuesday, 01 Dec 21:15 - 22:00 CET
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Title: Physics of cellular degradation - a paradigm shift triggered by MaxSynBio
Author(s): Roland L. Knorra,b,c
Affiliation(s): aMPI of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam, Germany; bUniversity of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan; cMPI of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam, Germany
Abstract: Compartmentalisation of cellular material in droplet-like structures is a hallmark of liquid-liquid phase separation, but the mechanisms of droplet removal are poorly understood. Evidence suggests that such proteinaceous droplets can be degraded by autophagy, a highly-conserved degradation system in which membrane sheets bend to isolate portions of the cytoplasm within double-membrane autophagosomes. Nurtured by a MaxSynBio project showing in vitro that droplet-membrane interactions are determined by wetting, recently we identified wetting droplets as novel key autophagy structure. We uncover a switching mechanism that allows droplets to act either as liquid assembly platforms for cytosol-degrading autophagosomes or as specific autophagy substrates. Further, we demonstrate that embryonic plant vacuole remodelling underlies similar physical principles, revealing the importance of wetting in cytosolic organization.