We are fascinated by complex and dynamic protein machines in cells. We have been particularly focusing on unraveling the molecular mechanisms of clathrin-mediated endocytosis. This is an ancient membrane trafficking pathway, which is conserved throughout eukaryotes. The endocytic vesicles are formed by a molecular machinery that is composed of more that 50 different types of proteins. These endocytic proteins assemble at the site of endocytosis on the plasma membrane in a precisely choreographed sequence. We aim to understand how the assembly of this protein machine is regulated in space and time, and how the different biochemical functions of the endocytic proteins are coordinated to mediate robust vesicle formation.
We are also interested in understanding how cellular protein machineries can change during evolution to adapt to different environmental contexts or different cellular physiologies.