InT. brucei, endo- and exocytosis take place solely at the flagellar pocket, which makes up only 5% of the plasma membrane. I aim to understand the mechanism, which ensures efficient transition. Potential spatial compartmentalization of both processes will be investigated by 2-color 3D single-molecule tracking of fluorescently labeled single emitters. For this purpose, I will build an astigmatism-based 3D microscopy setup. The same setup will be used to investigate variant surface glycoproteins (VSGs) trafficking throughout the cell.
The situation of restricted endo- and exocytosis in T. brucei is an example of a general problem in biology: the narrow escape problem (NEP), which deals with Brownian particles confined to domain with reflective boundaries and a small escape site. The mathematical prediction of the NEP is going to be tested systematically in vitro in micro-structured model membranes.
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