Amy Yan

Spatiotemporal dynamics of type II actin nucleation-promoting factors at clathrin-coated pits

Clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) is a conserved cellular pathway that internalizes receptors from the cell membrane that is coordinated by a wide assortment of proteins. This process is crucial for cellular growth, maintenance, and nutrient uptake. Nucleation of actin proteins has been shown to provide crucial forces for the internalization process. While well-studied and well-characterized in yeast cells, the exact roles of actin in mammalian CME still requires further investigation. Using CRISPR/Cas9 genome-edited human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), I will study the spatiotemporal regulation of branched actin network assembly by the type II actin nucleation promoting factors, ABP1 and CTTN. Elucidation of these spatiodynamics will provide a fundamental and deeper understanding of the crucial process of CME, specifically in mammalian cells.This summer, I will work closely with my mentor in learning data analysis skills for live-cell imaging. In parallel, I will also design a methodology for generating a knockout hiPSC line. All of these skills will be applied in tandem with future wet lab work.

Message to Sponsor

I am immensely grateful to the Rose Hills Foundation for their generosity and support this summer! SURF provided me the opportunity to take steps in a different direction from the wet lab work I usually do, and take the time to expand my research skillset. This summer I was able to take a step back and examine my work as a bigger picture. Whether it was deep dive reading to better understand the current works in my field, or focusing my time on image analysis and data interpretation, I learned a lot about the other side of experiments. The skill of communicating my work at different levels to different audiences is one that I will take with me after having so much practice in it at SURF. I am so excited to continue building on the foundations of the experience I gained from SURF, and to ultimately grow as a student and researcher in my remaining years at UC Berkeley.
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Sponsor: SURF Rose Hills Experience
  • Mentor: Dr. David Drubin