Jessica Hong

Functional domain analysis of type I myosins in clathrin-mediated endocytosis

Clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) is a process through which cells internalize pieces of their plasma membrane (PM) and extracellular substances. Cells regulate signal transduction, membrane homeostasis, and nutrient uptake through this ancient and highly-conserved pathway. Previous research demonstrated that type I myosins are critical for endocytic internalization. The yeast type I myosin Myo5 is composed of a motor head linked to a multi-domain tail. Myo5 motor activity is necessary for PM internalization, and its tail domains are predicted to bind various cellular structures. Little is known about the precise role of Myo5 in yeast CME. I will apply a combination of genetic manipulation and fluorescence imaging toward building a functional domain analysis of Myo5 by quantitating the effects of mutations in the Myo5 protein. These studies will increase our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms responsible for the crucial process of endocytosis. Because the endocytic machinery is widely conserved, what we learn in yeast is likely to apply broadly to all eukaryotic organisms, including humans, where defective endocytosis is linked to heart disease, cancer, and neural degeneration.

Message to Sponsor

Thank you so much to the Rose Hills Foundation for the opportunity to learn from leading researchers in cell biology. Being a part of the Drubin lab has broadened my understanding of research on fundamental biological systems. It has challenged my understanding of biological principles and allowed me to apply textbook knowledge to designing experiments in the lab and interpreting data. The SURF/Rose Hills fellowship allows me to learn science and develop a passion for biology that would not be possible without engaging in undergraduate research. Thank you to my mentors, Ross Pedersen and Dr. Eric Lewellyn, principle investigator Dr. David Drubin, and sponsors of the Rose Hills Foundation for supporting my journey in biological research.
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills
  • Mentor: David Drubin, Molecular and Cell Biology