BN seminar: Sarah Keller - "Vacuole membranes of hungry yeast are tiny, living thermostats"





Delft: Room A1.100 (building 58, van der Maasweg 9)


Bionanoscience (BN) seminar by prof. Sarah Keller (University of Washington, USA) on "Vacuole membranes of hungry yeast are tiny, living thermostats". Lunch is provided, and will start at 12:30h.

Abstract: Liquid-liquid phase separation in living biological membranes is usually described as occurring on sub-micron length scales. A stunning counterexample occurs in S. cerevisiae. When the yeast shift from the log stage of growth to the stationary stage, huge, micron-scale liquid domains appear in the membranes of the vacuole, an endosomal organelle. These phases are functionally important, enabling yeast survival during periods of stress. This talk will review recent results showing: (1) This miscibility transition is reversible as would be expected from equilibrium thermodynamics, even though it occurs in a living system. (2) Yeast actively regulate this phase transition to hold the membrane transition ~15C above the yeast growth temperature. (3) Yeast significantly remodel their vacuole lipidomes in the shift from the log stage to the stationary stage. This research was conducted in collaboration with the labs of Alex Merz (University of Washington) and Robert Ernst (Universität des Saarlandes).