Monday, April 23, 2012
Living cells are encapsulated by an outer envelope that contains a fluid phospholipid-based membrane. Embedded within this membrane is the machinery (proteins) required for the cell to sense and interact with its environment. As such, one postulates that there may be some mechanisms in place to control the location and mobility of these proteins in the fluid membrane in order to perform these sometimes complex and critical tasks. In this talk, I will present our recent studies into the (dynamic) organization of cellular membranes in living cells including single molecule observations of the mobility of transmembrane proteins in 1) mammalian fibroblast cells, 2) normal and diseased red blood cells and 3) the membranes of E. coli.