Ane Landajuela, Ph.D, Postdoctoral Associate
University of the Basque Country (Spain).
The general aim of my project is to advance our knowledge of the mechanisms of membrane fission in bacteria. It has been shown that FisB mediates membrane fission during sporulation in Bacillus subtilis [ Doan et al. 2013] but the underlying molecular mechanism is not understood. What it is known is that FisB forms oligomers and binds cardiolipin (CL), a lipid whose subcellular localization changes during sporulation. I will try to define factors controlling CL and FisB dynamics during sporulation using cell-wall deficient protoplasts and giant liposomes using micropipette aspiration, pulling membrane tethers and visualizing CL microdomains. I will also try to gain insight into the structure of FisB in both soluble and membrane-associated forms. On the basis of these results we will suggest a model for FisB-mediated membrane fission during sporulation.
I studied Biochemistry at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and did my PhD at the BIOFISIKA Institute (UPV/EHU, CSIC) under the supervision of Dr.Gorka Basañez . During this period I focused on the study of the mode of action of BCL-2 family proteins, in particular BH3-only proteins tBID, BIM and PUMA and how specific apoptosis-related lipids modulate these proteins. I followed a multidisciplinary approach focused in biochemical and biophysical techniques to examine the mechanisms by which these proteins regulate pro-apoptotic BAX/BAK functional activation. After that I stayed for two years in the same institute joining the group of Felix Goñi and Alicia Alonso trying to understand the mechanism underlying membrane fusion mediated by the LC3 conjugation system, critical regulator for proper autophagosome biogenesis.