Dr Oleksiy Kovtun – Max-Planck-Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences

17/11/2023 11:00 am - 17/11/2023 12:00 pm
Davis Auditorium

WEHI Special Structural Biology Seminar hosted by Dr Shabih Shakeel

Dr Oleksiy Kovtun
Group of Molecular Mechanisms of Membrane Trafficking, Max-Planck-Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences, Germany


Cryo-electron tomography reveals the architecture of nanomachines of membrane trafficking


Davis Auditorium

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Including Q&A session


Oleksiy graduated from Kharkiv State University in Ukraine with a bachelor’s in Biology and a master’s in Biochemistry degrees. He did his PhD with Kirill Alexandrov’s IMB at UQ, developing a toolset for multiplexed protein analysis. After graduation in 2012, he moved to the Brett Collins lab to work on a joint project with Rob Parton on caveolar assembly. In 2015, Oleksiy joined the John Briggs team to study vesicular coats by cryo-electron tomography, first at EMBL Heidelberg and then at LMB MRC in Cambridge, UK. Hi has continued to work in this field as an independent group leader since late 2021 at the MPI for Multidisciplinary Sciences in Göttingen, Germany.


Membrane trafficking exchanges materials, packed in transport vesicles and tubules, between membranous organelles. Multi-subunit nanomachines termed coats drive this trafficking by recruiting ad hoc at a target organelle, recognising and concentrating cargo on the membrane and extruding cargo-enriched domains into vesicles and tubes bound for transport. Cryo-electron tomography and subtomogram averaging enabled capturing fully-assembled coats on membranes in reconstituted systems and even directly in the cell with subnanometer details. This made possible direct mechanistic insights into coats function as nanomachines that consolidate multiple molecular recognition events to drive large-scale changes. My talk will focus on structural studies of the retromer and AP2/clathrin coats acting in endosomal sorting and endocytosis, respectively.

All welcome!

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