Damaged or excess mitochondria must be degraded to maintain homeostasis and protect the health of the cell. The degradation of mitochondria is mediated by autophagy, a catabolic cellular process in which cytosolic material is captured in double membrane vesicles and targeted to the vacuole, in yeast, or lysosomes, in mammals, for degradation. The capture of cargo during autophagy can occur using a non-selective (bulk) or selective mechanism. Mitochondria are captured through selective autophagy.
Protein phosphorylation is critical for regulation in eukaryotic cells. The human genome encodes more than 500 protein kinases, making this one of the largest gene families. Although very diverse in how they receive and transmit signals, all protein kinases share a conserved catalytic core. While it is essential to understand how these enzymes function as catalysts, it is equally important to understand how they are regulated, how they function as scaffolds, and how they are localized.
Dr. Adriaan Bax, a National Institutes of Health Distinguished Investigator in the Laboratory of Chemical Physics at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, will present the next Dr. Homer C. and Dr. Emily Davis Weed Lecture in Chemistry on February 1, 2019 at 3:30 pm in Koffler 218. Dr. Bax is a member of the National Academy of Science and the recipient of the Welch Foundation Award.