The First Alumni Reunion was held successfully on May 18 2019 by the Division of Life Science (https://life-sci.ust.hk) and Life Science Alumni Association, HKUST. Over 50 graduates and colleagues from the former Department of Biochemistry and Department of Biology, and the current Division of Life Science joined in this homecoming event. Alumni speakers Johnson Leung (BSc Biology; Founder, 300cubits), Mr Bird Tang (BSc Biology; Co-Founder, VolTra義遊), and Mr Gerald Wong (BSc Biochemistry; Founder, Infinity Dance Ids) shared about their “secrets” in their school days and their career journey after graduation. The event was concluded with a reception and a ‘Badminton for Fun’ session.
Click to see the full article released by Division of Life Science and more photos from the event: https://alum.ust.hk/happenings#gallery-1969
Prof. Yusong and his collaborators Prof. Hu Junjie from the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences reported that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) fusogen atlastin (ATL) was involved in regulating cargo mobility and COPII formation in the ER. Their finding, published in PNAS on June 25, provides important insight into the physiological role of the tubular ER network.
Deletion or mutation of ATL in mammalian cells results in long unbranched ER tubules indicative of a lack of fusion between tubules, and mutation of human ATL1 is linked to hereditary spastic paraplegia. Prof. Hu’s previous work demonstrated that ATL and its homologs mediate fusion of the ER, particularly the tubular network, but the specific physiological functions of the tubular ER networks remain unclear.
After folding and proper modification, cargo proteins exited the ER through COPII coated vesicles. Researchers found that in ATL-deleted cells, COPII formation was drastically reduced in the cell periphery, and ER export became defective.
While ER exit site initiation was not affected, many of the sites failed to recruit COPII subunits. Subsequently, in vitro vesicular release assay revealed that the efficiency of cargo packaging into COPII vesicles was significantly reduced in cells lacking ATLs.
Further studies found that cargo was less mobile in the ER in the absence of ATL. Interestingly, the cargo mobility and COPII formation could be restored by ATL R77A, which was capable of tethering, but not fusing, ER tubules.
These findings suggest that ATL-mediated membrane tethering plays a critical role in maintaining the necessary mobility of ER contents to allow efficient packaging of cargo proteins into COPII vesicles. It has been shown that membrane tension affects the mobility of membrane components. The activity of ATL, particularly in membrane tethering, may contribute to regulating membrane tension in the ER.
Niu L, Ma T, Yang F, Yan B, Tang X, Yin H, Wu Q, Huang Y, Yao ZP, Wang J, Guo Y, Hu J. Atlastin-mediated membrane tethering is critical for cargo mobility and exit from the endoplasmic reticulum. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Jul 9;116(28):14029-14038. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1908409116.Read More
LIFS is pleased to announce that CHEN Xudong (Zhang lab) and CHEN Yijun (Wang lab) have been selected as the recipients of the George K Lee Foundation Scholarships 2018/19.Read More
Professor Mingjie Zhang has just won a highly competitive three-year grant from the Human Frontiers in Science Program (HFSP) to investigate the molecular mechanism by which calcium ion determines AMPA receptor (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid) trafficking and retention at the neuronal synapse. Prof. Mingjie Zhang and his colleagues from Japan and Germany will try to reconstitute the synaptic plasticity with a minimal set of purified postsynaptic density (PSD) proteins in vitro and manipulate the reconstituted PSD to understand the fundamental and molecular nature of synaptic plasticity.Read More
Dr. Wen’s laboratory has recently identified a myeloid-like cell population in zebrafish epidermis. This newly identified myeloid-like cell population, designated as metaphocytes, are of ectodermal origin but shares high similarities with mesoderm-derived conventional macrophages in the skin.Read More
Congratulations to Prof. Jiguang Wang on winning the “School of Engineering Young Investigator (Rising Star) Research Award 2018-2019. He received the award plaque and cash prize from the Dean of Engineering Prof Tim Cheng in the School Board meeting on 26 April, 2019.
Prof. Wang’s research has been widely recognized by the international community. His recent work has been selected as China’s top 10 research advances in life science in 2018. He has collaborated closely with physicians in mainland China, Korea and Hong Kong, translating into clinically relevant research regularly reported by high-impact journals, e.g., Cell, Nature Genetics, etc.
The EpiHK 2019 Spring Symposium took place at HKUST on Febuary 20, 2019, bringing together the research community working on epigenomics for the first EpiHK research symposium. The one-day event featured a mix of talks from principal investigators and trainees from the Hong Kong Epigenomics Project, providing a wonderful outreach opportunity to researchers with related interests and those looking to engage in epigenomics work.Read More
A research team consisting of scientists from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Jinan University discovered a new mechanism that could delay the degeneration of injured nerves, bringing new hope to the treatment of nerve damage and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).Read More