The spatiotemporal balance of surface proteins such as receptors, transporters and adhesion molecules is essential for cellular and tissue homeostasis. One key process to maintain this balance is endocytosis, the mechanism by which membrane components are internalised. Higher organisms have evolved a plethora of endocytic pathways with unique characteristics. Nonetheless, one common feature of all types of endocytosis is the use of actin-generated forces to aid plasma membrane deformation required for the completion of the internalisation process. The Almeida-Souza lab aims to understand the molecular logic behind the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton at endocytic sites and how disturbances in this process affect physiology and disease progression.
We have also interest in non- canonical functions of the endocytic machinery. We have recently discovered that flat clathrin lattices are essential for the formation of reticular adhesions. We want to understand more about this process both in health and disease.
To tackle this question, we use a multidisciplinary approach combining state-of-the-art techniques in cell biology, biochemistry and structural biology.