Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemistry & Biochemistry

First Advisor

Hang Yin

Second Advisor

Natalie G. Ahn

Third Advisor

Amy Palmer

Fourth Advisor

Joseph Falke

Fifth Advisor

Ding Xue


Membrane curvature is a vital function in several significant biological processes. Indeed, this behavior is critical for activating certain signaling processes, membrane budding for endocytosis and exocytosis, membrane fusion and transporting molecules across the membrane. Membrane curvature triggers the activation of specific proteins that specifically target positively curved membranes, i.e. Caveolin-1, Amphiphysin, Synaptotagmin-1, ARF GTPase activating protein (ARFGAP1), and other proteins containing Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domains. These proteins carry out important behaviors for proper cellular function. There is currently a need to further investigate the biophysical interactions involved between these proteins and highly curved membranes to further understand their biological behaviors. Furthermore, lipid composition has also been reported to influence membrane curvature targeting as its shape and charge gives it a specific behavior within the bilayer. Lipids have an important role of maintaining the cellular mobility and shape, where certain lipids can generate bilayer accessibility, initiating bilayer insertion of specific moieties of proteins and peptides.

Included in

Biochemistry Commons