Jian Liu

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, MO, United States

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Publications (6)52.3 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: During endocytic vesicle formation, distinct subdomains along the membrane invagination are specified by different proteins, which bend the membrane and drive scission. Bin-Amphiphysin-Rvs (BAR) and Fer-CIP4 homology-BAR (F-BAR) proteins can induce membrane curvature and have been suggested to facilitate membrane invagination and scission. Two F-BAR proteins, Syp1 and Bzz1, are found at budding yeast endocytic sites. Syp1 arrives early but departs from the endocytic site before formation of deep membrane invaginations and scission. Using genetic, spatiotemporal, and ultrastructural analyses, we demonstrate that Bzz1, the heterodimeric BAR domain protein Rvs161/167, actin polymerization, and the lipid phosphatase Sjl2 cooperate, each through a distinct mechanism, to induce membrane scission in yeast. Additionally, actin assembly and Rvs161/167 cooperate to drive formation of deep invaginations. Finally, we find that Bzz1, acting at the invagination base, stabilizes endocytic sites and functions with Rvs161/167, localized along the tubule, to achieve proper endocytic membrane geometry necessary for efficient scission. Together, our results reveal that dynamic interplay between a lipid phosphatase, actin assembly, and membrane-sculpting proteins leads to proper membrane shaping, tubule stabilization, and scission.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2011; 108(44):E979-88. · 9.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There has been much effort in recent years aimed at understanding the molecular mechanism by which the Dam1 kinetochore complex is able to couple microtubule depolymerization to poleward movement. Both a biased diffusion and a forced walk model have been proposed, and several key functional aspects of Dam1-microtubule binding are disputed. Here, we investigate the elements involved in tubulin-Dam1 complex interactions and directly visualize Dam1 rings on microtubules in order to infer their dynamic behavior on the microtubule lattice and its likely relevance at the kinetochore. We find that the Dam1 complex has a preference for native tubulin over tubulin that is lacking its acidic C-terminal tail. Statistical mechanical analysis of images of Dam1 rings on microtubules, applied to both the distance between rings and the tilt angle of the rings with respect to the microtubule axis, supports a diffusive ring model. We also present a cryo-EM reconstruction of the Dam1 ring, likely the relevant assembly form of the complex for energy coupling during microtubule depolymerization in budding yeast. The present studies constitute a significant step forward by linking structural and biochemical observations toward a comprehensive understanding of the Dam1 complex.
    Molecular biology of the cell 02/2011; 22(4):457-66. · 5.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Membrane curvature has emerged as a key regulatory factor in endocytic vesicle formation. From a theoretical perspective, we summarize recent progress in understanding how membrane curvature and biochemical pathways are coupled and orchestrated during the coherent process of endocytic vesicle formation. We mainly focus on clathrin-mediated and actin-mediated endocytosis in yeast and in mammalian cells. We further speculate on how mechanochemical feedback could modulate other membrane-remodeling processes.
    Current opinion in cell biology 12/2009; 22(1):36-43. · 14.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endocytic vesicle formation is a complex process that couples sequential protein recruitment and lipid modifications with dramatic shape transformations of the plasma membrane. Although individual molecular players have been studied intensively, how they all fit into a coherent picture of endocytosis remains unclear. That is, how the proper temporal and spatial coordination of endocytic events is achieved and what drives vesicle scission are not known. Drawing upon detailed knowledge from experiments in yeast, we develop the first integrated mechanochemical model that quantitatively recapitulates the temporal and spatial progression of endocytic events leading to vesicle scission. The central idea is that membrane curvature is coupled to the accompanying biochemical reactions. This coupling ensures that the process is robust and culminates in an interfacial force that pinches off the vesicle. Calculated phase diagrams reproduce endocytic mutant phenotypes observed in experiments and predict unique testable endocytic phenotypes in yeast and mammalian cells. The combination of experiments and theory in this work suggest a unified mechanism for endocytic vesicle formation across eukaryotes.
    PLoS Biology 09/2009; 7(9):e1000204. · 12.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endocytosis in budding yeast is thought to occur in several phases. First, the membrane invaginates and then elongates into a tube. A vesicle forms at the end of the tube, eventually pinching off to form a "free" vesicle. Experiments show that actin polymerization is an active participant in the endocytic process, along with a number of membrane-associated proteins. Here we investigate the possible roles of these components in driving vesiculation by constructing a quantitative model of the process beginning at the stage where the membrane invagination has elongated into a tube encased in a sheath of membrane-associated protein. This protein sheath brings about the scission step where the vesicle separates from the tube. When the protein sheath is dynamin, it is commonly assumed that scission is brought about by the constriction of the sheath. Here, we show that an alternative scenario can work as well: The protein sheath acts as a "filter" to effect a phase separation of lipid species. The resulting line tension tends to minimize the interface between the tube region and the vesicle region. Interestingly, large vesicle size can further facilitate the reduction of the interfacial diameter down to a few nanometers, small enough so that thermal fluctuations can fuse the membrane and pinch off the vesicle. To deform the membrane into the tubular vesicle shape, the membrane elastic resistance forces must be balanced by some additional forces that we show can be generated by actin polymerization and/or myosin I. These active forces are shown to be important in successful scission processes as well.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2006; 103(27):10277-82. · 9.74 Impact Factor