Will Wan lab
A common ‘eat me’ signal displayed by apoptotic cells is the exposure of the lipid phosphatidylserine, a lipid normally found exclusively on the inner leaflet, to the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane. Phagocytes can bind the exposed lipid and this interaction promotes engulfment and subsequently clearance of apoptotic debris. Enveloped viruses take advantage of this engulfment signal by budding from host cells with exposed phosphatidylserine to promote uptake by both professional and non-professional phagocytes. While the importance of exposed phosphatidylserine is recognized, little is known about how exactly the virion both concentrates and exposes phosphatidylserine to the outer leaflet prior to budding from its host cell. Tyler is interested in studying the molecular mechanisms by which Ebola Virus mimics cellular apoptotic debris and promotes phagocytic engulfment through a process known as apoptotic mimicry.