Projects per year
My lab is interested in endosomal sorting machineries and the cellular processes in which they are involved. Many eukaryotic cell surface proteins (such as growth factor receptors) are selectively removed from the plasma membrane by endocytosis and then either sorted into late endosomes/multivesicular bodies (MVBs) for degradation or recycled back to the plasma membrane. The fate of endocytic cargoes has implications for cell programming and can influence cellular processes such as the cell cycle, apoptosis, migration and cell fate determination. Defects in endocytic sorting have been linked to a variety of human diseases such as cancer and neurodegeneration.
Much of our research is concerned with the function of the ESCRT machinery which is primarily involved in the formation of MVBs and the selective destruction of membrane proteins. At least three endosomal sorting complexes required for transport (ESCRT-I, II and III) and various membrane lipids (PtdIns(3)P, PtdIns(3,5)P2 and LBPA) have been implicated in the biogenesis of MVBs. We found that one of the ESCRT-III components, charged multivesicular body protein 3 (CHMP3/Vps24) binds selectively to the phosphatidylinositol lipid PtdIns(3,5)P2 in vitro (Whitley et al 2003) and have an interest in the cellular function of this lipid (Dukes et al 2006, Whitley et al 2009). Recent work in the lab has focused on investigating the links between defects in endosomal sorting and cell polarity in mammalian cells. We have demonstrated that in mammalian epithelial cells that depletion of ESCRT proteins results in loss of epithelial sheet organisation and a multi-layered cell phenotype (Dukes et al 2011). As loss of cell polarity is one of the hallmarks of epithelial cancers we are currently investigating potential mechanisms behind the loss of polarity in ESCRT ‘mutant’ cells and other tumour suppressive properties of endosomal sorting proteins in mammalian epithelial cells.
- PhD University of Edinburgh, 1991
- Postdoctoral work at Stockholm University and Karolinska Institute, Sweden, 1991-1999
- At University of Bath since January 1999
- Lecturer in Cell Biology since September 2000
- Senior lecturer since September 2011
Current Lab Members
- Dr Joseph Dukes
- Miss Laura Fish (Ph.D student)
Our research is supported by Cancer Research UK. PhD studentships in the laboratory are funded the BBSRC.
Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):
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- 3 Finished
Endosomal sorting complexes in insulin-stimulated GLUT4 recycling
1/09/19 → 28/02/21
Project: UK charity
Role of Rab3 in Peripheral Tissue Insulin Resistance
Koumanov, F., Betts, J., Gonzalez, J., Thompson, D. & Whitley, P.
1/12/16 → 31/07/20
Project: Research council
Linking Tumour Suscepttibility, ESCRT Proteins and Epithelial Cell Polarity
Whitley, P. & Chalmers, A.
1/05/08 → 30/04/11
Project: UK charity
Ab initio reconstruction of small angle scattering data for membrane proteins in copolymer nanodiscsMorrison, K. A., Doekhie, A., Neville, G. M., Price, G. J., Whitley, P., Doutch, J. & Edler, K. J., Jan 2022, In: BBA Advances. 2, 100033.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access
Membrane extraction with styrene-maleic acid copolymer results in insulin receptor autophosphorylation in the absence of ligandMorrison, K. A., Wood, L., Edler, K. J., Doutch, J., Price, G. J., Koumanov, F. & Whitley, P., 31 Dec 2022, In: Scientific Reports. 12, 1, 1 p., 3532.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access2 Citations (SciVal)
Development of Methodology to Investigate the Surface SMALPome of Mammalian CellsMorrison, K. A., Heesom, K. J., Edler, K. J., Doutch, J., Price, G. J., Koumanov, F. & Whitley, P., 18 Nov 2021, In: Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences. 8
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access1 Citation (SciVal)
Folding and insertion of transmembrane helices at the ERWhitley, P., Grau, B., Gumbart, J. C., Martínez-Gil, L. & Mingarro, I., 1 Dec 2021, In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 22, 23, 12778.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Review article › peer-reviewOpen Access2 Citations (SciVal)
Transmembrane but not soluble helices fold inside the ribosome tunnelBañó-Polo, M., Baeza-Delgado, C., Tamborero, S., Hazel, A., Grau, B., Nilsson, I. M., Whitley, P., Gumbart, J. C., von Heijne, G. & Mingarro, I., 7 Dec 2018, In: Nature Communications. 9, 1, 5246.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access24 Citations (SciVal)
Dataset for "Membrane extraction with styrene-maleic acid copolymer results in insulin receptor autophosphorylation in the absence of ligand"
Morrison, K. (Creator), Whitley, P. (Creator) & Koumanov, F. (Creator), University of Bath, 3 Mar 2022
Dataset for "Ab initio reconstruction of small angle scattering data for membrane proteins in copolymer nanodiscs"
Morrison, K. (Creator), Whitley, P. (Creator), Price, G. (Creator), Edler, K. (Creator) & Doutch, J. (Data Collector), University of Bath, 16 Dec 2021
Dataset for "Development of Methodology to Investigate the Surface SMALPome of Mammalian Cells"
Morrison, K. (Creator), Whitley, P. (Creator), Koumanov, F. (Creator) & Edler, K. (Supervisor), University of Bath, 18 Nov 2021