Mechanisms of regulated exocytosis
Exocytosis is fundamental to every cell and crucial to intracellular transport, protein sorting, and cell-to-cell communication. In neurons and endocrine cells, exocytosis leads to the release of neurotransmitters or hormones, and defects in this process can underlie diseases, such as type-2 diabetes. In our lab we are interested in the cell biology of insulin secretion, with a focus on the life-cycle of insulin-containing secretory granules. We study exocytosis in pancreatic ß-cells using advanced light microscopy (TIRF, super-resolution and single molecule imaging) in combination with electrophysiology. Both methods are sensitive enough to observe single granules and even individual protein molecules in a living cell.