Wu Min


Biological machinery may be more than the sum of its parts in isolation, but it cannot be greater than the sum of the parts and their interactions. We are interested in the general question of how complex cellular functionalities emerge from molecules and their interactions, with a primary focus on endocytosis.

image credit: David Goodsell

Our main research interests loosely fall into these two themes: the integration logic of protein assemblies involved in membrane traffic, and the physical and molecular basis underlying the variabilities of the endocytic machinery.

Specifically, we are interested in elucidating: the interplay of various curvature generating mechanisms, the coupling between actin-mediated force generation and membrane remodeling. We will develop experimental strategies to tackle these problems at three levels: live cell studies, cell-free reconstitution using cytosolic extracts and in vitro reconstitution with artificial membrane and purified proteins.

Collectively we aim to obtain a better understanding of endocytosis as a coherent but plastic machinery. We also think a more sophisticated mechanistic framework obtained here will allow us to pinpoint the subtle aberrations whose accumulating effects are detrimental in many diseased states.

Selected Publications

Frequency and amplitude control of cortical oscillations by phosphoinositide waves. Ding Xiong, Shengping Xiao, Su Guo, Qinsong Lin, Fubito Nakatsu & Min Wu. Nature Chemical Biology (2016) doi:10.1038/nchembio.2000, Published online 11 January 2016.

Multiarray cell stretching platform for high-magnification real-time imaging. Yuli Huang, Nam-Trung Nguyen, Khoi Seng Lok, Peter Peng Foo Lee, Maohan Su, Min Wu, Leyla Kocgozlu, Benoit Ladoux. Nanomedicine (Lond). 2013 Apr;8(4):543-53.

Calcium oscillations-coupled conversion of actin travelling waves to standing oscillations. Wu, Min*; Wu, Xudong, De Camilli, Pietro*. (* co-corresponding authors). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jan 22;110(4):1339-44. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1221538110.

Supported native plasma membranes as platforms for the reconstitution and visualization of endocytic membrane budding. Wu, Min; De Camilli, Pietro. Methods in Cell Biology  2012; 108: 3-18.

Coupling between clathrin-dependent endocytic budding and F-BAR-dependent tubulation in a cell-free system. Wu, Min; Huang, Bo; Graham, Morven; Raimondi, Andrea; Heuser, John E.; Zhuang, Xiaowei; De Camilli, Pietro., Nat Cell Biol. 2010 Sep;12(9):902-8. Highlighted in Science’s Editors’ Choice, selected by Faculty of 1000.

Differential targeting of secretory lysosomes and recycling endosomes in mast cells revealed by patterned antigen arrays. Wu, Min; Baumgart, Tobias; Hammond, Stephanie; Holowka, David A.; Baird, Barbara A., J Cell Sci. 2007 Sep 1;120(Pt 17):3147-54. Selected by Faculty of 1000.

Visualization of plasma membrane compartmentalization with patterned lipid bilayers. Wu, Min; Holowka, David A.; Craighead, Harold G.; Baird, Barbara A., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Sep 21;101(38):13798-803.