Understanding “Granulophagy” and clearance of ALS aggregates

We are interested in defining the mechanism, regulation and cellular consequences of a novel autophagic mode of stress granule clearance that we termed “Granulophagy”.

In particular, we are interested in how this affects clearance of mRNAs resident within stress granules, and also if this pathway alters accumulation of aggregates of proteins such as TDP-43, which localize in stress granules, and are a feature of neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS.

Recently, we have determined an unexpected role for Endocytosis in TDP-43 clearance. Determining how TDP-43 aggregates enter this pathway, and whether TDP-43 interference with endocytic function is a significant aspect of the ALS disease mechanism are new areas of interest.

For reference see Buchan et al, Cell 2013

Also Liu et al, Nat. Communications 2017