Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Isabelle Lehman L&S Sciences

Paralog-Specific Functions of Rab27a and Rab27b in Exosome Secretion

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membrane-bound compartments that are exported out of cells. There are two major subpopulations of EVs: microvesicles and exosomes. Exosomes have garnered particular interest in the scientific community due to recent studies suggesting a role for exosomes in intercellular communication in both normal and disease states. Additionally, exosomes can be utilized as diagnostic biomarkers for a variety of disease conditions. Despite broad interest in exosomes, little is known about how their release is regulated. Rab27a and Rab27b are two very closely related proteins that regulate different steps of exosome secretion. How such similar proteins can control separate steps of this pathway is not well understood. My proposed research aims to characterize the distinct mechanisms by which Rab27a and Rab27b control exosome secretion using both genetic and biochemical approaches. Obtaining a more comprehensive understanding of how Rab27a and Rab27b regulate exosome secretion will provide insight into how exosomes contribute to disease progression.

Message To Sponsor

I'm extremely grateful to have been chosen as a SURF fellow and can't wait to begin my work this summer. Thank you so much for sponsoring my research project and making everything that comes from it possible. There are so many skills and experiences that I can't wait to uncover and it will all be through your support. Thank you!
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Major: Molecular and Cell Biology, neurobiology emphasis
Mentor: Randy Scekman
Sponsor: Zara Fund
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