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VIDEO: Lindsay Case on Membrane-Associated Condensates and Signal Transduction

Erik Martin

Senior Scientist, Dewpoint Therapeutics

Type Kitchen Table Talk

The Dewpoint scientists and community welcomed Lindsay Case for a Kitchen Table Talk on March 2. Lindsay joined the department of Biology at MIT in January of 2021. During her PhD at UNC Chapel Hill with Clare Waterman, Lindsay studied how force is transmitted to the extra cellular matrix through integrin focal adhesions. She extended this work to phase separation in membrane signaling during her postdoc at UT Southwestern with Mike Rosen, one of the founders of the condensate field.

Lindsay’s seminal contributions to the condensate field includes one of my favorite papers about phase separation, the 2019 Science paper showing that phase separation can lead to clustering of membrane receptors and is directly linked to function. Her paper was published in tandem with another Science paper from Jay Grove’s lab at Berkeley, and I had the privilege of coauthoring the preview for them. Lindsay recently published work in eLife that builds on these models and brought her back to integrin focal adhesions.

She shares some of this work in her talk, along with some stimulating preliminary data from her new lab. As you’ll notice by all the great questions after the talk, we all thoroughly enjoyed hearing about Lindsay’s work. And she kindly provided written answers to the ones she didn’t have time to answer during the show–you can find those here. I hope you enjoy her talk in the video below as much as we did.

Lindsay Case on Membrane-Associated Condensates and Signal Transduction

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Erik Martin (00:00):
It’s my pleasure to introduce Lindsay Case today to the Kitchen Table talk. I met Lindsay, I think, in 2016 at a Gordon Conference in the Swiss Alps along with, I think, several other people here, including Jill and Bede and several others. It was a, I guess, wonderful environment to do science and it’s been a great experience following Lindsay’s work since.

Erik Martin (00:26):
Lindsay did her PhD at UNC Chapel Hill with Clare Waterman, studying dynamics of actin and integrin focal adhesions, which has, as it turns out, been a wonderful background into the phase separation field as it’s developed over the last 10 years. So I guess that was a very fortuitous move to do her postdoc at UT Southwestern with Mike Rosen, who was one of the founders of the field with his 2012 Nature paper on multivalent assemblies.

Erik Martin (01:00):
Lindsay has had some seminal additions to this particular aspect of the field, I guess, starting with a 2019 Science paper that was published in tandem with a paper from Jay Grove’s lab at Berkeley, that I had the pleasure of writing the preview for. These were some of my favorite papers in the phase separation field. It was basically showing both how phase separation could lead to the assembly of all of these membrane receptors, and how this is directly linked to function.

Erik Martin (01:33):
She had a very recent eLife paper where it’s extended this type of modeling back to her work in her PhD working on integrin and adhesion complexes. She has also had the distinct pleasure of being one of the people to try and start a lab at the start of 2021, and is now an assistant professor at MIT. So I’m greatly looking forward to what she has to say and hope everyone else does as well.

Lindsay Case (02:00):
Well, thank you, Erik, for that introduction and also for the opportunity to speak here today. I’m really excited to share some of my more recent work with the condensate community.

Lindsay Case (02:13):
So today I’ll be sharing my work investigating membrane associated condensates and their role in regulating signal transduction. I’m sure this audience doesn’t need too much of an introduction into phase separation and condensates, but suffice it to say that over the last decade or so, we’ve really come to appreciate that there are many biological molecules capable of undergoing phase separation at physiological conditions…


Question from Avinash Patel: in cells, were the condensates normalised against the number of membrane protrusions (filopodias)?
Lindsay’s Response: No. We did not normalize to number of protrusions or cell area. We simply calculated the number of condensates per cell at specific time points…

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