Faculty Advisor

Heilman, Destin

Faculty Advisor

Higgins, Lorraine D.


Vps45 is a Sec1/Munc18-like (SM) protein that regulates SNARE complex formation in endosomal vesicle fusion. In yeast, Vps45 has been shown to interact with its binding partner SNARE Tlg2, the yeast homolog of mammalian syntaxin 16 (Sx16), to control its entry into the SNARE complex. Recent studies have identified two independent single amino acid substitutions in Vps45 associated with the immune disorder severe congenital neutropenia. These results suggest that wild-type and mutant Vps45 interact comparably with the cytoplasmic portion of Sx16/Tlg2, but one mutant may associate less strongly with a truncation. Future research should further characterize the mutants using these binding assays. An online introductory guide to biomedical grant proposal writing was also created.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2017



Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Advisor Department

Humanities and Arts

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