Date of Award

Spring 6-8-2023

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Natural Science and Mathematics, Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Michelle Knowles


Exosomes, Tetherin, Membranes


Exosomes are a type of membrane vesicles utilized in intercellular communication. Exosomes are first packaged into larger membrane vesicles called multivesicular bodies (MVBs). When exosomes are secreted, the membrane of the MVBs fuses with the cellular membrane, and then the exosomes are released. Experimental observations suggest that the movement of the exosomes is hindered during this process; they require much longer time to leave the fusion site than they would if they were diffusing freely. A prevalent hypothesis is that the cause of this hindrance is attachment of the exosomes to the cell surface. Recent work suggests that tetherin, a transmembrane protein, might be the cause of this attachment. However, the evidence remains inconclusive. We present two computational models describing properties of this system, as well as experimental data exploring the possible involvement of the protein tetherin. The simulations describe properties of a theoretical tether, regardless of its actual nature or identity and the experimental data cannot be simulated without an exosomal tether.

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Statement

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Available for download on Monday, January 01, 2024

Included in

Biochemistry Commons