Date of Graduation

Spring 2020


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Kyoungtae Kim


Endocytosis is a highly regulated process crucial for recycling of plasma membrane proteins and lipids. Derailments in this trafficking pathway pose threat to normal functioning of somatic cells. Engineered nanoparticles are used extensively in industry due to unique physicochemical properties. However, these nanoparticles, at high concentrations are known to create toxic effects on biological tissues. With this recent information, I investigated the potential toxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) and cadmium selenium/zinc sulfide (CdSe/ZnS) quantum dots (QDs) on liquid phase endocytosis pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. My data provided evidence that treatment of yeast cells with AgNP and CdSe/ZnS QDs resulted in FM4-64 transit defects with a significant delay of its trafficking to the final destination. To test the potential negative effects of these nanoparticles on intracellular trafficking pathways, I examined the distribution pattern of Vps10-GFP and GFP-Snc1. Both AgNP and CdSe/ZnS QDs disrupted the intracellular trafficking pathways as shown in abnormal distribution patterns of Vps10-GFP and GFP-Snc1. In addition, cells treated with cadmium sulphate and silver nitrate displayed severe defects both in endocytosis and the trafficking toward the Golgi. In summary, my study provided evidence that AgNP and CdSe/ZnS QDs affect endocytosis and endosome-Golgi trafficking. Future research would involve illustrating the molecular mechanisms behind the cell toxicity.


endocytosis, protein recycling, FM4-64, silver nanoparticles, cadmium selenium, quantum dots, yeast, Vps10, Snc1

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© Lakshmi Sravya Rallabandi

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