Dr. Oleksiy Kovtun

Max-Planck Research Group Leader

  • 2000–2004: BSc in Biology, V.N. Karazin’s Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv, Ukraine
  • 2004–2005: MSc in Biochemistry, V.N. Karazin’s Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv, Ukraine
  • 2012: PhD in Molecular Cell Biology with Kirill Alexandrov, the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  • 2012–2015: Postdoctoral fellow with Brett Collis and Robert Parton, the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia (2012-2015)
  • 2015–2021: Postdoctoral fellow with John Briggs, EMBL Heidelberg and MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology
  • since 2021: Max-Planck Research Group Leader, MPI for Multidisciplinary Sciences, Göttingen, Germany

Major Research Interests

We are interested in molecular mechanisms of membrane trafficking. We aim to understand how vesicular coats function as sorting and membrane remodelling molecular machines, enabling specific trafficking routes between cellular organelles.

Cryo-electron tomography is our key technique for capturing vesicular coats in their active membrane-assembled state in vitro and in situ. In addition, we use biophysical and cellular assays to complement structural studies.

The group's current research projects decipher how vesicular coats drive molecular cargo retrieval in endosomes, the central cellular transport hub.

Homepage Department/Research Group and Social Media

Twitter: @KovtunOleksiy

Selected Recent Publications

  • N. Leneva, O. Kovtun, D. R. Morado, J. A. G. Briggs, D. J. Owen, Architecture and mechanism of metazoan retromer:SNX3 tubular coat assembly. Sci Adv 7, abf8598 (2021).

  • O. Kovtun, V. K. Dickson, B. T. Kelly, D. J. Owen, J. A. G. Briggs, Architecture of the AP2/clathrin coat on the membranes of clathrin-coated vesicles. Sci Adv 6, eaba8381 (2020).

  • O. Kovtun, N. Leneva, Y. S. Bykov, N. Ariotti, R. D. Teasdale, M. Schaffer, B. D. Engel, D. J. Owen, J. A. G. Briggs, B. M. Collins, Structure of the membrane-assembled retromer coat determined by cryo-electron tomography. Nature 561, 561-564 (2018).