Cell Biology Group

General description

The existence of functional organelles is the basis for regulated processes within a cell. To sequester organelles from their environment, membranes are required which not only protect the interior of the organelles but also govern communication with the rest of the cell. To study biogenesis and maintenance of biological membranes and assembly of lipids into organelle membranes our laboratory makes use of the yeast as a well established experimental system. We combine biochemical, molecular and cell biological methods addressing problems of lipid metabolism, lipid depot formation and membrane biogenesis. Specific aspects studied currently in our laboratory are (i) assembly and homeostasis of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) in yeast organelle membranes with emphasis on peroxisomes and the plasma membrane, (ii) neutral lipid storage in lipid particles/droplets and mobilization of these depots with emphasis on the involvement of lipases and hydrolases, and (iii) characterization of organelle membranes from the industrial yeast Pichia pastoris