In cells, 1000s of enzymes carry out more than 8000 biochemical reactions that give an organism its shape. Traditional approaches to study enzyme functions relied on analytical techniques which required disrupting the cellular infrastructure and removing enzymes from their intimate cellular niche to study them in a test tube. However, enzymes are social machines whose function is largely influenced by their surrounding environment. Therefore, in order to gain a full perspective on how enzymes contribute to cellular economy we need to embed our knowledge of enzymes as isolated entities in the broader context of their local functional relationships in the cell.
The goal of this project is to understand how metabolic pathways are spatially organized within the 3D cellular space, and how the supramolecular organization of enzymes contributes to their functions. We utilize a multi-disciplinary approach combing high-resolution imaging, with classical biochemistry and genetics and using yeast and human cell lines to track enzymatic assemblies in vivo and characterize their functions in different nutrient conditions.
This work holds the promise of revealing new mechanisms of regulation of essential metabolic pathways including fatty acid and methionine metabolism. Dysregulation of theses pathways is implicated in prevalent pathological human conditions including cancer, metabolic disorders and aging.
Previous experience in cell biology and protein lab techniques
Classes: biochemistry, Introduction to cell biology
Interest in cell biology and metabolism
Project will start in Summer 2021
Students will need to commit for at least 2 full semesters (including summer)
Spend 8-10 hours / week on project-related activities
Communication and presentation of data
Keep detailed notes of project-related activities
Students will be trained in molecular and cell biology techniques
Assist in ongoing projects and work as part of a team
January 28, 2021