Lipid-protein interaction in the primary cilium
Project leader: Dagmar Wachten
The project is focussed on the role of lipids in controlling signaling in primary cilia. Primary cilia are membrane protrusions, emerging from the surface of most eukaryotic cells. Primary cilia dysfunction causes severe human diseases, called ciliopathies. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are ill-defined. Each cell has only one primary cilium, which is supposed to function as cellular antenna that receives extracellular stimuli and transduces this information into an intracellular response. Cilia constitute a unique microdomain, containing not only a certain protein repertoire and organization, but also forming a distinct membrane domain, whose lipid composition is different from the cell body. Here, we set out to investigate the role of glycosphingolipids and phosphoinositides in controlling primary ciliary maintenance and function.