Laboratory of Cilia and Centrosome Biology
We are enthusiastic bunch of cell biologists tackling the structure and function of primary cilia and centrosomes in human cells for living.
Primary cilia are antenna–like organelles present on cell surface. They are templated by the older ("mother") centriole in non-dividing cells. In dividing cells, centrioles form the centrosome - mitotic spindle organizer that facilitates the cell division. Correctly tuned signaling orchestrated by primary cilia (e.g. Hedgehog pathway) is essential both for embryo development and adult tissue homeostasis. Deregulation of either cilia or centrosome biology often leads to disease. Successful treatment of such diseases calls for better understanding of their origin.
We have expertise in molecular and cell biology approaches, including proteomics, gene editing, stem cells, super-resolution microscopy, live cell imaging microscopy, and biochemistry.
Primary cilium consists of the basal body (mother centriole anchored to the plasma membrane via set of appendages at its distal end), the transition zone (a specialized compartment implicated in targeting and sorting proteins in/out of cilium), and the axoneme (a membrane enclosed, microtubule-based structure protruding from the cell out).
Primary cilium is often viewed as cell "antenna". Indeed, it contains receptors and effectors of several signaling pathways (the best known example is the Hedgehog pathway), so its is no surprise it is important for modulation of signal transduction from outside to the inside of the cell.
Pathophysiologies related to structural/functional defects in cilia are termed ciliopathies.
Centrioles are microtubule-based cylindrical structures. In proliferating cells, centrioles duplicate exactly once per cell cycle - through the formation of one new centriole close to the proximal end of each pre-existing centriole.
As a cells approaches mitosis, the centrioles mature (e.g. acquire distal and sub-distal appendages), recruit pericentriolar material and form the centrosome. After the cell division, the older, fully matured ("mother") centriole of the centriole pair can serve as basal body to trigger ciliogenesis.
Pathophysiologies related to centrosome anomalies are for exemple cancer, primary microcephaly, and primordial dwarfism.