Research Summary

Recruitment and activation of kinesin on lipid droplets

Motor-driven transport along microtubules is required for precise temporal and spatial distribution of cellular organelles such as Golgi, mitochondria, vesicles, etc. Lipid droplets (LDs) are dynamic organelles derived from the endoplasmic reticulum. They actively participate in lipid metabolism, as they store fat in the form of triacylglycerols (TAGs). They show active directed motion along microtubules, which is required for the formation and breakdown of LDs for TAG utilization. During lipogenesis, nascent LDs increase in size by fusing with each other and move towards the cell centre. This process is shown to be dependent on the dynein motor. Conversely, during lipolysis, plus-directed outward transport (likely driven by kinesin) breaks large central LDs into smaller LDs for TAG hydrolysis and eventual fatty acid production. This indicates the role of motors in lipid metabolism. As the intracellular dynamics of fusion and dispersal of LDs is not well understood, it is important to understand how motors on LDs are regulated, and its implication in lipid metabolism. My research attempts to find out the molecular and mechanistic components of such regulation of motors in response to different metabolic cues. This will be done through a combination of protein biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysical methods