Understanding Peroxisome Functions
Assistant Staff Scientist:
Dr. Einat Zalckvar
Head of peroxisomes group
Peroxisomes are fascinating organelles that are found in almost all eukaryotes. Peroxisomes participate in central pathways of cellular metabolism such as β-oxidation of fatty acids, amino acid catabolism and detoxification of reactive oxygen species as well as in recently identified non-metabolic processes such as antiviral innate immunity. Peroxisomes have complex biogenesis and degradation possibilities, are actively distributed during cell division and possess their own targeting and translocation machineries. Additionally, peroxisomes are remarkably diverse in shape, size, number and content. This diversity depends on the cell type and environment, and can be rapidly regulated in response to diverse signals. Hence, peroxisomes represent a dynamic and complex system that has biological ‘inputs’ and whose biological processes could be modelled with enough information to predict ‘outputs’.
Additionally a large number of peroxisomal disorders with dramatic phenotypes have been described and malfunctions in peroxisomes contribute to the etiology of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, aging, cancer and type 2 diabetes.
We are using systems cell biology approaches in yeast in an attempt to understand peroxisomes as a complete biological system.
We are specifically interested in:
Identifying new functions of peroxisomes
Discovering new peroxisomal proteins
Identifying peroxisome contact sites with other organelles
Systematically characterizing the peroxisome proteome under different conditions
Further understanding how proteins are targeted to peroxisomes
Identifying the peroxisomal protein quality control machinery
ERC CoG 646604
Peroxisome Team Members
Dr. Noa Dahan
Dr. Ofir Klein