Camille Derderian

UC San Francisco

“Unpacking the ciliary membrane compartment: How lipids mediate ciliary signaling”

The primary cilium is a compositionally and functionally distinct organelle that serves as a cellular signaling tower and guides embryonic development and adult tissue maintenance. Defects in ciliary signaling result in diseases of ciliary origin, termed ciliopathies, characterized by a host of symptoms including retinal dystrophy, hearing loss, obesity, and reproductive and skeletal anomalies. While many proteins that facilitate healthy ciliary signaling are actively studied and characterized, the role of membrane lipids in ciliary signaling remains largely unexplored. We discovered that phosphatidylserine (PS), a negatively charged phospholipid of low abundance in mammalian cells, is enriched within the ciliary membrane. I plan to assess the role of PS in the signaling function of the primary cilium. My goal is to develop tools that can manipulate ciliary lipids in whole living cells and asses how unique lipid environments can impact ciliary composition and function. Our understanding of this essential membrane lipid will uncover novel information about the lipid identity of the ciliary membrane and overall signaling function of the primary cilium.


I study how a unique composition of membrane lipids contribute to the distinct signaling functions of the primary cilium.

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