PhD student position available
Regulation of cholesterol transport and exome biology
Cholesterol is key to maintain cellular homeostasis and membrane integrity. Recently, it has been shown that intracellular trafficking of cholesterol and other lipids is not only mediated by vesicular transport but also by non-vesicular transport of lipids through contact sites between membranes (membrane contact sites, MCS) of nearby organelles (see scheme). We hypothesise that the correct assembly and spatio-temporal functioning of MCS is crucial for the transport of cholesterol, especially in pathological conditions (such as Niemann-Pick type C Sd) where rewiring of inter-organellar contacts results in abnormal lipid trafficking and, ultimately, metabolic alterations.
We demonstrated that Annexin A6 (AnxA6) may play a role in the formation and functioning of MCS. Using CRISPR-Cas9, molecular biology techniques, advanced confocal and electron microscopies, in vivo mouse models and proteomic and genomic approaches we will study the AnxA6 and other MCS proteins interactome to identify how the recruitment of AnxA6 and other proteins to MCS can alter its formation and functioning. Moreover, since AnxA6 is one of the most abundant and ubiquitous proteins in extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes, we will study the role of AnxA6 (interactome) in EV cargo sorting. The study will also analyse the mechanism of AnxA6 entry into intraluminal vesicles (ILV) of LE/MVB. Understanding the regulation of the molecular composition of EVs is of great interest for the development of new pharmacological strategies.
• Eligibility: Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences or related.
• Start date and duration: November 2021, for 3 years (full time)
• Deadline for submission of applications: 30th September 2021
• How to apply: Interested candidates should send a brief cover letter indicating their research interests and their CV including academic qualification marks to Dr Carles Rentero (firstname.lastname@example.org). The best candidates will be interviewed.