Molecular Biology and Genetics Seminars: Dr. Elif Nur Fırat-Karalar

18 May 2023
16:00 - 18:00

Dr. Elif Nur Fırat-Karalar from Koç University will be the next guest of the seminar series organized by KHAS Molecular Biology and Genetics Department with her speech “Deciphering the Biology of Centriolar Satellites: How They Assemble, Function and Cause Disease” on Thursday, May 18 at 16:00 on Zoom.

Zoom ID: 831 0216 7653

Özet: Centriolar satellites are membrane-less organelles that localize and move around microtubule-organizing centres; including the centrosome, which assembles the interphase microtubule array, mitotic spindle and cilia. Proteomic and mechanistic dissection of centriolar satellites identified them as transit sites where centrosome and cilium proteins are assembled into large complexes, modified, stored and/or trafficked. Importantly, centriolar satellite proteome is enriched for proteins mutated in developmental disorders such as ciliopathies and microcephaly. Functional and biochemical characterization of these proteins uncovered mechanisms that underlie diseases affecting eye and brain. Acute and chronic loss-of function experiments for centriolar satellites revealed their functions during cellular signaling and cell division. Finally, proteomic profiling of satellites using a new satellite knock-in mouse showed that satellites exhibit regulated heterogeneity across different cell types. By defining centriolar satellites as a new membrane-less trafficking pathway, our findings defined them as exciting membrane-less players that crosstalk with other cellular structures and provided new insight into organelle plasticity.

Konuşmacı Hakkında: Dr. Elif Nur Firat-Karalar is an Associate Professor at Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics and School of Medicine at Koc University. She studied molecular biology and genetics at Bilkent University, Turkey. She then moved to US for her PhD work at the University of California, Berkeley, where she investigated the mechanisms of actin nucleation under the supervision of Matthew Welch. During her postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Tim Stearns at Stanford University, she used proteomics approaches and identified the centriole proteome and proximity interactome that revealed novel regulatory pathways for centriole biogenesis. Since 2014, she has been leading the cytoskeleton research laboratory at Koc University. Research in her lab focuses on studying the structure and function of the mammalian centrosome/cilium complex, with a particular focus on uncovering the molecular defects underlying developmental disorders. Elif is the first recipient of two ERC Starting Grants (2015, 2022) on her studies on the biology of centriolar satellites as well as other national and international grants including EMBO installation grant, Royal Society Newton Advanced Fellowship. Her research has been recognized by many awards including the EMBO Young Investigator Award, TUBITAK Incentive Award in Health Sciences and Sabri Ulker International Science Award.

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