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Research GBB Molecular Cell Biology Research

Molecular Cell Biology

Studying cellular organelles

Research in the Molecular Cell Biology group is focussed on the study of cell organelles, with emphasis on peroxisomes. These ubiquitous organelles perform vital roles in the cell, a fact that is stressed by the lethal diseases that stem from peroxisome deficiencies. Common peroxisome functions are hydrogen peroxide metabolism and lipid metabolism. However, depending on the organism, developmental stage and cell type, peroxisomes can have a large number of other (metabolic and non-metabolic) functions.

Our research on peroxisomes is multi-disciplinary, combining molecular, biochemical and physiological approaches, together with the use of various (sub) structural techniques including as electron microscopy, fluorescence and confocal laser scanning microscopy.

Human and yeast peroxisomes

We use human cell lines and yeast as models in our research.

We use two yeast species: Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the methylotrophic yeast Hansenula polymorpha. Yeasts are ideal models because they are easy to cultivate and readily accessible to advanced molecular, biochemical and microscopy methods. Furthermore, manipulating the growth conditions of yeast readily allows peroxisome function to be modulated. Relative to S. cerevisiae, the yeast H. polymorpha has the additional advantage that the morphological and biochemical events accompanying peroxisome proliferation and degradation are much more pronounced.

Current research topics include:

The formation of peroxisomes

Peroxisomal division and proliferation

Peroxisomal membrane contact sites

Transporters in the peroxisomal membrane

Last modified:17 October 2022 2.19 p.m.