Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Oulu University, Finland
I got my PhD in 1986, after which I spent my post-doc at the Yale University Sch Med (New Haven USA) during 1987-1989. In 1993, I was named to Adj. professor in Cell Biology at the University of Oulu. Since then, I have been working at Oulu University (Dept of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Dept in Biochemistry and recently, Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine. The main focus is to understand how the Golgi glycosylation machinery is organized, functions, and is regulated in normal and diseased cells.
The “glycocalyx”, made of thousands of structurally different glycan chains attached to cell surface proteins and lipids, plays a crucial role in mediating various interactions of cells with other cells, extracellular matrix constituents and invading pathogens. Our main aim is to understand how the Golgi glycosylation machinery needed for the synthesis of the sugar coat is functionally organized and regulated in the living cell, and why it is defective in many diseases such as cancers. Using high-through-put BiFC (bimolecular fluorescence complementation) and FRET (fluorescent resonance energy transfer) approaches we have shown that glycosyltransferases are functionally organized into, and also function as, distinct complexes. Secondly, complex formation requires complex organizational interplay between enzyme homomers and heteromers, a phenomenon that is highly dependent on existing ER and Golgi pH gradients. Identification of the interaction surfaces and the role these interactions in shaping the morphology of Golgi stacks, will also be discussed.
Host: Lena Kjellén
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