EventsDr. Elif Fırat Nur Karalar

Dissecting The Regulation Of The Centrosome/Cilium Complex In Cells And In Disease

Centrosomes are main microtubule-organizing centers of animal cells. They create various microtubule arrays throughout the cell cycle, and thus influence cell shape, polarity and motility. At the core of the centrosome are centrioles that are essential for nucleating the formation of primary cilium, a nexus for important signaling pathways including Hedgehog signaling. Vertebrate cells have an array of granules that localize around the centrosome, termed “centriolar satellites”. Importantly, there are many links between the centrosome/cilium complex and human disease. Abnormalities of centrosome structure and number have long been associated with cancer. Moreover, mutations affecting components of the centrosome/cilium complex cause ciliopathies, which are characterized by renal disease, retinal degeneration, neurocognitive deficits, obesity among others. To better understand the relationship between human diseases and centrosome/cilium complex abnormalities, it is important to elucidate the biogenesis of the centrosome/cilium complex and the control mechanisms that regulate their structure and function. To this end, we have been generating spatial and temporal proximity interaction maps for the centrosome/cilium complex using innovative proximity-labeling approaches. These proximity interaction maps have led to identification of new regulatory mechanisms for the centrosome/cilium complex. Today I will tak about several of these mechanisms. First, I will talk about the previously unappraciated function of centriolar satellites in regulating centriole duplication. Second, I will talk about the molecular mechanism of how centriolar satellites regulate primary cilium formation. Finally, I will talk about the molecular links between centrosome/cilium complex abnormalities and human diseases including retinal degeneration and microcephaly.

About The Speaker

Dr. Firat Karalar graduated from Bilkent University in 2004 and joined the laboratory of Prof. Matthew Welch at University of California, Berkeley for her PhD studies. Her PhD work focused on the characterization of new actin-binding proteins. She then did her postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Tim Stearns at Stanford University from 2010 to 2014, where her work focused on centrosome and cilia biology. She started her own reserach group at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Koç University in June 2014, where she studies the molecular mechanism of how the centrosome/cilium complex is regulated and what goes awry in diseases including cancer and ciliopathies. Dr. Firat-Karalar’s research is funded by prestigious grants including the ERC Starting Grant and the Newton Advanced Fellowship.