Dr. James Olzmann on The cell biology of lipid homeostasis

University of Pittsburgh Department of Biological Sciences presents:
Spring 2020 Seminar Series 

Dr. James Olzmann
University of California Berkeley 

"The cell biology of lipid homeostasis: From lipid droplets to lipotoxicity "

Lipid droplets are endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-derived organelles that consist of a core of
neutral lipids encircled by a phospholipid monolayer. Lipid droplets function as cellular
hubs of lipid metabolism, providing an “on demand” source of fatty acids that can be rapidly
mobilized for energy and sequestering fatty acids to protect cells from lipotoxic damage.
Lipid droplet functions are controlled by associated integral and peripheral proteins. In this
seminar, I will discuss the mechanism that control lipid droplet biogenesis and will describe
a proximity labeling proteomics strategy that we developed to characterize lipid droplet
proteome dynamics. I will further discuss recent applications of whole-genome CRISPRCas9
screens to dissect pathways that regulate cellular responses to lipotoxicity. For
example, exploiting a synthetic lethal screening strategy, we recently discovered a new
pathway that promotes cancer cell resistance to a regulated form of cell death known as
ferroptosis, which involves the iron-dependent accumulation of oxidatively damaged lipids.
This study also uncovered an unexpected role for non-mitochondrial CoQ as a lipophilic
antioxidant that prevents membrane damage. Together, our data highlight the integration
of systems level discovery approaches and cell biology methods as a powerful strategy to
understand the mechanisms that regulate lipid droplets and lipotoxicity in health and

Monday, February 24, 2020
169 Crawford Hall

11:00 A.M.
10:50 A.M.  refreshments 

Host: Dr. Jeffrey Brodsky 


24 Feb 2020
Departmental Seminars

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