The glycolipid transfer protein GLTP - A lipid sorting orchestrator in health and disease

Project Details


Glycosphingolipids are building blocks for biological membranes
and key contributors to their properties. They have roles stretching
from cell development and differentiation to cell death. Viral and
microbial infections, oncogenesis and lipid storage diseases require
glycosphingolipids or are caused by defects in their degradation. The
synthesis of their precursor ceramide starts in the endoplasmic
reticulum (ER) and the different classes diverge during their
glycosylation in the Golgi apparatus.

The structural diversity of glycosphingolipids, combined with their
poor water solubility, require special transport systems. The largescale
intracellular lipid transport progresses through vesicular routes,
whereas targeted transport with high specificity is carried out by lipid
transfer proteins.

Our short-term goals are to determine if the glycolipid transfer
protein GLTP binding to VAP proteins is regulated by the type of bound
lipid. We want to resolve how the GLTP binding to VAP influences the
trafficking of cargo inside the cell from the ER to the cell membrane.
We will also determine why GLTP is missing in brain cells that lack
ceramide synthase 2, the enzyme responsible for making
glycosphingolipids in the brain, in particular galactosylceramide the
major lipid component of myelin.

Our long-term goal is to determine what other proteins GLTP is
interacting with and how this protein-protein interaction is regulated.
We are well equipped to answer all these questions and have been working
in the field for a long time. The proposed projects are directly based
on our previous findings. This research is very important because we are
currently the only team that works with the glycolipid transfer
proteins and its role in the molecular biology and medicine of

Effective start/end date01/09/1931/05/24