BLANC - Blanc


Submission summary

The project SphingopolaR will focus on the involvement of sphingolipids in the establishment and maintenance of cell polarity and its impact on plant development. Sphingolipids are structural molecules required for membrane microdomains but also are signaling molecules regulating cell proliferation and differentiation. Knowledge of sphingolipid metabolism and the molecular and cellular role of these molecules is still in its infancy in plants. But the combination of the elucidation of the sphingolipid metabolism in yeast and the availability of functional genomics in Arabidopsis provide now the opportunity to elucidate some of the functions of sphingolipids in plant cell physiology. The following project will focus on simple sphingolipids as well as their precursors, the sphingoid bases. The project involves three work packages: First, functional analysis of 6 sphingolipid biosynthetic enzymes involved in key steps of the pathway will be carried out by characterizing mutants and transgenics with modified expression of the corresponding genes and altered sphingolipid homeostasis. This approach will be completed with the use of specific inhibitors of sphingolipid metabolism. Then, a second work package will aim in studying the involvement of sphingolipids in the establishment and maintenance of cell polarity. The effect of quantitative and qualitative modification of sphingolipid content on cell polarity will be evaluated using auxin polar transport as a model system. Cell polarity is most probably associated with the existence and recycling of membrane microdomains enriched in sterols and sphingolipids. Thus, the third work package will study the role of sphingolipids in the regulation of endomembrane trafficking. A large part of the project will rely precise on the quantification of subcellular distributions of markers through live bio-imaging and immunocytochemichal approaches. For that reason, an original method of modelisation and statistical analysis in two and three dimensions gathering data from large sample sets will be carried out. In conclusion, this project will provide an integrated and comprehensive approach associating whole plant analysis down to an extensive cellular characterization of cell polarity with the combination of 3D imaging and statistical modeling. This project will not only provide a better knowledge of the physiological role of this essential lipid family during plant development but will clarify the role of endomembrane trafficking in initiating and maintaining cell polarity.

Project coordination

Jean-Denis FAURE (Organisme de recherche)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Help of the ANR 400,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 48 Months

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