Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PERICO (Peroxisome Interactions and Communication)
Reporting period: 2018-10-01 to 2020-09-30
From their diversity of functions, it is clear that peroxisomes cannot function in isolation but rather must communicate and interact extensively with their environment to exchange metabolites and coordinate cellular responses. Membrane contact sites, where membranes of two organelles are physically tethered to enable rapid transfer of small molecules, enable organelle communication and are crucial for coordination of cellular functions and hence human health. Often, at these contact sites there is an accumulation of transport proteins that enable rapid and regulated metabolite exchange. Research on contact sites is a challenging, upcoming field in current cell biology.
The knowledge generated in the PERICO network will be used to develop novel leads for drug discovery and therapies for a growing list of serious human diseases in which peroxisomes have been implicated such as age-related disorders, metabolic disorders (including severe malnutrition on the one hand and obesity on the other) and pathogenic trypanosomal infections (e.g. sleeping sickness), where glycosomal contact sites are attractive novel targets for drug design.
The main aims of PERICO are:
I. To understand the role of physical contacts between peroxisomes and other organelles in controlling cellular metabolism
II. To characterize the role of peroxisomal transporter proteins in cellular metabolism
III. To understand the significance of peroxisome communication in health and disease