In situ Imaging of Lipid Signaling Networks

Type of Award: Catalyst
Award Number:
Award Period: August 2010 - July 2012
Amount Awarded: $ 200,000.00
PI(s): Wonhwa Cho, PhD, UIC; Seth Corey, MD, NU; Daesung Lee, PhD, UIC;

Abstract: Membrane lipids play important roles as cellular signaling and regulatory molecules and they control diverse cellular processes, including cell proliferation, apoptosis, metabolism and migration. Perturbations in the lipid- mediated cell regulation contribute to the pathogenesis of human diseases such as inflammation, cancer, diabetes and metabolic diseases. Since lipids are dynamic molecules that are produced, degraded, and transported in a tightly controlled manner, determination of their concentration and movement in a temporally and spatially resolved manner is a key step toward the understanding of a growing myriad of membrane- mediated biological processes and the development of new strategies to diagnose, treat, and prevent human diseases caused by dysfunctional membrane-associated processes. Just as quantitative Ca2+ imaging revolutionized the cell biology in 1980s, quantitative imaging of membrane lipids will have major impact on biology and medicine. We propose to build a library of specific and orthogonal molecular sensors for all major membrane lipids and establish in situ quantitative imaging of multiple lipids. These sensors and imaging methodology will eventually be applied to the systems-level understanding of membrane lipid-mediated cell signaling and regulation.