Intracellular cargos (organelles, vesicles, macromolecules) are driven long distances along microtubules by molecular motors (16 cargo-carrying kinesins and one cytoplasmic dynein in interphase). Microtubule-based transport influences a range of functions critical for the survival, maintenance and growth of cells. The importance of this process is emphasized in neurological diseases, where a primary hallmark are defects in microtubule-based transport and distribution of cargos.
What is the lab's goal? To understand (1) the molecular mechanisms of how, when and where these cellular cargos move on microtubules (2) how their spatiotemporal distribution affects cellular and neuronal function and (3) how microtubule-based transport goes awry in neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease.
What is our approach? The lab uses in vitro reconstitution assays, molecular biology, cutting-edge live cell microscopy, and genetics in a variety of cell types including mammalian neurons, mammalian cell lines, and the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans.
See below for more information on ongoing projects in the Salogiannis lab and check out our videos page to see intracellular movement in action!
Interested in joining? We are hiring! Please check out our Join page.
Cargo Movement: Adaptors and Hitchhiking
Ongoing questions related to Microtubule-based transport:
(1) How is cargo-motor specificity achieved? How do cargo adaptors interact with the motors?
(2) What are the molecular mechanisms regulating peroxisome hitchhiking on early endosomes?
(3) Is hitchhiking conserved in mammalian cells?
LRRK2 and Parkinson's Disease
Ongoing questions related to LRRK2:
(1) What are the molecular mechanisms leading to inflammation-induced gene expression of LRRK2?
(2) How does the pathogenic expression of LRRK2 affect Rab movement and downstream biological function in both neuronal and non-neuronal cell types?