- Liu Group Research Group
Associate Professor of Biomedical Science and MRC Programme Leader
Compartmentation is one of the fundamental strategies for a cell. Recent studies reported that CTP synthase, a metabolic enzyme for de novo synthesis of the nucleotide CTP, is compartmentalized in cytoophidia (Greek for “cellular snakes”) (as known as “CTP synthase filaments”, or “cytoplasmic rods and rings”) in bacteria, yeast, and fruit flies. Subsequent studies have shown that CTP synthase can also form filaments in human cells. Thus the cytoophidium represents a new type of intracellular compartment, which is strikingly conserved across prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In addition to CTP synthase, some other metabolic enzymes such as glutamine synthetase and IMP dehydrogenase can form filamentous structures in various organisms. Furthermore, many non-membrane-bound organelles such as cytoplasmic processing bodies (P bodies), histone locus bodies (HLBs), uridine-rich small nuclear ribonucleoprotein bodies (U bodies), and purinosomes have been identified inside the cell.
We are interested in how cytoophidia assemble and how compartmentation and filamentation contribute to the regulation of metabolic pathways and various other biological processes. We hope to better understand the conceptions and principles of compartmentation and filamentation within the cell. Furthermore, we wish to learn how malfunction of the cytoophidium and its kinds leads to disease.
Key Publications5 False False
Intracellular compartmentation of CTP synthase in Drosophila.
Liu JL., (2010), J Genet Genomics, 37, 281 - 296
Effective knockdown of Drosophila long non-coding RNAs by CRISPR interference.
Ghosh S. et al, (2016), Nucleic Acids Res, 44
Metabolic regulation via enzyme filamentation.
Aughey GN. and Liu JL., (2016), Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol, 1 - 12
A genome-wide CRISPR library for high-throughput genetic screening in Drosophila cells.
Bassett AR. et al, (2015), J Genet Genomics, 42, 301 - 309
SMN is required for the maintenance of embryonic stem cells and neuronal differentiation in mice.
Chang WF. et al, (2015), Brain Struct Funct, 220, 1539 - 1553
CTP synthase forms cytoophidia in the cytoplasm and nucleus.
Gou KM. et al, (2014), Exp Cell Res, 323, 242 - 253