Lara Hoepfner

Function of protein N-glycosylation in flagella mediated adhesion and cell gliding.

The unicellular green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a well-known model organism for various biological processes regarding e.g. photosynthesis, flagella/cilia function and assembly, phototaxis or metabolic pathways. Like most other eukaryotes C. reinhardtii performs organism specific N-glycosylation of proteins. While the N-glycosylation pathway of the microalgae has been unraveled in the past years, very little is known so far on the role of N-glycosylation in physiological processes. A recently in our lab conducted study revealed a role of N-glycan maturation on flagella mediated adhesion to and gliding motility along a solid surface. Both adhesion and gliding are proposed to be enabled by a highly N-glycosylated flagella membrane protein termed FMG1-B. In course of my PhD I will be analyzing the role of FMG1-B in flagella mediated adhesion and gliding and investigate whether further N-glycosylated membrane proteins are involved in both dynamics. Further the impact of specific N-glycan moieties on adhesion and gliding will be in depth analyzed making use of a set of N-glycan maturation mutants previously generated in our lab.