Xuetong Zhao

Lipid storage organelles in formation of polarized cellular interfaces during cell division and cell fusion

Cell polarity is key to numerous cellular functions. Saccharomyces cerevisiae undergoes polarization both during the process of cell division and during cell fusion, and is a useful model organism for studying asymmetric growth and division. Vegetatively diving yeast cells propagate by budding, which is a highly polarized process, including bud-site selection, polar growth of buds, polar aggregation of the cytoskeleton, directional transport of vesicles, and membrane remodeling and scission. In my project, I will address the mechanism underlying lipid droplet polarization, and uncover the role of lipid droplets during formation of polarized cellular interfaces in cell division and cell fusion.