Temo Kurzchalia

MPI-CBG | Research Group Leader

Website Contact

  • Basic Research

    Lipid metabolism

  • Technology & Resources


Project Description

Previously, we have shown that when depleted of cholesterol, worms in the second-generation arrest as a dauer-like L2 larva. Even daf-12 animals that cannot make dauers are arrested. Thus, cholesterol should be a precursor of a substance that supports the growth. We developed an assay for purification and identification of a substance that can rescue the cholesterol depletion. We discovered a novel class of phosphorylated glycosphingolipids, phosphoethanolamine glucosylceramides (PEGCs), capable of rescuing larval arrest induced by sterol starvation. We described the total synthesis of a major PEGC species and demonstrated that the PEGC synthetic counterpart suppresses the dauer-constitutive phenotype of Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) and DAF-7/TGF-β mutant worms caused by impaired intracellular sterol trafficking. Taken together, PEGC is essential for C. elegans development by regulating sterol mobilization.

  • Collection of Lipid Center relevant Publications

    Boland S, Schmidt U, Zagoriy V, Sampaio JL, Fritsche RF, Czerwonka R, Lübken T, Reimann J, Penkov S, Knölker HJ, Kurzchalia TV. Phosphorylated glycosphingolipids essential for cholesterol mobilization in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nat Chem Biol. 2017 Jun;13(6):647-654. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.2347. Epub 2017 Apr 3. PubMed PMID: 28369040.

    Erkut C, Gade VR, Laxman S, Kurzchalia TV. The glyoxylate shunt is essential for desiccation tolerance in C. elegans and budding yeast. Elife. 2016 Apr 19;5. pii: e13614.