Sterol transport by ABC proteins

Sterols constitute an essential lipid class in eukaryotic membranes with highly heterogeneous intracellular distribution. Current evidence indicates that ABC transporters help controlling the functional compartmentalization of sterols. To determine their precise molecular function in uptake and intracellular trafficking of sterols powerful genetic tools of the model organism yeast are combined with an advanced imaging platform based on fluorescence microscopy to unravel and visualize sterol trafficking in living cells. Reconstitution of the purified transporters into model lipid membrane allows us to study their activity in defined lipid environments by time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy.

Selected publications:

  • Solanko, L.M., Sullivan, D.P., Sere, Y.Y., Szomek, M., Lunding, A., Solanko, K.A., Pizovic, A., Stanchev, L.D., Pomorski, T.G., Menon, A.K., Wüstner, D., (2018) Ergosterol is mainly located in the cytoplasmic leaflet of the yeast plasma membrane. Traffic 19:198-214.
  • Marek, M., Silvestro, D., Fredslund, M.D., Andersen, T.G., Pomorski, T.G., (2014) Serum albumin promotes ATP-binding cassette transporter-dependent sterol uptake in yeast. FEMS Yeast Res. 14, 1223-33.
  • Milles, S., Meyer, T., Scheidt, H.A., Schwarzer, R., Thomas, L., Marek, M., Szente, L., Bittman, R., Herrmann, A., Pomorski, T.G, Huster, D., Müller, P. (2013) Organization of fluorescent cholesterol analogs in lipid bilayers - lessons from cyclodextrin extraction. Biochim Biophys Acta 1828(8), 1822-1828.
  • Marek, M., Milles, S., Schreiber, G., Daleke, D.L., Dittmar, G., Herrmann, A., Müller, P., Pomorski, T.G. (2011) The yeast plasma membrane ABC transporter Aus1: Purification, characterization and effect of lipids on its activity. J. Biol. Chem. 286, 21835-21843.