Role of Plasma Membrane Nanodomains in Plant Cell Signaling

Xue Pan, PhD
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto
Friday, February 9, 2024 - 11:00am
Ramsay Wright Building, Room 432
Invited Speaker Seminar
The molecular organization and dynamics of the plasma membrane (PM) play a crucial role in regulating diverse cell signaling events implicated in plant growth, development, and stress responses. However, our understanding of the underlying mechanisms is still rudimentary. My research aims to advance the understanding of how plant cells precisely construct dynamic nano-environment at the PM to regulate cell signaling. In this seminar, I will use Arabidopsis pavement cells as an example to illustrate how the plant hormone auxin induces membrane lipid ordering to coordinate the reorganization and activation of polarity signaling molecules at the PM during polarized cell formation. Additionally, I will touch upon our approach of integrating data-based modeling with model-inspired experiments to investigate the role of membrane nanodomains in establishing cell polarity. Furthermore, I will discuss our recent findings on how protein palmitoylation regulates nanodomain specificity. It is anticipated that a better understanding of membrane biology and its impact on signaling holds great promise for developing novel engineering strategies to modulate membrane nano-environment, thereby enhancing plant productivity and resilience.
Professor Daphne Goring
Dept of Cell and Systems Biology