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Functional Organisation of Biomembranes

Research Department

Group photo of the Department of Functional Organization of Biomembranes team

The department is focused on the study of the lateral arrangement of biological membranes into microdomains, i.e. areas with specific shape, composition and function. We put the emphasis on their involvement in the regulation of cellular processes in response to environmental stimuli. Taking maximum advantage of the genetically accessible yeast model, we particularly investigate the role of membrane microdomains in stress perception and adaptation and in signaling and regulation of cellular metabolism. These membrane functions presuppose communication between different microdomains, both within one particular membrane and between different specialized membranes within the membrane system of a eukaryotic cell.

Jan Malínský

Head of the Department
Assoc. Prof. Jan Malínský, Ph.D.

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Deputy Head

Petra Veselá, Ph.D.


Assoc. Prof. Jan Malínský, Ph.D.

Jakub Zahumenský, Ph.D.

Research Assistant

Petra Veselá, Ph.D.

PhD Students

BSc. Satyendra Mondal, M.Sc.

Research Assistants and Laboratory Technicians

Jitka Eisensteinová

Lenka Hlavínová

On maternity leave

Important results

Two different phospholipases C, Isc1 and Pgc1, cooperate to regulate mitochondrial function

Mitochondria are constantly adapting to changes in nutrient availability and environmental stresses. We have proposed a model in which this adaptation is mediated by lipids. Specifically, we have shown that mitochondrial phospholipids regulate cellular sphingolipid biosynthesis and vice versa. In this way, the cell is able to coordinate mitochondrial structure and performance with the actual needs of the cellular metabolism. This seems to be a universally applicable principle of cellular regulation.

Schéma znázorňující mechanismus vzájemné regulace fosfolipáz Isc1 a Pgc1. Detailní popis naleznete pod obrázkem.

Mechanism for the mutual regulation of Isc1 and Pgc1 phospholipases. Two lipids, diacylglycerol (DAG) and phosphatidylglycerol (PG), inhibit the key enzymes of mitochondrial phospholipid biosynthesis: (i) the PG-phosphate synthase Pgs1, (ii) the phosphatidylserine (PS) decarboxylase Psd1, and (iii) the inositol phosphosphingolipid phospholipase C Isc1. The latter is of particular importance because ceramide, a product of Isc1-catalyzed hydrolysis, inhibits the PG-specific phospholipase C Pgc1, which degrades PG to form DAG. The entire loop ensures the efficient control of PG (cardiolipin) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) synthesis in the context of environmental stress stimuli affecting the sphingolipid biosynthetic pathway. OMM – outer mitochondrial membrane; IMM – inner mitochondrial membrane; IPC – inositol phosphoceramide.



Balazova, M., Vesela, P., Babelova, L., Durisova, I., Kanovicova, P., Zahumensky, J., Malinsky, J.: (2022) Two different phospholipases C, Isc1 and Pgc1, cooperate to regulate mitochondrial function. Microbiology Spectrum. 10(6): e02489-22.


Prague Membrane Discussions

Informal scientific discussions focused on model lipid and cellular membranes.