Elucidating the role of Fa2p in cilliary and cell cycle regulation

The majority of cells in the body contain a microscopic, hair-like organelle projecting from the cell surface called a cilium. Cilia play roles in motility and sensory signalling. In many cells, the disassembly of cilia by the cell is a precursor to mitosis (cell division) and cilia are reassembled by the cell following mitosis. Dysfunction of this structure and process leads to a variety of conditions, including blindness, infertility and polycystic kidney disease. MSFHR funded Moe Mahjoub in 2003 to complete his PhD study of cilia. His previous work showed that the kinase Fa2p is implicated in the regulation of ciliary shedding and assembly, as well as in cell division. He has determined that Fa2p is dynamic, moving to different locations in the cell at different points in the ciliary and cell life cycle. Moe is now working to discover exactly how Fa2p exerts its effects. He hopes his research will provide key insights into the mechanism of various human diseases.