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Saad Raza

Saad RazaDate: March 12, 2024

Time: 12:00 pm

In-person location: 168 PLB

Zoom: https://bit.ly/prltuesnoon
Meeting ID: 957 9659 6975
Passcode: 420205

Speaker: Saad Raza

Lab: Vermaas lab

Title: Jojoba LDAP1 facilitates the efficient packaging of wax esters into lipid droplet

Abstract: Simmondsia chinensis, better known as jojoba, is a desert shrub that is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. To respond to the harsh desert environment in its native habitat, jojoba has multiple adaptations to the arid climate. Rather than storing triacylglycerols (TAGs) in its seeds to drive germination and growth, jojoba instead stores large quantities valuable liquid wax esters (WEs) as its major seed storage lipid. The principal subcellular location for storage of these neutral lipids (TAGs or WEs) is in organelles known as lipid droplets (LDs). These LDs have a host of proteins that associate with the outer surface of the LD. Previous work has shown that these proteins participate in a variety of functions such as the initial formation, stabilization, and ultimately degradation of LDs. Together with the Chapman group at the University of North Texas, we are interrogating at the molecular mechanisms by which lipid droplet associated proteins (LDAP) bind to and potentially stabilize these WE-containing droplets. Using molecular modeling, we found that there are subtle changes in the molecular structure that may hinder the activity of LDAP in non-native hosts such as Arabidopsis by binding more favorably to membranes with a WE underlayment. However, multiple binding conformations were observed, suggesting either multiple modes of membrane interaction or complexation that has not been captured in our initial models. Ongoing simulation at a coarse-grained resolution has indicated potential binding between LDAP and another protein associated to LDs, LDIP. This new research highlights how complicated the membrane interactions are at the nanoscale within plants.