Interorganellar communication is an evolutionary necessity for maintenance of cellular homoeostasis in response to prevailing environment that, in part, is exquisitely controlled via retrograde-signaling pathways.
We have identified a novel stress-specific plastidial retrograde signalling metabolite, methylerythritol cyclodiphosphate (MEcPP), previously known solely as an intermediate in the isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway. The additional function of MEcPP as a stress sensor and a coordinator of transcriptional and post transcriptional regulation of key stress-responsive nuclear genes, has unraveled the central role of this metabolite in cellular functions in response to a wide range of environmental and developmental cues.
To identify the underlying molecular mechanism of the MEcPP-mediated stress responses, we have performed a multi-omics approach. These studies have led to the identification of a transcriptional hub activated by MEcPP, and have further established a previously unrecognized link between this plastidial retrograde signal and the transcriptional reprogramming of endoplasmic reticulum genes critical for readjustment of protein-folding capacity in stressed cells. Lastly, we have gained an insight into the molecular mechanism by which MEcPP regulates plant growth and development in response to stress.
In brief we have advanced our understanding of how MEcPP reprograms a repertoire of intricate networks crucial for coordinating the physiological and metabolic processes required for stress- induced developmental responses and stress adaptation.
Prof. Katayoon Dehesh
Institute of Integrative Genome Biology and Department of Botany and Plant Sciences UC Riverside, USA
Main areas of research: Biosynthetic enzymes, fatty acids, molecular genetics, stress signalling pathways, interorganellar communication and cellular homeostasis
K. Dehesh is a molecular biochemist working in the areas of plant stress responses, with a specific emphasis on the mechanisms regulating interorganellar communication required for cellular homoeostasis in response to prevailing environmental conditions.
Academic and Professional Career
2016- Director, Institute of Integrative Genome Biology, University of California (UC),
2016- Ernst and Helen Leibacher Endowed Chair, UC Riverside
2011 - 2016 Endowed Chair of Paul Stumpf in Plant Biochemistry, UC Davis
2009 - 2016 Chair of Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology, UC Davis
2006 - 2009 Chair of plant biology graduate group, UC Davis
2002- Full Professor, UC Davis
2000 - 2002 Lipids program leader, Calgene Campus of Monsanto, USA
2000 - 2002 Adjunct Professor, Plant Biology, UC Davis, USA
1997 - 2000 Senior Research Scientist, Calgene Campus of Monsanto, USA
1994 - 1997 Principle Research Scientist, Calgene, USA
1989 - 1994 Researcher, Plant Gene Expression/ Department of Plant Biology, UC Berkeley
1977 PhD, Plant Physiology, Sussex University, UK
1973 Bachelor of Science, Pahlavi University, Iran
Honours and Awarded Memberships
2017 Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
2014 College of Biological Sciences (CBS) Teaching Award at UC Davis
2013 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
2012 Honorary Professor, South West University, China
2009 Excellence in Education Award, UC Davis
2002 Monsanto Fellow
1974 Iran National Award