Alexander Kastaniotis

Short CV

Mitochondrial fatty acid metabolism in yeast, mice and (hu)man

Mitochondria are intracellular structures that are separated from the rest of the eukaryotic cell by a double membrane, forming a compartment specialized to perform a large array of task essential for cell survival. Most prominently, mitochondria convert breakdown products of sugars, fats or proteins into chemical energy that can be used by the cell, but there are several equally important other roles of these so-called cellular organelles. There is ample evidence that mitochondria descent from prokaryotic microbes that were incorporated into proto-eukaryotic cells eons ago and now exist in an endosymbiotic relationship with the rest of the cell. We are interested in the role of mitochondrial fatty acid synthesis (mtFAS) in the control of the function of these organelles. We have recently proposed that mtFAS serves as a regulatory circuit sensing the metabolic status of the cell and coordinating mitochondrial biogenesis and activity with cellular metabolite availability. Our studies in yeast and mammalian models, address the question on how this communication between the endosymbiotic resident and its cellular host is achieved on a molecular basis.

Our work on mtFAS also led us to develop an interest in cellular protein partitioning. We are working on a very exciting project on cryptically encoded mitochondrial localization signals, funded by a "Trampoline" grant from the French AFM-Telethon organization(Association Francaise contre les Myopathies, from spring 2015.

In August 2014, our group has move to the University of Oulu Medical campus in Kontinkangas, and we are now members of the new Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine of the University of Oulu.

Here is a link to a youtube clip with impressions of Northern Finland, Oulu and its university, the old Department of Biochemistry and the Scandomit meeting 2013, made by Mattes Bartlitz who worked as in intern in my group as a student of the Hamburg School of Life Science:


Project details

  1. Background and Significance
  2. Selected Publications
  3. Research Group Members

Last updated: 20.10.2016