Wang, Chao-Wen (王昭雯)

Research Fellow

  • 美國加州大學戴維斯分校 細胞學及發育生物學博士 (2003)
  • 1995 B.S. Dept. Plant Pathology & Entomology, Natl. Taiwan Univ.
  • 1997 M.S. Dept. Plant Pathology & Entomology, Natl. Taiwan Univ.
  • 2003 Ph.D. Cell and Dev. Biol., UC-Davis, USA
  • 2003-2004 PDF. Mol Cell Dev. Biol., UMich-Ann Arbor, USA
  • 2004-2007 PDF. Mol Cell Biology, UC-Berkeley, USA
  • 2007-2012 Asst. Res. Fellow, IPMB, Academia Sinica
  • 2012-present Asso. Res. Fellow, IPMB, Academia Sinica
  • +886-2-2787-1060(Lab)
  • +886-2-2787-1173(Office)
  • cwwang02@gate.sinica.edu.tw
  • Organelle architecture, dynamics, and biogenesis
  • Lab Website


Lipid droplet architecture, dynamics, and biogenesis

Lipid droplets (LDs) are ubiquitous and conserved organelles that store neutral lipids, including triacylglycerols and steryl esters, in almost all organisms. LDs with diverse size and number exist in different cell types, which might reflect cells’ capacity for storage lipid management. In the past several years, significant progress has been made toward better understanding of LDs, particularly regarding their composition, biogenesis, and maintenance. LDs conceivably interact with most, if not all, cellular organelles, probably to mediate lipid transfer via direct contact. Moreover, LDs are believed to play diverse roles in living organisms, further challenging the perceived knowledge that LDs serve simply as lipid storage organelles.

Our research aims to comprehensively understand the mechanisms and regulations of LDs and to link this lipid storage organelle with the complex network of cellular activities and pathways. As mechanisms underlying the LD growth and maintenance shall be built upon comprehensive understanding of molecules that are directly associated with the organelle, we have been taken systemic approaches to study LDs. We have performed genome wide screening to collect yeast mutants with aberrant LD morphologies. By introducing fluorescent markers to yeast cells, we have screened and identified a collection of mutants with various LD defects. Some of the mutants indeed correspond to bona fide proteins in these organelles, and many more are novel genes. We have been tackling selected mutants and further investigated how their gene products may contribute to LD biogenesis and maintenance. This collection of mutants provides an invaluable resource for our current and future research. My group has been and will continue to focus on three major directions: I) to uncover the mechanisms involved in LD biogenesis and maintenance; II) to investigate how the lipid contents stored within LDs are mobilized; III) to tackle the physiological significance of LDs during membrane morphogenesis.

By exploiting yeast as our model system, we hope to understand the biogenesis and regression of LDs at the cellular level and to provide mechanistic insights into these processes by in vitro cell-free reconstitution systems. We also hope to take these LD studies in yeast to other systems, such as plants and animals. In plants, LDs are important triacylglcerol storage depot for use in seed germination and post-germinative seedling growth. In human, many metabolic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and atherosclerosis, are linked to LD homeostasis. The LD research is also beneficial to translational biology, as engineering of lipid biosynthetic pathways is one of the top tasks for biofuel production. These physiological and pathological processes will be tackled with detailed studies on fundamental LD cell biology.

All publication list

Selected publication list

  • Bai, X., Huang, L.-J., Chen, S.-W., Nebenfuhr, B., Wysolmerski, B., Olson, S.K., Golden, A., and Wang, C.-W.* (2020) Loss of the seipin gene perturbs eggshell formation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Development. 147(20): dev192997.
  • Su, W.-C., Lin, Y.-H., Pagac, M., and Wang, C.-W.* (2019) Seipin negatively regulates sphingolipid production at the ER-LD contact site. J Cell Biol. 218(11):3663-3680.
  • Hsu, T.-H., Chen, R.-H., Cheng, Y.-H., and Wang, C.-W.* (2017) Lipid droplets are central organelles for meiosis II progression during yeast sporulation. Mol. Biol. Cell. pii: mbc.E16-06-0375.
  • Iwasa S., Sato, N., Wang, C.-W., Cheng, Y.-H., Irokawa, H., Hwang, G-W., Naganuma, N., and Kuge, S. (2016). The Phospholipid:Diacylglycerol Acyltransferase Lro1 Is Responsible for Hepatitis C Virus Core-Induced Lipid Droplet Formation in a Yeast Model System. PLoS ONE. 11(7):e0159324.
  • Yang, P.-L., Hsu, T.-H., Wang, C.-W.*. and Chen, R-H.* (2016) Lipid droplets maintain lipid homeostasis during anaphase for efficient cell separation in budding yeast. Mol. Biol. Cell. 2016 Aug 1;27(15):2368-80.
  • Wang, C.-W.* (2016). Lipid droplets, lipophagy, and beyond. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1861(8 Pt B):793-805.
  • Wang, C.-W.* (2015). Lipid droplet dynamics in budding yeast. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 72(14):2677-95.
  • Peng, K.-C., Wang, C.-W., Wu, C.-H., Huang, C.-T., Liou, R.-F. (2015). Tomato SOBIR1/EVR homologs are involved in elicitin perception and plant defense against the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora parasiticaMol. Plant Microbe Interact. 28(8):913-26.
  • Wang, C.-W.* (2014). Stationary phase lipophagy as a cellular mechanism to recycle sterols during quiescence. Autophagy. 10(11): 2075-6.
  • Wang, C.-W.*, Miao, Y.-H., and Chang, Y.-S. (2014). A sterol-enriched vacuolar microdomain mediates stationary phase lipophagy in budding yeast. J. Cell Biol.206(3):357-66.
  • Wang, C.-W.*, Miao, Y.-H., and Chang, Y.-S. (2014). Control of lipid droplet size in budding yeast requires the collaboration between Fld1 and Ldb16. J. Cell Sci. 127: 1214-1228.
  • Starr, T. L., Pagant, S., Wang, C.-W., and Schekman, R. (2012). Sorting signals that mediate traffic of chitin synthase III between the TGN/endosomes and to the plasma membrane in yeast. PLoS ONE. 7(10): e46386.
  • Wang, C.-W.*, and Lee, S.-C. (2012). The ubiquitin-like (UBX)-domain-containing protein Ubx2/Ubxd8 regulates lipid droplet homeostasis. J. Cell Sci. 125: 2930-2939.  
  • Wu, C.-H., Lee, S.-C., and Wang, C.-W.* (2011). Viral protein targeting to the cortical endoplasmic reticulum is required for cell-cell spreading in plants. J. Cell Biol.193 (3): 521-535. 
  • Lee, S.-C., Wu, C.-H., and Wang, C.-W.* (2010). Traffic of a viral movement protein complex to the highly curved tubules of the cortical endoplasmic reticulum. Traffic. 11, 912-930.  
Dr. Chao-Wen Wang 王昭雯
Principal Investigator
Yi-Hua Lee 李怡樺
Research Assistant
Jia-jin Law 劉佳瑾
Research Assistant  
Chen-Jung Ho 何承蓉
Research Assistant
Wei-Cheng Su 蘇威丞
Research Assistant
Ming-Ling Peng 彭茗麟
Administrative and Research Assistant
Dr. Wen-Min Su 蘇玟珉老師(東華大學)
Honorary member