Xiaolu (Lulu) Cambronne, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Molecular Biosciences
Institution
University of Texas at Austin
Address
100 E. 24th St.
Stop A5000
City, State, Zip
Austin, TX 78712
Phone
512-232-1928
E-mail
[email protected]
Website
http://www.lulucambronne.org
Research Field
Biochemistry; Molecular Biology
Award Year
2020

Research

The Cambronne lab explores how cells compartmentalize metabolites that have distinct regulatory roles in different cellular locations. In the nucleus, for example, the metabolite NAD+ can influence the packaging of DNA, while in mitochondria it is used to regulate bioenergetic pathways. As a postdoctoral fellow, I led the development of a sensor capable of monitoring the concentrations of free NAD+ in different parts of the cell. We discovered a high degree of compartmentalization in mammalian cells and that levels of mitochondrial NAD+ were higher than other regions. Aberrant mitochondrial NAD+ levels have been linked to many disorders, and this mechanism has even been attributed to the onset of age-dependent pathologies. What modulates this NAD+ compartmentalization and how? To what extent do mitochondrial NAD+ levels fluctuate in health and in disease? What does this control at the molecular level? My group is now tackling these questions using in situ sensors and biochemical approaches to obtain a deeper understanding of the biology that underlies diseases such as metabolic syndrome, neurodegeneration, and cancer. The goal is to open new avenues for therapeutic interventions.