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Mycobacteria and lipids

Dr. rer. nat. Caroline Barisch

Dr. rer. nat. Caroline Barisch

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Mycobacteria use host lipids such as fatty acids and sterols as their main energy and carbon source during chronic infection. The research focus of the Molecular Infection Biology division is to decipher the molecular mechanisms by which pathogenic mycobacteria manipulate the lipid metabolism and intracellular lipid transport pathways of their host cell. The group combines the use of functional lipids to analyse lipid dynamics during different stages of infection with state-of-the-art microscopy methods and lipid biochemical methods such as mass spectrometric lipidomics.

Research topics

  • Lipid dynamic during mycobacteria infection
  • Membrane contact sites
  • Lipid transfer proteins
  • Mycobacterial lipids

Model systems

  • Dictyostelium discoideum
  • Mycobacterium marinum
  • In-vitro systems to identify lipid ligands and protein interaction partners


  • Live-cell imaging
  • Classical immunofluorescence
  • Correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM)
  • Expansion microscopy
  • Thin layer chromatography
  • Masspectrometry (Lipidomics and Proteomi

Selected publications

Barisch C, Paschke P, Hagedorn M, Maniak M, & Soldati T (2015) Lipid droplet dynamics at early stages of Mycobacterium marinum infection in Dictyostelium. Cell Microbiol 17, 1332-1349, doi: 10.1111/cmi.12437. pdf

Barisch C, & Soldati T (2017) Mycobacterium marinum Degrades Both Triacylglycerols and Phospholipids from Its Dictyostelium Host to Synthesise Its Own Triacylglycerols and Generate Lipid Inclusions. PLoS Pathog 13, e1006095, doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat. 1006095. pdf

Barisch C, & Soldati T (2017) Breaking fat! How mycobacteria and other intracellular pathogens manipulate host lipid droplets. Biochimie 141, 54-61, doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2017.06.001. pdf