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Oliver Blacque

Lecturer/Assistant Professor

School Of Biomolecular & Biomed Science
Conway Institute
Belfield
Dublin 4

Tel: 353 1 7166953
Email: oliver.blacque@ucd.ie

Biography

2011: Awarded SFI Principal Investigator Award
2010: Appointed as UCD College Lecturer
2006: Appointed as UCD Research Lecturer
2006: Awarded SFI President of Ireland Young Researcher award
2002-2006: Postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Michel Leroux, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada
2001: Awarded PhD (Biochemistry), University College Dublin.

 Research Links: Research in SBBS  |  Mechanisms of Disease Research in SBBS  |  Model Organisms in SBBS 
 
Oliver Blacque, Cilia, C. elegans, intraflagellar transport, Ciliopathy, intracellular trafficking, Bardet Biedl syndrome, basal body, flagella, model organism, Conway

Professional

Honours and Awards

Year: 2006.
Title: SFI President of Ireland Young Researcher Award

Associations

Association: American Society of Cell Biology, Function/Role: Member
         

Employment

Employer: University College Dublin
Position: Principal Investigator, Conway Institute
Employer: Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada
Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Education

Year 1994 Institution:
Qualification: BSc Subject:
Year 1996 Institution:
Qualification: MSc Subject:
Year 2001 Institution: Department of Biochemistry, University College Dublin
Qualification: PhD Subject: Biochemistry
         

Publications

     

Peer Reviewed Journals

Jensen VL, Carter S, Sanders AAWM, Li C, Kennedy J, Timbers TA, Cai J, Scheidel N, Kennedy BN, Morin RD, Leroux MR, Blacque OE. (2016) 'Whole-Organism Developmental Expression Profiling Identifies RAB-28 as a Novel Ciliary GTPase Associated with the BBSome and Intraflagellar Transport'. PLoS Genetics, . [DOI] [Details]
Lambacher NJ, Bruel A-L, van Dam JPT, Szymańska K, Slaats GG, Kuhns S, McManus GJ, Kennedy JK, Gaff K, Man Wu K, van der Lee R, Burglen L, Doummar D, Rivière J-B, Faivre L, Attié-Bitach T, Saunier S, Curd A, Peckham M, Giles RH, Johnson CA, Huynen MA, Thauvin-Robinet C, Blacque OE. (2015) 'TMEM107 recruits ciliopathy proteins to subdomains of the ciliary transition zone membrane and causes Joubert syndrome'. Nature Cell Biology, . [DOI] [Details]
Sanders AA, de Vrieze E, Alazami AM, Alzahrani F, Malarkey EB, Sorusch N, Tebbe L, Kuhns S, van Dam TJ, Alhashem A, Tabarki B, Lu Q, Lambacher NJ, Kennedy JE, Bowie RV, Hetterschijt L, van Beersum S, van Reeuwijk J, Boldt K, Kremer H, Kesterson RA, Monies D, Abouelhoda M, Roepman R, Huynen MH, Ueffing M, Russell RB, Wolfrum U, Yoder BK, van Wijk E, Alkuraya FS, Blacque OE. (2015) 'KIAA0556 is a novel ciliary basal body component mutated in Joubert syndrome'. Genome Biology, . [DOI] [Details]
Nechipurenko IV, Olivier-Mason A, Kazatskaya A, Kennedy J, McLachlan IG, Heiman MG, Blacque OE, Sengupta P (2016) 'A conserved role for Girdin in basal body positioning and ciliogenesis'. Developmental Cell, . [DOI] [Details]
Jensen VL, Li C;Bowie RV;Clarke L;Mohan S;Blacque OE;Leroux MR (2015) 'Formation of the transition zone by Mks5/Rpgrip1L establishes a ciliary zone of exclusion (CIZE) that compartmentalises ciliary signalling proteins and controls PIP2 ciliary abundance'. EMBO Journal, 34 (20):2537-2556. [DOI] [Details]
Kuhns S, Blacque OE (2016) 'Cilia Train Spotting'. Developmental Cell, 37 (5):395-396. [DOI] [Details]
Loucks CM, Bialas NJ;Dekkers MP;Walker DS;Grundy LJ;Li C;Inglis PN;Kida K;Schafer WR;Blacque OE;Jansen G;Leroux MR (2016) 'PACRG, a protein linked to ciliary motility, mediates cellular signaling'. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 27 (13):2133-2144. [DOI] [Details]
Li C, Jensen VL;Park K;Kennedy J;Garcia-Gonzalo FR;Romani M;De Mori R;Bruel AL;Gaillard D;Doray B;Lopez E;Rivi¿¿re JB;Faivre L;Thauvin-Robinet C;Reiter JF;Blacque OE;Valente EM;Leroux MR (2016) 'MKS5 and CEP290 Dependent Assembly Pathway of the Ciliary Transition Zone'. PLoS Biology, 14 (3). [DOI] [Details]
Boldt K, van Reeuwijk J, Lu Q, Koutroumpas K, Nguyen TM, Texier Y, van Beersum SE, Horn N, Willer JR, Mans DA, Dougherty G, Lamers IJ, Coene KL, Arts HH, Betts MJ, Beyer T, Bolat E, Gloeckner CJ, Haidari K, Hetterschijt L, Iaconis D, Jenkins D, Klose F, Knapp B, Latour B, Letteboer SJ, Marcelis CL, Mitic D, Morleo M, Oud MM, Riemersma M, Rix S, Terhal PA, Toedt G, van Dam TJ, de Vrieze E, Wissinger Y, Wu KM, Apic G, Beales PL, Blacque OE, Gibson TJ, Huynen MA, Katsanis N, Kremer H, Omran H, van Wijk E, Wolfrum U, Kepes F, Davis EE, Franco B, Giles RH, Ueffing M, Russell RB, Roepman R (2016) 'An organelle-specific protein landscape identifies novel diseases and molecular mechanisms'. Nature Communications, . [DOI] [Details]
Casey JP, Brennan K, Scheidel N, McGettigan P, Lavin PT, Carter S, Ennis S, Dorkins H, Ghali N, Blacque OE, Mc Gee MM, Murphy H, Lynch SA. (2016) 'Recessive NEK9 mutation causes a lethal skeletal dysplasia with evidence of cell cycle and ciliary defects'. Human Molecular Genetics, . [DOI] [Details]
Wheway G, Schmidts M, Mans DA, Szymanska K, Nguyen TM, Racher H, Phelps IG, Toedt G, Kennedy J, 60 other authors, Blacque OE, Gleeson JG, Wolfrum U, Beales PL, Gibson T, Doherty D, Mitchison HM, Roepman R, Johnson CA. (2015) 'An siRNA-based functional genomics screen for the identification of regulators of ciliogenesis and ciliopathy genes'. Nature Cell Biology, . [DOI] [Details]
Laura E. Yee, Francesc R. Garcia-Gonzalo, Rachel V. Bowie, Chunmei Li, Julie K. Kennedy, Kaveh Ashrafi, Oliver E. Blacque, Michel R. Leroux, and Jeremy F. Reiter. (2015) 'Conserved Genetic Interactions between Ciliopathy Complexes Cooperatively Support Ciliogenesis and Ciliary Signaling'. PLoS Genetics, . [DOI] [Details]
Cornils A, Maurya AK, Tereshko L, Kennedy J, Brear AG, Prahlad V, Blacque OE, Sengupta P (2016) 'Structural And Functional Recovery Of Sensory Cilia In C. elegans IFT Mutants Upon Aging'. PLoS Genetics, . [DOI] [Details]
Sanders AA, Kennedy J;Blacque OE (2015) 'Image analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans ciliary transition zone structure, ultrastructure, molecular composition, and function'. Methods in Cell Biology, 127 :323-347. [DOI] [Details]
Blacque OE, Sanders AA (2014) 'Compartments within a compartment: what C. elegans can tell us about ciliary subdomain composition, biogenesis, function, and disease'. Organogenesis, 10 (1):126-137. [DOI] [Details]
Mohan S, Timbers TA, Kennedy J, Blacque OE, Leroux MR (2013) 'Striated Rootlet and Nonfilamentous Forms of Rootletin Maintain Ciliary Function'. Current Biology, . [DOI] [Details]
Sebiha Cevik, Anna A. W. M. Sanders, Erwin Van Wijk, Karsten Boldt5, Lara Clarke, Jeroen van Reeuwijk, Yuji Hori, Nicola Horn, Lisette Hetterschijt, Anita Wdowicz, Andrea Mullins, Katarzyna Kida, Oktay I. Kaplan, Sylvia E. C. van Beersum, Ka Man Wu, Stef J. F. Letteboer, Dorus A. Mans, Toshiaki Katada, Kenji Kontani, Marius Ueffing, Ronald Roepman, Hannie Kremer,and Oliver E. Blacque. (2013) 'Active transport and diffusion barriers restrict Joubert Syndrome-associated ARL13B/ARL-13 to an Inv-like ciliary membrane subdomain'. PLoS Genetics, . [DOI] [Details]
Olivier-Mason A, Wojtyniak M, Bowie RV, Nechipurenko IV, Blacque OE, Sengupta P (2013) 'Transmembrane protein OSTA-1 shapes sensory cilia morphology via regulation of intracellular membrane trafficking in C. elegans'. Development, 140 (7):1560-1572. [DOI] [Details]
Radford R, Slattery C, Jennings P, Blaque O, Pfaller W, Gmuender H, Van Delft J, Ryan MP, McMorrow T. (2012) 'Carcinogens induce loss of the primary cilium in human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells independently of effects on the cell cycle'. American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology, 302 (8):905-916. [DOI] [Details]
Kaplan OI, Doroquez DB, Cevik S, Bowie RV, Clarke L, Sanders AAWM, Kida K, Rappoport JZ, Sengupta P and Blacque OE (2012) 'Endocytosis Genes Facilitate Protein and Membrane Transport in C. elegans Sensory Cilia'. Current Biology, 22 (6):451-460. [DOI] [Details]
Reiter JF, Blacque OE, Leroux MR. (2012) 'The base of the cilium: roles for transition fibres and the transition zone in ciliary formation, maintenance and compartmentalization'. EMBO Reports, 13 (7):608-618. [DOI] [Details]
Reynolds AL, Blacque OE, Kennedy BN. (2012) 'The genetics of outer segment morphogenesis in zebrafish'. Advances in Experimental Medical Biology, 723 :431-441. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Huang L, Szymanska K, Jensen VL, Janecke AR, Innes AM, Davis EE, Frosk P, Li C, Willer JR, Chodirker BN, Greenberg CR, McLeod DR, Bernier FP, Chudley AE, Muller T, Shboul M, Logan CV, Loucks CM, Beaulieu CL, Bowie RV, Bell SM, Adkins J, Zuniga FI, Ross KD, Wang J, Ban MR, Becker C, Nurnberg P, Douglas S, Craft CM, Akimenko MA, Hegele RA, Ober C, Utermann G, Bolz HJ, Bulman DE, Katsanis N, Blacque OE, Doherty D, Parboosingh JS, Leroux MR, Johnson CA, Boycott KM. (2011) 'TMEM237 is mutated in individuals with a Joubert syndrome related disorder and expands the role of the TMEM family at the ciliary transition zone'. American Journal of Human Genetics, 89 (6):713-730. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Williams CL, Li C, Kida K, Inglis PN, Mohan S, Semenec L, Bialas NJ, Stupay RM, Chen N, Blacque OE*, Yoder BK*, Leroux MR* ____*co-corresponding authors (2011) 'MKS and NPHP modules cooperate to establish basal body/transition zone membrane associations and ciliary gate function during ciliogenesis'. Journal of Cell Biology, 192 (6):1023-1041. [DOI] [Details]
Jensen VL, Bialas NJ, Bishop-Hurley SL, Molday LL, Kida K, Nguyen PA, Blacque OE, Molday RS, Leroux MR, Riddle DL; (2010) 'Localization of a guanylyl cyclase to chemosensory cilia requires the novel ciliary MYND domain protein DAF-25'. PLoS Genetics, 6 (11). [DOI] [Details]
Kaplan OI, Molla-Herman A, Cevik S, Ghossoub R, Kida K, Kimura Y, Jenkins P, Martens JR, Setou M, Benmerah A, Blacque OE.; (2010) 'AP-1 clathrin adaptor facilitates cilium formation and functions with RAB-8 in C. elegans ciliary membrane transport'. Journal of Cell Science, 123 :3966-3977. [DOI] [Details]
Kimura Y, Kurabe N, Ikegami K, Tsutsumi K, Konishi Y, Kaplan OI, Kunitomo H, Iino Y, Blacque OE, Setou M.; (2010) 'Identification of tubulin deglutamylase among Caenorhabditis elegans and mammalian cytosolic carboxypeptidases (CCPs)'. Journal of Biological Chemistry, . Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Cevik S, Hori Y, Kaplan OI, Kida K, Toivenon T, Cottell D, Katada T, Kontani K, Blacque OE. ; (2010) 'Joubert Syndrome Arl13b functions at ciliary membranes and stabilizes protein transport in C. elegans'. Journal of Cell Biology, . [DOI] [Details]
Inglis, N., Blacque OE, Leroux MR; (2009) 'Functional genomics of intraflagellar transport-associated proteins in C. elegans  '. Methods in Cell Biology, . [DOI] [Details]
Bialas NJ, Inglis PN, Li C, Robinson JF, Parker JD, Healey MP, Davis EE, Inglis CD, Toivonen T, Cottell DC, Blacque OE, Quarmby LM, Katsanis N, Leroux MR.; (2009) 'Functional interactions between the ciliopathy-associated Meckel syndrome 1(MKS1) protein and two novel MKS1-related (MKSR) proteins'. Journal of Cell Science, 122 (5):611-624. [DOI] [Details]
Blacque OE, Cevik S, Kaplan OI; (2008) 'Intraflagellar transport: from molecular characterisation to mechanism'. Frontiers in Bioscience, 13 :2633-2652. [DOI] [Details]
Ou G, Koga M*, Blacque OE*, Murayama T, Ohshima Y, Schafer JC, Li C, Yoder BK,Leroux MR, Scholey JM.; (2007) 'Sensory Ciliogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans: Assignment of IFT components into Distinct Modules Based on Transport and Phenotypic Profiles'. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 18 :1554-1569. [DOI] [Details]
Pan X, Ou G, Civelekoglu-Scholey G, Blacque OE, Endres NF, Tao L, Mogilner A, Leroux MR, Vale RD, Scholey JM; (2006) 'Mechanism of transport of IFT-particles in C. elegans cilia by the concerted action of kinesin-II and OSM-3 motors'. Journal of Cell Biology, 174 :1035-1045. [DOI] [Details]
Blacque, O.E. & Leroux, M.R.; (2006) 'Bardet-Biedl Syndrome: An emerging pathomechanism of intracellular transport'. Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS, 63 :2145-2161. [DOI] [Details]
Efimenko E, Blacque OE, Ou G, Haycraft CJ, Yoder BK, Scholey JM, Leroux MR, Swoboda P.; (2006) 'C. elegans DYF-2, anortholog of human WDR19, is a component of the IFT machinery in sensory cilia'. Molecular Biology of the Cell, . [DOI] [Details]
Blacque OE, Li C, Inglis PN, Esmail M, Ou G, Mah AK, Baillie DL, Scholey JM, Leroux MR. ; (2006) 'The WD repeat-containing protein, IFTA-1, is required for effective retrograde intraflagellar transport'. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 17 :5053-5062. [DOI] [Details]
Chen, NS; Mah, A; Blacque, OE; Chu, J; Phgora, K; Bakhoum, MW; Newbury, CRH; Khattra, J; Chan, S; Go, A; Efimenko, E; Johnsen, R; Phirke, P; Swoboda, P; Marra, M; Moerman, DG; Leroux, MR; Baillie, DL; Stein, LD; ; (2006) 'Identification of ciliary and ciliopathy genes in Caenorhabditis elegans through comparative genomics'. Genome Biology, 7 (12). [DOI] [Details]
Ou G, Blacque OE, Snow JJ, Leroux MR, Scholey JM. ; (2005) 'Functional coordination of intraflagellar transport motors'. Nature, 436 :583-587. [DOI] [Details]
Blacque OE, Perens E, Boroevich KA, Inglis PN, Li C, Warner A, Khattra J, Holt RA, Ou G, Mah AK, McKay SJ, Huang P, Swoboda P, Jones SJM, Marra MA, Baillie DL, Moerman DG, Shaham S, Leroux MR. ; (2005) 'Functional Genomics of the Cilium, a Sensory Organelle'. Current Biology, 15 :935-941. [DOI] [Details]
Fan Y, Esmail MA, Ansley SJ, Blacque OE, Boroevich K, Ross AJ, Moore SJ, Badano JL, May-Simera H, Compton DS, Green JS, Lewis RA, van Haelst MM, Parfrey PS, Baillie DL, Beales PL, Katsanis N, Davidson WS, Leroux MR.; (2004) 'Mutations in a member of the Ras superfamily of small GTP-binding proteins causes Bardet-Biedl syndrome'. Nature Genetics, 36 :989-993. [DOI] [Details]
Li JB, Gerdes JM, Haycraft CJ, Fan Y, Teslovich TM, May-Simera H, Li H, Blacque OE, Li L, Leitch CC, Lewis RA, Green JS, Parfrey PS, Leroux MR, Davidson WS, Beales PL, Guay-Woodford LM, Yoder BK, Stormo GD, Katsanis N, Dutcher SK. ; (2004) 'Comparative genomics identifies a flagellar and basal body proteome that includes the BBS5 human disease gene'. Cell, 117 :541-552. [DOI] [Details]
Blacque OE, Reardon MJ, Li C, McCarthy J, Mahjoub MR, Ansley SJ, Badano JL, Mah AK, Beales PL, Davidson WS, Johnsen RC, Audeh M, Plasterk RH, Baillie DL, Katsanis N, Quarmby LM, Wicks SR, Leroux MR. ; (2004) 'Loss of C. elegans BBS-7 and BBS-8 protein function results in cilia defects and compromised intraflagellar transport'. Genes and Development, 18 :1630-1642. [DOI] [Details]
Ansley SJ*, Badano JL*, Blacque OE*, Hill J, Hoskins BE, Leitch CC, Kim JC, Ross AJ, Eichers ER, Teslovich TM, Mah AK, Johnsen RC, Cavender JC, Lewis RA, Leroux MR, Beales PL, Katsanis N. *Equal contributions.; (2003) 'Basal body dysfunction is a likely cause of pleiotropic Bardet-Biedl syndrome'. Nature, (425):628-633. [DOI] [Details]
Blacque, OE,Worrall, DM; (2002) 'Evidence for a direct interaction between the tumor suppressor serpin, maspin, and types I and III collagen'. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 277 (277):10783-10788. [DOI] [Details]
Worrall, DM; Blacque, OE; Barnes, RC; ; (1999) 'The expanding superfamily of serpins: searching for the real targets'. Biochemical Society Transactions, 27 (4):746-750. [DOI] [Details]
                                                                                                                     

Research

Research Interests

Primary cilia: understanding the molecular basis of their assembly, function, and links to human disease

Cilia are motile or non-motile microtubule-based cell appendages found throughout the animal kingdom. Motile cilia typically move fluids and are found on the surface of unicellular ciliates, as well as on cells of higher organisms such as mammalian spermatozoa and respiratory tract epithelial cells. Non-motile cilia, or primary cilia, are also widely distributed, being found on many mammalian cell types, including kidney epithelial cells and photoreceptor cells (Fig. 1). Primary cilia possess important sensory roles (e.g., olfaction, chemoreception, mechanosensation, and photoreception) and defects in these functions can lead to human ailments such as cystic kidney disease, retinal dystrophy, bone abnormalities, organ laterality defects and phenotypically complex disorders such as Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS).

Most of the molecular processes and pathways underlying primary cilia function are poorly understood. This is perhaps not surprising, given that until recently, some believed primary cilia to be vestigial organelles. We now know that primary cilia play important roles in sensing the local cellular environment via a battery of ion channels, receptors and signaling molecules. The implications of these findings are broad and will likely impact many different signalling and developmental pathways. Primary cilia research is now a rapidly expanding field and based on recent findings, it promises to uncover many novel and exciting aspects of cell biology.

In our laboratory we use the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to dissect the molecular basis of various aspects of cilia biology. Through powerful genetics and cell biology experimental tools, worms are excellent animal models for cilia research. Current ongoing projects in the lab include: (1) uncovering the functions of novel candidate cilia-related and cilia disease genes, (2) deciphering protein and membrane targetting to cilia, and (3) investigating the molecular basis of intraflagellar transport.

 

Research Projects

Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : Functional and therapeutic investigations of cone-rod dystrophy associated with RAB28
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-14 / 30-SEP-18
Sponsor : Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET)
Title : Investigation of hypoxic regulation of cilium formation and signalling function in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.
Start Date / End Date : 28-OCT-11 / 27-OCT-14
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Dissecting secretory and endocytic membrane transport pathways in targeting proteins to cilia, a prevalent disease-associated cellular organelle
Start Date / End Date : 01-APR-12 / 01-APR-17
Sponsor : EC Framework (FP7)
Title : A systems biology approach to dissect cilia function and its disruption in human genetic disease (SYSCILIA)
Start Date / End Date : 01-JUN-10 / 31-MAY-15
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Spinning Disk Confocal Microscope System
Start Date / End Date : 01-DEC-07 / 04-OCT-08
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Using Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying cilia function, regulation and development.
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-06 / 30-SEP-11

Recent Postgraduates

Oktay Kaplan (PhD; graduated 2011)
Sebiha Cevik (PhD; graduated 2011)
Christian Foley-Fisher (MSc; graduated 2011)
Anna Sanders (PhD; graduated 2014)
Lara Clarke (PhD; graduated 2016)

Current Postgraduate Students

Mona Alsolami, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Stephen Carter, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Laura Bel, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Noémie Scheidel, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Nils Lambacher, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor