Nuclear lipids in health and diseases

Biomolecular interactions are essential to all biological functions and their alteration can lead to disease. Our lab focuses on protein-phosphoinositide interaction networks by analysing their composition, regulation and functional roles in healthy and pathological states where the phosphoinositide metabolic pathways are known to be altered (particularly in obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cancer). 

Our lab focuses on protein-phospholipid interaction networks and in particular on nuclear protein-polyphosphoinositide complexes. phosphoinositides (PPIn) are lipid signalling molecules regulating a vast array of cellular functions via their interaction with diverse proteins. Most research has focused on their cytoplasmic functions. PPIn are however also present in the nucleus but their functions are still poorly understood.

MOL222 Experimental Molecular Biology II

MOL210 Lipid Biochemistry: From Chemistry to Diseases (course responsible)

MOL200 Metabolism: Reactions, Regulations and Compartmentalization 

MOL231 Project in Molecular Biology (course responsible)


M Goris, RG Jacobsen, AE Lewis. 2024. Presence of active AKT in the nucleus upon adipocyte differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells. Micropublication Biology. 10.17912/micropub.biology.001140.

E Bariås, M Jakubec, E Førsund, LV Hjørnevik, AE Lewis, Ø Halskau. 2023. Contrasting the phospholipid profiles of two neoplastic cell lines reveal a high PC: PE ratio for SH-SY5Y cells relative to A431 cellsBBRC 656, 23-29

AJ Edson, RG Jacobsen, AE Lewis. 2023. SAF-A/hnRNP U binds polyphosphoinositides via a lysine rich polybasic motif located in the SAP domain. Micropublication Biology. 10.17912/micropub.biology.000761.

Morovicz AP, Mazloumi Gavgani F, Jacobsen RG, Skuseth Slinning M, Turcu DC, Lewis AE (2022). Phosphoinositide 3-kinase signalling in the nucleolus. Adv Biol Regul. 83:100843. doi: 10.1016/j.jbior.2021.100843. 

F Mazloumi Gavgani, M Skuseth Slinning, A Papdiné Morovicz, V Smith Arnesen, D C Turcu, S Ninzima, CS D’Santos and AE Lewis (2021). Nuclear phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate interactome uncovers an enrichment in nucleolar proteins. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. 20:100102. doi: 10.1016/j.mcpro.2021.100102. Also in bioRxiv, doi: 10.1101/2020.05.17.100446.

F Mazloumi Gavgani, T Karlsson, IL Tangen, A Papdiné Morovicz, V Smith Arnesen, D C Turcu, S Ninzima, K Spang, C Krakstad, J Guillermet-Guibert and AE Lewis (2021). Nuclear upregulation of class I phosphoinositide 3-kinase p110β correlates with increased 47S rRNA levels in cancer cells. Journal Cell Biology. 134(3):jcs246090. doi: 10.1242/jcs.246090. also in bioRxiv. DOI:10.1101/2019.12.20.884122.

RG Jacobsen, F Mazloumi Gavgani, AJ. Edson, M Goris, A Altanchimeg and AE Lewis (2019) Polyphosphoinositides in the nucleus: Roadmap of their effectors and mechanisms of interaction. Advances in Biological Regulation. 72: 7-21.

F Mazloumi Gavgani, V Smith Arnesen, RG Jacobsen, C Krakstad, EA Hoivik, AE Lewis (2018). Class I Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase PIK3CA/p110α and PIK3CB/p110β Isoforms in Endometrial Cancer. Int J Mol Sci. 19(12). pii: E3931. doi: 10.3390/ijms19123931.

T Karlsson, C Krakstad, IL Tangen, EA Hoivik, PM Pollock, HB Salvesen & AE Lewis (2017). Endometrial cancer cells exhibit high expression of p110b and variable response to both p110a and p110b inhibition on PI3K signalling, cell survival and proliferation. Oncotarget. 8:3881-94.

Mjos S, Werner HMJ, Birkeland E, Holst F, Berg A, Halle MK, Tangen IL, Kusonmano K, Mauland KK, Oyan AM, Kalland KH, Lewis AE, Mills GB, Krakstad C, Trovik J, Salvesen HB, Hoivik EA (2017). PIK3CA exon9 mutations associate with reduced survival, and are highly concordant between matching primary tumors and metastases in endometrial cancer. Sci. Reports. 7(1):10240. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-10717-z.

Jacobsen RM, Gavgani FM, Mellgren G and AE Lewis (2016). DNA Topoisomerase IIa contributes to the early steps of adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 cells. Cellular Signalling. 28:1593-1603.

T Karlsson, A Altanchimeg, O Dobrovolska, DC Turcu and AE Lewis (2016). A polybasic motif in ErbB3-Binding-Protein 1 (EBP1) has key functions in nucleolar localisation and polyphosphoinositide interaction. Biochemical Journal. 473: 2033-47. DOI: 10.1042/BCJ20160274.

AE Lewis, R Aesoy and M Bakke. (2016). Role of EPAC in cAMP-mediated actions in adrenocortical cells. Frontiers in Endocrinology, Neuroendocrine Science. Invited Mini-Review. doi 10.3389/fendo.2016.00063.

CS D’Santos and AE. Lewis (2012). Functional Proteomics: Mapping Lipid-Protein Interactomes. Book Chapter. Integrative Proteomics, Hon-Chiu Eastwood Leung (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-51-0070-6, InTech, Available from: http://www.intechopen.com/articles/show/title/functional-proteomics-mapp...

AE Lewis, L Sommer, MØ Arntzen, Y Strahm, NA Morrice, N Divecha and CS D’Santos (2011). Identification of nuclear phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate-interacting proteins by neomycin extraction. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. 10(2):M110.003376. IF: 8.8

L Aumo, M Rusten, G Mellgren, M Bakke and AE Lewis (2010). Functional roles of PKA and EPAC2 in cAMP-mediated actions in adrenocortical cells. Endocrinology. 151:2151-61.IF: 4.94.

VV Ardawatia, M Masià-Balagué, BF Krakstad, BB Johansson, KM Kreitzburg, E Spriet, AE Lewis, TE Meigs, AM Aragay (2010). Gα(12) binds to the N-terminal regulatory domain of p120(ctn), and downregulates p120(ctn) tyrosine phosphorylation induced by Src family kinases via a RhoA independent mechanism. Exp. Cell Res. in press 2010 Oct 22. IF: 3.59

EA Hoivik, AE Lewis, L Aumo and M Bakke (2009). Molecular aspects of steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1). Review. Molecular Cellular Endocrinology.315:27-39. IF: 3.61.

MØ Arntzen, CL Osland, CR Raa, R Kopperud, SO Døskeland, AE Lewis and CS D’Santos (2009). POSTMan (POST-translational Modification analysis), a software application for PTM discovery. Proteomics. 9:1400-6. IF: 4.59.

Hoivik EA, Aumo L, Aesoy R, Lillefosse H, Lewis AE, Perrett RM, Stallings NR, Hanley NA, Bakke M (2008). Deoxyribonucleic Acid methylation controls cell type-specific expression of steroidogenic factor 1. Endocrinology. 149:5599-609. IF: 4.94.

AE Lewis, M Rusten, EA Hoivik, EL Vikse, ML Hansson, AE Wallberg, and M Bakke (2008). Phosphorylation of Steroidogenic Factor 1 Is Mediated by Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 7. Molecular Endocrinology. 22: 91–104. IF: 5.39.

AJ Fikaris,AE Lewis, A Abulaiti, O Tsygankova and JL Meinkoth (2006). Ras triggers ATR activation and apoptosis through sustained mitogenic signaling. J. Biol. Chem. 281:34759-67. IF: 5.52.

AE Lewis, AJ Fikaris, G Prendergast and JL Meinkoth. (2004). TSH and serum regulate thyroid cell proliferation through differential effects on p27 expression and localization. Molecular Endocrinology. 18: 2321-2332. IF: 5.39.

AE Lewis, BCY Wong, MJS Langman and MC Eggo. (2004). Protein kinase C delta is not activated by caspase-3 and its inhibition is sufficient to induce apoptosis in the colon cancer line, COLO 205. Cellular Signalling. 17: 253-262. IF: 4.3.

G Cheng, AE Lewis and JL Meinkoth. (2003). Ras stimulates aberrant cell cycle progression and apoptosis in rat thyroid cells. Molecular Endocrinology. 17: 450-459. IF: 5.39.

AE Lewis, BCY Wong, MJS Langman and MC Eggo. (2003). Protein kinase C inhibition induces DNA fragmentation in Colo 205 cells, which is blocked by cysteine protease inhibition but not mediated through caspase-3. Experimental Cell Research. 289: 1-10. IF: 3.95.

Y Qiu, CE Waters, AE Lewis, MJ Langman and MC Eggo. (2002). Oestrogen-induced apoptosis in colonocytes expressing oestrogen receptor b. Journal of Endocrinology. 174: 369-377. IF: 2.79.

S Dearn, M Rahman, A Lewis, Z Ahmed, MC Eggo and AS Ahmed. (2000). Activation of platelet-activating factor (PAF) receptor stimulates nitric oxide (NO) release via protein kinase C-α in HEC-1B human endometrial epithelial cell line. Molecular Medicine. 6: 37-49. IF: 3.41.

  • Show author(s) (2023). SAF-A/hnRNP U binds polyphosphoinositides via a lysine rich polybasic motif located in the SAP domain. microPublication Biology.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Contrasting the phospholipid profiles of two neoplastic cell lines reveal a high PC:PE ratio for SH-SY5Y cells relative to A431 cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications - BBRC. 23-29.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Phosphoinositide 3-kinase signalling in the nucleolus. Advances in Biological Regulation. 10 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Role of polyphosphoinositides and Polypyrimidine tract-binding protein 1 in the formation of the Perinucleolar compartment in cancer cells.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Phosphoinositide 3-kinase signalling in the nucleolus. Advances in Biological Regulation. 10 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Functional characterization of ErbB3-binding protein 1 (EBP1) tumor mutants.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

Identifying phosphoinositide interacting nuclear proteins to understand their function:

Using a quantitative proteomic methods to enrich for and identify nuclear phosphoinositide effector proteins, we have identified nuclear proteins interacting with phosphatidylinositol (4,5) bisphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P2) (PubMed ID 21048195) and PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 (Pubmed ID 34048982), two of the 7 existing PIs.

Current projects include further analysis of these potential interactions (PubMed ID 27118868)

  • Biochemical validation of the interactions
  • Role of PtdIns(4,5)P2 and PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 in the function of these proteins
  • Mechanism of regulation of these interactions
  • Effect of PtdIns(4,5)P2 and PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 on protein structure

Mapping changes in protein-phosphoinositide interactomes in pathological states

Our current goal is to map which protein-phosphoinositide networks are remodelled in pathological states where the phosphoinositide metabolic pathways are known to be altered (e.g. obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cancer).

Long term goal: To design small molecules disrupting specific protein-phosphoinositide interactions found to be altered in these diseases.


To determine the nuclear role of the PI3K pathway in cancer development

Check our recent article on nucleolar PI3K p110β in endometrial cancer


Aurélia E Lewis is an Associate Professor and research group leader at the Department of Biological Sciences at the university of Bergen, Norway. She studied biochemistry at the university of Orléans, France and earned her MSc at Brunel University, UK (1995) and PhD in cell biology from Birmingham University, UK in 2000. From 2000 to 2006, her postdoc work focused on signalling pathways in the context of cell proliferation and differentiation of different cell types at UPENN, USA and then in Bergen, Norway. Later, her research took her to nuclear phosphoinositides signalling as a researcher at the proteomics platform PROBE and then as a group leader at the Department of Biological Sciences (previously Dept. Molecular Biology). Her lab has mapped phosphoinositides interactomes formed in nucleus (PMID: 21048195 & 34048982) and aim to identify altered networks in pathologic states for which the phosphoinositides metabolic pathways are known to be altered, particularly in cancer. Our group is therefore interested in addressing the following questions, 1) What are the functions of these interactions? 2) Which protein-PI interactions are functionally disrupted in cancer and contribute its development?

  • PhD in cell & molecular biology, Division of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Birmingham, UK (2000)
  • MSc in Molecular genetics with immunology, Department of Biology & Biochemistry, Brunel University, UK (1995)
  • Bsc biology and biochemistry, Universite de Tours et d'Orleans, France (1994)