Prof. Wang,Chao-Wen

Prof. Wang, Chao-Wen 
TEL:+886-6-275-7575 ext.58120    研究室: 58104 #29


Molecular Cell Biology, Organelle Biogenesis and Membrane Trafficking

Dr. Chao-Wen Wang is a cell biologist specializing in organelle dynamics and membrane traffic. She studies autophagy in Dr. Daniel Klionsky’s lab for her Ph.D. For her postdoc training, she joined Dr. Randy Schekman’s lab at UC Berkeley and employed a reconstitute approach to reveal a novel protein coat that traffic proteins from the trans-Golgi network to the plasma membrane. Since her affiliation with IPMB, Academia Sinica in 2007, Dr. Chao-Wen Wang’s research has predominantly focused on unraveling the mechanisms governing the dynamics of lipid droplets in yeast and the nematode C. elegans. Her group employs approaches encompassing biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, and genetics to investigate cellular and developmental processes, shedding new light on the molecular foundations of fat packaging and lipid metabolism. Dr. Chao-Wen Wang also extends her expertise in membrane dynamics beyond lipid droplet research, applying her knowledge to diverse biological contexts. Dr. Chao-Wen Wang joined Department of Life Sciences, National Cheng Kung University in August, 2023. The new team will build upon established efforts, contributing novel perspectives to advance the study of lipid droplet and membrane dynamics.



Lipid droplet biogenesis and lipid homeostasis

The cellular lipid droplet (LD) stores neutral lipids to maintain lipid homeostasis, and its exploration has flourished in recent years. Across various cell types, the size and number of LDs exhibit variations, reflecting distinct functional roles of lipid metabolism in different cellular contexts. LDs actively engage with nearly all organelles, orchestrating lipid transfer and metabolism. As our understanding of LDs expands to encompass biological functions beyond lipid metabolism, it becomes evident that LDs should not be narrowly considered merely as lipid metabolic organelles.

Our research endeavors are directed towards gaining a comprehensive understanding of the intricate mechanisms governing LD and lipid homeostasis and uncovering the underlying regulatory principles. We employ budding yeast as our model system, leveraging its robust genetic capabilities to screen for mutants and systematically dissect the functions of LD proteins. We use cell-free systems to reconstruct protein functions within the diverse lipid milieu. Additionally, we harness the power of C. elegans, a model organism comprised of an estimated 1000 cells, to elucidate how LDs and lipid metabolisms influence animal growth and development. The integration of cutting-edge techniques such as bioimaging, genetics, and multi-omics tools will pave the way for significant advancements in fundamental medical research pertaining to lipid droplets.


Lipids and membrane cell biology

Lipids form the fundamental composition of biological membranes. Each organelle, with its distinctive shape and specialized functions, possesses a unique combination of membrane lipids and proteome. Our focus lies in understanding how different membrane lipids contribute to the establishment of organelle identity, influencing the structure and function of membrane proteins, and participating in cellular activities. To address these questions, we manipulate cellular lipid composition though modulating lipid enzymes and integrate genetics, biochemistry, lipidomic, and cell biology tools to examine how cells response to perturbations in lipid levels.




Department of Plant Pathology and Entomology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan B.S. 09/1991-06/1995

Plant pathology

Department of Plant Pathology and Entomology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan M.S. 09/1995-06/1997 Plant pathology
Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Davis, CA, USA.


09/1998-03/2003 Cell Biology





Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA Postdoctoral Fellow 03/2003-12/2003 Cell Biology
Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, California, USA Postdoctoral Research Associate 01/2004-04/2007 Cell Biology
Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. Assistant Research Fellow 05/2007 – 03/2012 Cell Biology
Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. Associate Research Fellow 03/2012-07/2017 Cell Biology
Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. Tenured Associate Research Fellow 08/2017-02/2022 Cell Biology
Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. Research Fellow 03/2022-07/2023 Cell Biology
Department of Life Sciences, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan. Professor


Cell Biology

Major Awards and Honors



Periodical articles(Link)

  1. Li, Y.-H., Ke, T.-Y., Shih, W.-C., Liou, R-F.*, and Wang, C.-W.* (2021) NbSOBIR1 partitions into plasma membrane microdomains and binds ER-localized NbRLP1. Front Plant Sci. 12: 721548. (*Corresponding author)
  2. Bai, X., Huang, L.-J., Chen, S.-W., Nebenfuehr, B., Wysolmerski, B., Wu, J.-C., 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. (*Corresponding author)
  3. 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. (*Corresponding author)
  4. 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. 28(3):440-451. (*Corresponding author)
  5. Iwasa, S., Sato, N., Wang, C.-W., Cheng, Y.-H., Irokawa, H., Hwang. G.W., Naganuma, A., 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.
  6. Yang, P.-L,, Hsu, T.-H., Wang C.-W.*, Chen, R.-H.*. (2016) Lipid droplets maintain lipid homeostasis during anaphase for efficient cell separation in budding yeast. Mol Biol Cell. 27(15):2368-80. (*Corresponding author)
  7. Wang, C.-W.* (2016). Lipid droplets, lipophagy, and beyond. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1861 (8 Pt B):793-805. (Invited Review) (*Corresponding author)
  8. Wang, C.-W.* (2015). Lipid droplet dynamics in budding yeast. Cell Mol Life Sci. 72(14):2677-95. (Invited Review) (*Corresponding author)
  9. 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 parasitica. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 28(8):913-26.
  10. Wang, C.-W.* (2014). Stationary phase lipophagy as a cellular mechanism to recycle sterols during quiescence. Autophagy. 10(11): 2075-6. (*Corresponding author)
  11. 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. (*Corresponding author)

    Selected for highlight in J. Cell Biol. 206 (3): 330. (2014)                                                                                                            Faculty of 1000 “recommended”

  1. 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. (*Corresponding author)
  2. 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.
  3. 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. (*Corresponding author)
  4. 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. (*Corresponding author)                                                                      Selected for highlight in J Cell Biol. 193 (3): 426. (2011)                                                                                                      Selected for highlight in Nature Reviews Microbiology. 9: 400. (2011)
  1. 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. (*Corresponding author)
  2. Wang, C. -W., Hamamoto, S., Orci, L., and Schekman, R. Exomer: A coat complex for transport of select membrane proteins from the trans-Golgi network to the plasma membrane in yeast. (2006). J Cell Biol. 174(7): 973-83.                              Selected for highlight in Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, 7: 795. (2006).
  1. Cheong, H., Yorimitsu, T., Reggiori, F., Legakis, J. E., Wang, C. -W., and Klionsky, D. J. (2005) Atg17 regulates the magnitude of the autophagic response. Mol Biol Cell. 16(7): 3438-53.
  2. Stromhaug, P. E., Reggiori, F., Guan, J., Wang C.-W., and Klionsky DJ. (2004). Atg21 is a phosphoinositide binding protein required for efficient lipidation and localization of Atg8 during uptake of aminopeptidase I by selective autophagy. Mol Biol Cell. 15(8): 3553-3566.
  3. Reggiori, F., Wang, C.-W., Stromhaug, P. E., Abeliovich, H., and Klionsky, D. J. (2004). Early stages of the secretory pathway but not endosomes, are required for Cvt vesicle and autophagosome assembly in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol. Biol. Cell. 15(5): 2189-204.
  4. Wang, C.-W., Stromhaug, P. E., Kauffman, E., Weisman, L. S., and Klionsky, D. J., (2003). Yeast homotypic vacuole fusion requires the Ccz1-Mon1 complex during the tethering/docking stage. J Cell Biol. 163(5): 973-85.
  5. Wang, C.-W., and Klionsky, D. J., (2003). The molecular mechanism of autophagy. Molecular Medicine. 9(3/4): 65-76.
  6. Wang, C.-W. and Klionsky, D. J. (2003). Chapter 8: Microautophagy. In: Autophagy. D. J. Klionsky ed. Landes Bioscience. Georgetown, TX.
  7. Reggiori, F., Wang, C.-W., Stromhaug, P. E., Shintani, T., and Klionsky, D. J. (2003). Vps51 is part of the yeast Vps Fifty Three tethering complex essential for retrograde traffic from the early endosome and Cvt vesicle completion. J Biol Chem. 278(7): 5009-5020.
  8. Wang, C.-W., Stromhaug, P. E., Shima, J. and Klionsky, D. J. (2002). The Ccz1-Mon1 protein complex is required for the late step of multiple vacuole delivery pathways. J Biol Chem. 277(49): 47917-27.
  9. Wang, C.-W., Kim, J., Huang, W-P., Abeliovich, H., Stromhaug, P. E., Dann, W. A. Jr., and Klionsky, D. J. (2001). Apg2 is a novel protein required for the cytoplasm to vacuole targeting, autophagy, and pexophagy pathways. J Biol Chem. 276(32): 30442-51.