Lipases and Lipid Signaling

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Lipids (from the Greek word lípos “fat”) comprise a group of water-insoluble biomolecules. In the body, lipids fulfill a variety of tasks: they serve as energy storage, they are building blocks for cell membranes and messengers with a hormone-like effect. Such "bioactive" lipids have medically highly relevant properties since they affect e.g. inflammatory processes and cancer growth.
Bioactive lipids are produced and degraded by body’s own enzymes. By knowing these enzymes, one can interfere with the production of the messengers and prevent unwanted effects. A well-known example is acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), which inhibits the enzyme responsible for the production of inflammatory lipids (prostaglandins). Many of the relevant enzymes that affect the formation or degradation of bioactive lipids are currently unknown or inadequately characterized. In this project, we focus on the precise characterization of three enzymes called monoglyceride lipase, alpha/beta-hydrolase 6, and lysosomal acid lipase. The aim of our project is to elucidate the function of these enzymes in the production and degradation of bioactive lipids. In particular, we try to understand the role of these enzymes in various inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis, colitis, and airway diseases. We are also investigating whether these enzymes are involved in the embryonic supply of vital omega-3 fatty acids in the human placenta. In addition, we want to identify so far unknown enzymes involved in the metabolism of bioactive lipids.

 

 

 

   Principal Investigator

   Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dagmar Kratky
   Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
   Medical University of Graz
   Curriculum Vitae, Publications

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Co-Principal Investigator

   Assoc. Prof. Dr. Robert Zimmermann
   Institute of Molecular Biosciences
   University of Graz
   Curriculum Vitae, Publications

 

 

 

Project Members

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ruth Birner‐Gruenberger, Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Graz
Curriculum Vitae

Univ. Prof. Dr. Akos Heinemann, Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology,
Medical University of Graz
Curriculum Vitae

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Achim Lass, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Graz
Curriculum Vitae

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gunther Marsche, Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology,
Medical University of Graz
Curriculum Vitae

Branislav Radović, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Medical University of Graz
Curriculum Vitae

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rudolf Schicho, Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology,
Medical University of Graz
Curriculum Vitae

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Christian Wadsack, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of Graz
Curriculum Vitae

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