Proteostasis in aging and diabetic cardiomyocytes

Within this research focus we are investigating proteostasis (the balance between protein synthesis and degradation) in aging and metabolically challenged cardiomyocytes. In our studies on proteolysis, we are focusing on the proteasomal and autophagic-lysosomal systems during aging and/or in cardiovascular or metabolic stress situations. In addition to that the metabolic processes in cardiomyocytes, such as substrate usage and mitochondrial respiration, are studied.

The role of aging in the development of metabolic dysfunctions

This research focus investigates how the aging process and associated cellular changes impact on the development of metabolic dysfunctions. We focus on redox status, proteostasis, and how cellular senescence affects the function of aging pancreatic beta cells, but also changes in aging white adipose tissue and the effects of hypercaloric diets on metabolism. Aging is changing metabolism so that an enhanced formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) occurs. In order to better understand the role of AGE-modified proteins in cellular aging of these tissues, we are specifically looking for the molecular mechanisms by which AGEs influence metabolic pathways/metabolic processes.

Proteostasis- and redox-related biomarkers of nutrition and aging

In this research area, we focus on identifying suitable biomarkers that reflect nutritional status, redox status, biological age, as well as physiological and pathological processes in humans, and we investigate the possible relationships between these biomarkers and the underlying physiological processes. In addition to these minimally invasive studies, we also analyze mechanistic biomarkers of various tissues in biopsies. The biomarkers that we are investigating are closely related to protein modification, redox regulation, and the proteasomal and autophagy-lysosomal systems.