Guenter Haemmerle

Assoc. Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr.rer.nat. Guenter Haemmerle

Institute of Molecular Biosciences
University of Graz
Heinrichstraße 31/II
8010 Graz, Austria

tel.: +43 (0)316 380 1910


Projects within the DK-MCD

The role of FGF21 in cardiac energy homeostasis Manoja Kumar Brahma

The role of carboxylesterase 2 members in hepatic and intestinal lipid metabolism

Gabriel Chalhoub

Investigating the role of novel genes in adipocyte development and metabolism
co-supervised together with Juliane Bogner-Strauss

Dina Bonazzoli

The role of Carboxylesterase 2 members in intestinal lipid metabolism

Alina Jamnik

The role of perilipin 5 in mitochondrial dynamics and redox signaling

Benedikt Kien

The role of perilipin 5 in cardiomyocyte energy metabolism

Stephanie Kolleritsch

Intestine-specific overexpression of carboxylesterase 2c protects from diet induced obesity and liver steatosis

Lisa Maresch

Examination of the role of perilipin 5 in cardiac energy metabolism

Nina Pollak

The role of human ATGL in cardiac signaling and energy metabolism

Anna Tilp

The role of α/β hydrolase domain containing 15 (ABHD 15) in lipid metabolism
co-supervised together with Juliane Bogner-Strauss

Wenmin Xia

Research interest

Virtually, every cell of the body is capable to deposit triglycerides (TG) in more or less quantities. Fatty acids (FA) are an important energy fuel in mammals and FA utilized as energy substrate or signaling molecule may originate from cellular uptake or the catabolism of endogenous TG deposits. Imbalances in cellular TG homeostasiscan be linked to metabolic disease development. Studies from our laboratory and others demonstrated that cellular TG catabolism, also referred to as lipolysis, is a three-step process catalyzed by Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), Hormone-sensitive lipase and Monoglyceride lipase. ATGL activity requires the co-factor Comparative-gene identification-58 (CGI-58). Deficiency of ATGL or CGI-58 divergently affects organ TG homeostasis and function. Humans (and mice) lacking ATGL develop severe cardiac steatosis and heart dysfunction, which can be lethal. FA generated by ATGL-mediated TG hydrolysis serve not only as energy substrate but also as ligands or ligand precursors for PPARalpha-driven expression of genes implicated in mitochondrial FA oxidation. In contrast, CGI-58 deficiency leads to a severe skin barrier defect and steatohepatitis. Notably, the lack of either CGI-58 or ATGL in the liver is compatible with normal lipoprotein TG production indicating that hepatic TG mobilization destined for lipoprotein TG synthesis involves a currently unknown TG lipase(s).

In a very recent study, we show that a member of the Carboxylesterase 2 (Ces2) family efficiently hydrolyses TG and diglycerides. Intestine-specific overexpression of murine Ces2c interfered with whole body TG homeostasis and the transgenic mice were resistant towards diet-induced hepatic steatosis. Moreover, cardiac-muscle specific overexpression of Perilipin 5 (Plin5), a binding partner of CGI-58 and ATGL, leads to massive TG accumulation in the heart of transgenic mice via the formation of a lipolytic barrier. Unexpectedly, cardiac steatosis was compatible with normal heart function and life span in Plin5 transgenic mice. Actually, we are interested in the functional role of lipid droplet-associated proteins in the regulation of cardiac lipolysis and lipid signaling. Furthermore, we investigate the role of Ces2 proteins in hepatic and intestinal lipid metabolism.


Curriculum vitae

  1990 - 1997 University education in Biology, University of Graz
  1997 - 2001 PhD Studies in Biochemistry, University of Graz
  2001 - 2004 Postdoctoral position at the Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Graz
  2004 - 2005 Senior postdoctorial position at the Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Graz
  2005 - 2007 University Assistant, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Graz
  2007 - Associate Professor at the Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Graz