Kurt Zatloukal

Univ.-Prof. Kurt Zatloukal

Diagnostic and Research Institute of Pathology
Medical University of Graz
Neue Stiftingtalstrasse 6/5
8010 Graz, Austria

tel.: +43 (0)316 385 71731


Projects within the DK-MCD

Functional analysis of the role of p62/sequestosome-1 in Mallory-Denk
Body formation using p62/sequestosome-1 deficient mouse models with
drug-induced hepatoxicity
Pooja Lahiri

Steatohepatitits-associated hepatocellular carcinoma: Evidence of a
keratin-related disease
co-supervised together with Johannes Haybaeck

Anita Kuldeep Mehta

Studying the link between microbiome and genetics in the development of NAFLD

Zahra Safari

Differential role of p62/sequestosome-1 isoforms in protein aggregation

Meghana Somlapura

Research interest

Steatohepatitis is a characteristic type of liver disease which develops in the context of a variety of chronic liver diseases, such as alcoholism (alcoholic steatohepatitis), insulin resistance, obesity and other lipid-associated disorders (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis). Steatohepatitis is becoming a leading health problem affecting approximately 3% of the world population by 2010. However, there is a marked difference in the individual risk to develop steatohepatitis and to progress to cirrhosis (e.g. 20% of heavy drinkers or 50% of obese type II diabetic patients develop steatohepatitis). Several lines of evidence propose the existence of susceptibility and modifier genes that cooperate with lifestyle factors in causing these differences.

Steatohepatitis leads to characteristic morphological alterations in the liver comprising steatosis, ballooning of hepatocytes, occurrence of hepatocytic protein aggregates (Mallory Denk bodies; MDBs), fibrosis and inflammation. Evaluation of these features by liver biopsy is still the gold standard for the diagnosis of steatohepatitis. We identified p62 (sequestosome 1), which is induced under certain stress conditions and specifically binds to misfolded and ubiquitinated keratin, as obligatory component of MDBs. p62 is involved as adapter in signal transduction pathways (e.g. TNFα- and IL-1-signaling leading to NFκB activation), in the sequestration of ubiquitinated proteins and the elimination of protein aggregates by autophagy. This multifunctional role makes p62 a candidate for an essential integrator and regulator of cellular stress responses in protein aggregation diseases.


Curriculum vitae

  1977 - 1985 Medical School at the University of Graz, Austria
  1985 MD degree, University of Graz
  1985 - 1991 Residence for pathologist at the Institute of Pathology, University of Graz, Austria, with specialization in Molecular Pathology
  1992 Habilitation in Molecular Pathology
  1991 - 1993 PostDoc at the Rearch Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), Vienna, Austria
  1993 - 1997 Associate Professor of Pathology, University of Graz
  1997 - Professor of Pathology, Medical University of Graz
  2008 - Deputy Head of the Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Graz
  2010 - 2017 Director of Christian Doppler Laboratory for BRBT
  2013 - Director of, the Austrian National Node of BBMRI-ERIC, the European Biobanking and Biomolecular Research Infrastructure
  2018 - Head of the Diagnostic and Research Center for Molecular BioMedicine, Medical University of Graz