Forschung Gottfried Schatz Forschungszentrum

Research focus: metabolism

PI: Dagmar Kratky

Focus: Storage and degradation of lipids are tightly regulated processes involving intracellular lipid hydrolases, enzymes of lipid biosynthesis, and regulatory proteins. Excessive lipid accumulation is central in the pathogenesis of prevalent metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. Our team investigates the function of lipid hydrolases in the regulation of lipid and energy metabolism in the whole organism as well as in specific organs (e.g. liver, small intestine, adipose tissue) and cells (hepatocytes, enterocytes, adipocytes). Furthermore, we are interested in the role of lipid hydrolases in macrophages with regard to the development of atherosclerosis.

Network: Within the Gottfried Schatz Research Center, our team works closely together with the research teams of Wolfgang Graier (energy metabolism), Tobias Madl (metabolomics), Wolfgang Sattler (lipid metabolism), Roland Malli (fluorescent probes) und Sasa Frank (lipoprotein metabolism). We cooperate across departments with groups of the division of Cell Biology, Histology and Embryology, in particular with Dagmar Kolb (electron microscopy), Andreas Prokesch (transcription factors and fasting) und Martin Gauster (placental histology).


SFB Lipid Hydrolysis: Cellular Lipid Degradation Pathways in Health and Disease

  • The SFB consortium pursues the following project goals: (1) discovery and biochemical characterization of unknown lipid hydrolases, (2) elucidation of the function of known and newly identified lipid hydrolases, (3) description of the complex reaction processes of hydrolytic cleavage of lipids, and (4) investigation of the role of lipid hydrolases in the development of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or cancer. Our results should help to develop new treatment options for these most common health problems worldwide.
  • Duration: 2019-2027
  • Funded by: FWF, Med Uni Graz, Land Steiermark, Stadt Graz
  • Project partners: Monika Oberer (Uni Graz), Günter Hämmerle (Uni Graz), Robert Zimmermann (Uni Graz), Ruth Birner-Grünberger (TU Vienna), Michael Trauner (Med Uni Vienna), Franz Radner (Uni Graz), Karl Gruber (Uni Graz)


Loss of MMP12 in lysosomal acid lipase deficiency and cardiometabolic disease

  • Cardiometabolic diseases such as atherosclerosis and diabetes are the number one cause of death worldwide. Dysfunction of the only known acid lipase LAL results in a rare metabolic disease that leads to early death of affected patients. Due to its high expression in cardiometabolic diseases and in LAL deficiency, MMP12 could be a target protein for treatments. The goal is to analyze the role of MMP12 in these diseases, to identify the underlying mechanisms, and to elucidate the consequences of MMP12 loss on cellular (dys)functions.
  • Duration: 2019-2024
  • Funded by: FWF

DK Metabolic and Cardiovascular Disease (DK-MCD)

  • The DK-MCD is a PhD training program that focuses on molecular mechanisms and cellular functions in the pathogenesis of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. The DK-MCD offers a multidisciplinary faculty and (inter)national exchange of students in areas of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases from basic research to clinical aspects. Within the DK-MCD, our team investigates the consequences of missing or dysfunctional lipases in various cells and organs and cells on lipid and energy metabolism in different model organisms.
  • Duration: 2010-2024
  • Funded by: FWF, Med Uni Graz
  • Project partners: Gerald Höfler, Wolfgang Graier, Tobias Madl, Klaus Groschner, Peter Fickert, Martin Pichler (Med Uni Graz), Günter Hämmerle, Frank Madeo (Uni Graz), Ruth Birner-Grünberger (TU Vienna)

Vascular Health in Aging and Disease

  • To jointly investigate a burning medical issue in order to discover entirely new approaches for its treatment – that's the goal of the physicians and basic researchers in the very first "Flagship" project at the Medical University of Graz. This new research initiative at the Medical University of Graz places a uniquely Austrian emphasis on interdisciplinary research between clinicians and basic researchers.
    When our vascular system becomes compromised, the consequences include heart attacks, strokes, heart or kidney failure – the most common causes of death in Austria and worldwide. In addition to the individual suffering and the loss of healthy years of life, vascular diseases cause enormous societal and economic damage.
  • Duration: 2022-2027
  • Funded by: Med Uni Graz
  • Project partners: Peter Rainer, Andreas Reinisch, Simon Sedej, Kathrin Eller, Mahmoud Abdellatif


Division of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Mag.a
Dagmar Kratky  
T: +43 316 385 71965

Spezialforschungsbereich Lipidhydrolyse

Video aus der Reihe "Wissenswert"