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: 2019-2023
  • Funded by: FWF, Med Uni Graz, Land Steiermark, Stadt Graz
  • Project partners: Günter Hämmerle, Monika Oberer, Rudolf Zechner, Robert Zimmermann (Uni Graz), Ruth Birner-Grünberger (TU Vienna), Michael Trauner (Med Uni Vienna)


Role of Metabolic Lipases in Platelets

  • In addition to blood clotting as their main function, platelets are critical components of the immune system and are involved in a wide variety of diseases, including atherosclerosis. In this project, we investigate whether and how lipases can affect platelet metabolism and alter platelet aggregation, shape, and lipid composition. Our goal is to determine whether the absence of lipases specifically in platelets induces any changes in thrombogenesis and influences the formation of atherosclerotic lesions.
  • Duration: 2018-2022
  • Funded by: FWF
  • Project partner: Bernhard Nieswandt (University Clinic)

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: 2019-2022
  • 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: 2010-2022
  • 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)

Inflammatory Disorders in Pregnancy (DP-iDP)

  • In the PhD training program DP-iDP, 13 research teams use different approaches to methodically analyze the interplay between pregnancy, inflammation and placenta in maternal and fetal diseases. Our team investigates the role of intracellular lipid hydrolases in lipid and energy metabolism in the mouse placenta and fetus. We pursue the hypothesis that loss of these enzymes results in fewer mobilization of fatty acids and signaling molecules, thereby affecting metabolism in the placenta and fetus and leading to changes in cells and tissues.
  • Duration: 2018-2022
  • Funded by: FWF, Med Uni Graz
  • Project partners: Gernot Desoye, Martin Gauster, Daniela Gold, Akos Heinemann, Ursula Hiden, Berthold Huppertz, Julia Kargl, Gunther Marsche, Karoline Mayer-Pickel, Christine Moissl-Eichinger, Christian Wadsack (Med Uni Graz), Mireille van Poppel (Uni Graz)


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

Spezialforschungsbereich Lipidhydrolyse

Video aus der Reihe "Wissenswert"