Aging and Signal transduction
OverviewSignal transduction in aging related diseases
A complex interplay between genetic predisposition and environment determines the genesis of late-onset diseases like cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart- and cardiovascular diseases and neuromuscular degeneration. Signal transduction routes are main players in the (mal)adaptations of cells to metabolic and hormonal changes and hostile environments. The aim of this research program is to define the molecular mechanisms cells use for communication with their environment and each other, how signals are transduced into the interior of cells and how the ensuing changes in their behavior are effectuated. Dysregulation of these signal transduction pathways contributes to age-related diseases and their delineation will provide new avenues for therapeutic intervention. In particular, we investigate i) how perturbation of TGF-β signaling pathways contributes to cancer, vascular- and bone diseases, ii) how in relation to cancer stress-induced signal transduction pathways respond to DNA damage, iii) which molecular mechanisms underlie insulin resistance and diabetes-related complications, and iv) how cardiac stem cell differentiation is controlled and to identify key determinants in cardiac regeneration. We utilize tools in molecular cell biology, biochemistry and genetics, including functional genomics, proteomics and molecular imaging approaches.
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- Signal transduction
- Obesity, Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
- Stem cells
- Cardiomyocyte differentiation
- Stress Signaling and DNA Damage Response
- Vascular and Bone Diseases
- TGF-β, Smad, Jun, Fos and ATF transcription factors, PKB/AKT, AMPK, mTOR
- Genetics of type 2 diabetes