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Lipases and Lipid Signaling

Speaker: Dagmar Kratky Deputy Speaker: Robert Zimmermann

Bioactive lipids take part in fundamental biological processes, such as proliferation, apoptosis, migration, angiogenesis, adhesion, cell–cell contact, lymphocyte activation and trafficking. They derive from biomembranes through the action of lipid-degrading enzymes including phospholipase A/C/D enzymes, diacylglycerol and monoacylglycerol hydrolases. These enzymes may also be involved in the inactivation of signaling lipids.

Bioactive lipids have shifted into the center of biomedical research since they were recognized as mediators and transmitters in inflammation and cancer. They determine the course of the disease either by amplification or reduction of inflammation. Many of them signal via unknown G protein-coupled receptors, and many enzymes responsible for the production or inactivation of bioactive lipid mediators have not yet been explored.

We have established a new platform of scientists to promote research in this exciting field. The platform combines different working groups and members from the Medical University and University of Graz. Their research is either focused on metabolism and structure of lipids or on the functional role of lipid mediators in inflammatory conditions, such as atherosclerosis, asthma, inflammatory bowel diseases and placental endothelial dysfunction. The groups employ different approaches to study lipid metabolism and its role in inflammation at the molecular, cellular, and organic level.