Transcriptional control of tissue homeostasis: Lost in Transcription
The human body is composed of approximately 30 trillion cells and renews about four million cells per second. It is thus clear that in long-lived organisms, even the smallest imbalance in tissue homeostasis can sooner or later lead to serious consequences – such as premature aging or cancer.
Hippo signaling pathway: key regulator of tissue regeneration
A key regulator of tissue regeneration is the so-called Hippo signaling pathway. This signaling pathway has two effector proteins: the transcriptional coactivators YAP and TAZ. Because a deep understanding of the regulation of the Hippo signaling pathway will lead to new insights into aging, stem cell biology and tissue homeostasis, the research group focuses on different aspects of the biology of YAP/TAZ. The goal is to identify novel signaling pathways, and thus target sites, that control YAP/TAZ activity.
Biological Function of YAP/TAZ
In addition, the research aims to identify the YAP/TAZ target genes that are essential for the biological function of YAP/TAZ. Such target genes and the signaling pathways associated with them could be of great medical use, for example, because they could improve regeneration in old age. Furthermore, the researchers are investigating the exact role of the two transcriptional regulators in tissue homeostasis, regeneration, stem cell biology and cancer development. These questions will be elucidated in vivo using novel mouse models.