Transcriptional control of tissue homeostasis: Lost in Transcription
Every day, the adult organism turns over billions of cells. Since “old” cells constantly get replaced by “new” ones, it is crucial for a given tissue to tightly co-ordinate processes like proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. Even the slightest imbalance in the homeostasis of tissues will have severe consequences for a long-lived organism leading to development of cancer or premature aging.
One key pathway that acts as a central regulator of tissue homeostasis under physiological conditions and during tissue regeneration is the so-called “Hippo pathway”. The Hippo pathway impinges upon two downstream transducers, the transcriptional co-activators YAP and TAZ.
Our lab focuses on several aspects of YAP/TAZ biology since a comprehensive understanding for the regulation of this pathway will yield new insights into stem cell biology and tissue homeostasis.
To this end, we aim to identify new pathways that act upstream of YAP/TAZ and to identify downstream YAP/TAZ target genes that are indispensable for its biological output. Furthermore, we wish to elucidate its in vivo functions during tissue homeostasis, stem cell biology and cancer using appropriate mouse models.