Group Leader

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Dr. J. Andrew Pospisilik
Group Leader
Phone:+49 761 5108 757

Lab Andrew Pospisilik

Laboratory J. Andrew Pospisilik

Functional translation of epigenetic cues

A compliment to the first strategy, our second long-term goal is to functionally characterize disease-specific epigenetic modifications in vivo. These studies, which will capitalize on the integration of targeted mouse genetics and systems biology approaches will address causality and mechanism of action. This approach is being complimented by drosophila genetic and RNAi-based in vivo screening approaches as well as collaborative ventures examining epigenetic-targeted mouse mutagenesis systems (E. Whitelaw, Australia). Using this approach we have already identified several novel epigenetic modulators of metabolism.

<p>Left: Hedgehog mutant mice (KO) are born normal and live healthy lives despite having virtually no fat tissue. These mice are the first completely healthy lipoatrophic mice generated to date.</p>
<p><br />Right: The hedgehog pathway in white and brown fat stem cells were genetically activated (green). As brown fat is often considered &ldquo;good fat&rdquo;, and white considered &ldquo;bad fat&rdquo;, hedgehog plays a permissive role in &ldquo;good&rdquo; fat development.</p> Zoom Image

Left: Hedgehog mutant mice (KO) are born normal and live healthy lives despite having virtually no fat tissue. These mice are the first completely healthy lipoatrophic mice generated to date.


Right: The hedgehog pathway in white and brown fat stem cells were genetically activated (green). As brown fat is often considered “good fat”, and white considered “bad fat”, hedgehog plays a permissive role in “good” fat development.

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Our ongoing projects currently span the characterization of a unique epigenetically-sensitive stochastic obesity phenotype, an inducible cell fate “lock” in adipocyte stem-cells, as well as a novel Warburg-like metabolic shift in non-transformed cells. These studies will help us define novel disease regulatory elements and broaden our understanding and therapeutic arsenal for human disease.
 
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