Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is the main site of non-shivering thermogenesis in mammals. Heat produced by BAT upon adrenergic stimulation is essential for the survival of small rodents and hibernators in a cold environment, but also contributes to diet-induced thermogenesis. Uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) is ubiquitously expressed in the inner membrane of BAT mitochondria and mediates the uncoupling of fuel consumption from ATP production to dissipate energy as heat. Since BAT has a crucial role in energy balance regulation, ongoing research emphasizes its therapeutic potential to battle the global epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The recent discovery of functional BAT in healthy adults has raised great interest in increasing energy expenditure by enhancing BAT thermogenesis. Previous pharmacological approaches targeting BAT through sympathomimetics have failed due to detrimental cardiovascular side effects. We aim to identify novel nutritional interventions either mediating the activation of brown fat by non-sympathetic pathways, or facilitating the endogenous sympathetic activation.
ZIEL Graduate Programme
Title of the PhD thesis
Nutritional interventions controlling brown adipose tissue activity
Technical University Munich
Chair for Molecular Nutritional Medicine
Prof. Dr. Martin Klingenspor
Title of the PhD Thesis
Assessment of microbiota in small niches by sequencing
Routinely, modern high-throughput sequencing is used to identify bacteria within feces or skin samples by their 16S rRNA genes. Small niches, for example crypts or mucus of the gut, are of greater interest as focus points for bacteria-host interactions. In this project, methods are developed to assess the microbial communities even if small numbers of bacteria are present. Furthermore, 16S rRNA sequencing is improved to gain higher resolution for species determination.
- Hücker SM, Vanderhaeghen S, Abellan-Schneyder I, Scherer S, Neuhaus K (2018). The novel anaerobiosis-responsive overlapping gene ano is overlapping antisense to the annotated gene ECs2385 of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Sakai. Front Microbiol. 9:931.
- Hücker SM, Vanderhaeghen S, Abellan-Schneyder I, Wecko R, Simon S, Scherer S, Neuhaus K (2018). A novel short L-arginine responsive protein-coding gene (laoB) antiparallel overlapping to a CadC-like transcriptional regulator in Escherichia coli O157:H7 Sakai originated by overprinting. BMC Evol Biol. 18(1):21.
Technical University of Munich
Core Facility Microbiome
PD Dr. Klaus Neuhaus