Nature provides an enormous diversity of lipid molecules that originate from various pathways. Fatty acids are key modules for various lipids, including cell membrane lipids such as phospholipids or triacylglycerols, which are the major components of lipid droplets. Excess lipids or defects in lipid metabolism are associated with diseases such as metabolic syndrome. Lipids are either obtained from exogenous sources, i.e., diet, or from endogenous biosynthesis. Numerous cellular processes such as cell growth or differentiation relay on de novo synthesis of lipids primarily for cell membrane generation.
The research group “Lipid Metabolism” focuses on investigations of fatty acid and phospholipid biosynthesis. Kinetics and dynamics of lipid metabolic processes are of particular interest as well influencing factors including the gut microbiota and pathophysiological conditions. The independent research group is headed by the principal investigator Josef Ecker with expertise in mass spectrometry, molecular biology, mouse experiments and lipid metabolism.
Recent investigations of our work are summarized in the following article.