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Editorial by Radiance and Michael published in Circulation

09.07.2018 by Michael Potente

Here is the introduction of the editorial “Top-NOTCH Regulation of Cardiac Metabolism“:

 

The adult human heart is a fascinating organ. Despite weighing no more than 300 g (on average), it pumps 8 tons of blood through 60 000 miles of blood vessels each day. This remarkable performance is energetically demanding and consumes ≤10% of the body’s energy. However, the heart has little capacity for energy storage and thus relies on the continuous supply of exogenous metabolic resources.

 

Under physiological conditions, the heart muscle uses fatty acids as a primary energy source. The muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) oxidize this energetic fuel in mitochondria to efficiently generate cellular energy in the form of ATP. Fatty acids are delivered to cardiomyocytes via a dense network of capillaries, whose interior is lined by a continuous layer of endothelial cells specialized for fatty acid transport. Unlike endothelial cells in many other vascular beds (eg, brain), these cells are rich in transporters and binding proteins that mediate the transcellular flux of blood-borne fatty acids to perivascular tissues. The importance of this tailored nutrient delivery is evident in disease. Indeed, a number of cardiomyopathies that lead to myocardial hypertrophy, dysfunction, and failure are associated with alterations in fatty acid utilization and cardiac energy metabolism.However, the mechanisms that regulate nutrient transfer in the heart are poorly understood.

 

In a recent issue of Circulation, Jabs et al shed light on this question by reporting that endothelial Notch signaling critically regulates fatty acid transport capacity, thereby determining cardiac metabolism and function. These findings are interesting not only because of their medical implications, but also because they add to the emerging picture that organ-specific endothelial cells exert crucial gatekeeper functions that actively regulate and maintain tissue homeostasis.

For further reading please visit the homepage of Circulation.

Angiogenesis & Metabolism Lab is part of a successful Leducq grant application

08.07.2018 by Michael Potente

Together with five other international scientists, Michael Potente was awarded a Leducq research grant of US$ 6 million. The transatlantic network will study a transcription factor called Kruppel-like factor (KLF) 2, which plays pivotal roles in cardiovascular physiology and disease. The researchers believe that a detailed analysis of this single factor is likely to make breakthroughs in our understanding of important cardiovascular and lymphatic diseases.

 

The network is coordinated by Martin Schwartz (Yale University) and Ralf Adams (Max Plank Institute for Molecular Biomedicine) and brings together a group of investigators with expertise in vascular biomechanics, metabolism, gene transcription, mouse genetics and disease models. The team is complemented by Sarah De Val (University of Oxford), Mukesh Jain (Case Western Reserve University), Mark Kahn (University of Pennsylvania), and Michael Potente (Max Plank Institute for Heart and Lung Research), who work closely together to understand KLF2 regulation and function in diverse biologic settings.

 

The five-year project is one of only five projects that are funded in this year’s call. The grant is intended to promote joint research between

Europe and the USA and is given by the Leducq Foundation, a French-American foundation that aims to fight cardiovascular diseases worldwide.

 

Link to official press release.

Say “Hi” to Jannik Fasse – new team member in the lab

15.05.2018 by Michael Potente

On April 1, 2018 Jannik Fasse joined the Angiogenesis & Metabolism Laboratory. Jannik studies medicine at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen where he completed his “Physikum” (preliminary medical examination) with distinction in 2017. He now aims to do his medical thesis (Dr. med.) in a basic science laboratory. His work will be supported by a scholarship from the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), which enables him to devote a significant amount of time on cardiovascular research. Together with Kerstin Wilhelm, he will work on the role of FOXO transcription factors in the endothelium. We are delighted that Jannik joined our team and look forward to making new scientific discoveries together.

 

 

Say “Hi” to Jannik Fasse - new team member in the lab

From left to right: Michael, Jannik & Kerstin

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

26.12.2017 by Michael Potente

Some photos from this year’s Christmas Party at the Schirn in Frankfurt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Just before the dinner at the Badias. From upper left to right: Jorge Andrade, Kerstin Wilhelm, Michael Potente, Toshiya Sugino, Yu-Ting Ong, Barbara Zimmermann, Anuradha Doddaballapur, Chenyue Shi.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Inner circle.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Looking forward to 2018!

Impressions from the “Challenges in Ubiquitin and Autophagy Research” meeting in the Bay area

05.12.2017 by Michael Potente

On 27th and 28th of November, the brainstorming meeting on ubiquitin and autophagy networks took place at Half Moon Bay in the San Francisco area. The conference was organized by Ivan Dikic and Vishva Dixit and brought together scientists from  California (Genentech/Berkeley/Stanford) and the Frankfurt/Mainz/Bad Nauheim side.  During the conference, emerging challenges in the ubiquitin and autophagy fields were discussed, especially those dealing with human diseases and new technologies. The event was funded by the UBAUT marketing grant and participant included Ray Deshaies, Andrew Dillin, Michael Rape, Jonathan Weissmann, Vishva Dixit and Ivan Dikic, among others. Below are some images from the event.

 

Impressions from the "Challenges in Ubiquitin and Autophagy Research” meeting in the Bay area

Participants of the meeting.

 

Impressions from the "Challenges in Ubiquitin and Autophagy Research” meeting in the Bay area

Fantastic morning run with Christian Behl.

 

Impressions from the "Challenges in Ubiquitin and Autophagy Research” meeting in the Bay area

Morning view from the meeting hotel.

 

Impressions from the "Challenges in Ubiquitin and Autophagy Research” meeting in the Bay area

Stefan Müller & Michael Potente at a local coffee place.

ERC funding for the Angiogenesis & Metabolism Laboratory

30.11.2017 by Michael Potente

Michael Potente receives a 2-Million-Euro grant from the European Research Council

 

Cardiologist Michael Potente, head of the research group “Angiogenesis and Metabolism” at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim, Germany, is awarded one of the prestigious Consolidator Grants of the European Research Council (ERC). Over the next five years, the ERC will provide the scientist with two million Euros for his research on blood vessels. Potente has been successful for the second time with a project application to the ERC: In 2012 he was already awarded a Starting Grant.

 

The ERC’s call for proposals is highly competitive: only about one in ten of the submitted applications was approved. According to the ERC, the Consolidator Grant Program aims at “excellent scientists whose own independent working group is in the consolidation phase.”

 

Potente is primarily interested in a cell layer, which lines the interior of blood vessels. Previously, he has been able to show that these so-called endothelial cells have a unique metabolism that is critical for the growth and function of blood vessels. However, the endothelium differs from organ to organ: “In the brain, for example, endothelial cells are tightly connected and form the so-called blood-brain barrier, through which only certain molecules can pass. In contrast, the endothelium in the liver is very permeable and thus ensures the detoxification function of the liver”, says Potente.

 

However, it remains unclear how this organ-specific differentiation of endothelial cells is established. With the ERC funds, Potente aims to address this question and investigate the influence of the tissue milieu on the specialization of endothelial cells. His goal is to examine the relationship between metabolism, epigenetics (non-inherited change of genes) and cellular differentiation. “We suspect that organ-specific differences in endothelial metabolic state promote specialization through altered epigenetics and thus contribute to diversity within the vascular system,” explains Potente.

 

A particular focus of Potente’s research project will be on potential changes in vascular endothelial function associated with obesity and aging. “We want to explore which metabolic products alter epigenetic programs in a way that the endothelium no longer functions properly and, in the worst case, the organ fails,” says Potente. Their research could thus contribute to a better understanding of vascular diseases caused by changes in metabolism.

 

Official press release by the ERC & highlighted projects.

 

ERC funding for the Angiogenesis & Metabolism Laboratory

ANGIOGENESIS & METABOLISM LABORATORY
ANGIOGENESIS & METABOLISM LABORATORY
ANGIOGENESIS & METABOLISM LABORATORY
ANGIOGENESIS & METABOLISM LABORATORY