A multitude of simultaneously occurring and highly coordinated chemical reactions are required to maintain the inner milieu of a living organism. Every day we are exposed to a variety of chemicals (endogenous compounds produced by our body or xenobiotics) that can disturb essential biological processes, and a tight hormonal regulation is needed to allow rapid adaptation following chemical insults. An impairment of the metabolic regulation or insufficient detoxification of reactive metabolites can result in cell and tissue damage, ultimately contributing to the development and progression of major diseases.
In order to produce saver chemicals and to develop improved therapeutic applications, it is crucial to identify toxic chemicals, uncover their mode of action and understand adaptive metabolic and hormonal responses.
Ongoing research projects in our group focus on the elucidation of:
- molecular mechanisms of interactions of chemicals with steroid hormone receptors and steroid metabolizing enzymes (major focus on corticosteroid homeostasis) and uncovering their consequences
- the impact of redox regulation in the endoplasmic reticulum on metabolism and hormonal responses (focus on luminal NADPH)
- the links between multiple cellular stressors, inflammation and hormonal regulation