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Schupp's lab

My laboratory investigates how certain factors that have been implicated in retinoid metabolism participate in metabolic regulations of liver and adipose tissue. We also study the interplay of transcription factors with their cofactors that commits cells of mesenchymal origin to become adipocytes.

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Enzyme RetSat

The all-trans-retinol 13,14-reductase (RetSat) is expressed at high levels in metabolically active tissues like liver and fat. Liver expression of RetSat is strongly regulated by fasting and feeding, suggesting that it is involved in hepatic glucose and fatty acid metabolism. Furthermore, RetSat expression is induced during adipocyte differentiation. Strategies that modify the activity of this enzyme could be used for the treatment of metabolic diseases.

We also study the mechanisms by which certain transcription factors determine the fate of mesenchymal stem cells. These cells can give rise to a variety of lineages such as adipocytes, osteoblasts, chondrocytes or myogenic precursors. We are particularly interested in the interaction of these transcriptional regulators with cofactors, which mediate their activity in the modification of histones. We are trying to understand how these transcriptional networks commit cells to a defined lineage by the induction of the determining factors PPARg, Runx2, MyoD, Sox proteins, and others. Reprogramming of these pathways may allow us to control disease related maladaptation in mesenchymal differentiation programs.