NCMM Tuesday Seminar: Yvonne Böttcher & Cinzia Progida
NCMM Associate Investigators, Yvonne Böttcher (Professor Department of Clinical Molecular Biology, Akershus University Hospital and Institute of Clinical Medicine, UiO) & Cinzia Progida (Professor Section for Physiology and Cell Biology, Department of Biosciences, UiO), will present their research as part of NCMM's Tuesday Seminar series.
Yvonne Böttcher: 'Epigenetic modifications in obesity and fat distribution'
Obesity is a major healthcare challenge worldwide. Intra-abdominal fat storage in visceral areas among the inner organs strongly increases the risk of obesity-associated metabolic comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia and hypertension. In contrast, accumulation of fat in subcutaneous areas does not increase such risk and fat distribution over the body is highly individual. Although genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were successful in identifying novel genetic variants associating with obesity or fat distribution only a small part of the total variability can be explained so far. Non-genetic factors such as changes in DNA methylation correlate with obesity and may provide a link to its related diseases. We have shown that human omental visceral adipose tissue has distinct gene expression patterns and epigenetic profiles compared to subcutaneous adipose tissue, correlating with metabolic dysfunction. By using chromatin accessibility profiling in adipose tissue we are mapping differentially accessible regions from different fat depots aiming to better understand the adipose “regulome” and its role in metabolic diseases. Our research shall contribute to identifying depot-specific differences in adipose tissue that contribute to development of co-morbidities in obesity.
Cinzia Progida: 'Membrane-cytoskeleton crosstalk for the coordination of immunity'.
In the human body, dendritic cells (DCs) are part of the immune system's first line of defence and orchestrate an immune response. Antigen uptake by DCs triggers a complex maturation program, which involves several changes in the cell ability of antigen internalization, transport and presentation as well as of cell migration. For an effective immune response, DCs need to properly regulate in time and space all these processes. However, how these events are coordinated is not fully understood. Here, I will present the results obtained in our lab showing how the crosstalk between intracellular membrane traffic and the cytoskeleton is involved in the spatiotemporal regulation of the events characterizing the maturation of DCs.
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