Protein degradation in development and aging
Differentiation, developmental processes and environmental changes challenge the integrity of the proteome in every eukaryotic cell. Proteostasis is maintained by re-folding or degradation of unfolded and damaged proteins and enables cellular function, organismal development and viability. The ability to sustain protein quality control (PQC) is a long-term challenge for individual cells and entire organisms since high levels of damaged proteins accumulate with stress and aging. Interestingly, recent studies have identified a role of ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis and autophagy in the regulation of aging, however, mechanistic aspects are completely unclear. The main interest of the group is based on age-related processes in multicellular organisms that are governed by protein turnover (using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model). Current research addresses proteostasis mechanisms focused on genome stability, protein aggregation diseases and lifespan regulation.
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