Disorders of the metabolism emerge as major risk factors for neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms that link control of metabolism with brain function and dysfunction remain poorly understood. We identified a unique class of signaling receptors termed VPS10P domain receptors that have dual roles in regulation of neuronal viability and function in the brain (Alzheimer disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, bipolar disorder) and in control of glucose and lipoprotein homeostasis in metabolic tissues (type-2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypercholesterolemia).
To elucidate regulatory mechanisms in metabolism and brain function that converge on these VPS10P receptor pathways, I have set up a collaborative research program involving metabolism researchers of the Department of Molecular Cardiovascular Research of the MDC and neuroscientists of the MIND Center at Aarhus University (Denmark) as part of a novel Helmholtz International Research Group “Metabolism and Neurodegeneration”. I will act as coordinator of the program and principal investigator of this research group at the MDC and will closely interact with the postdoctoral fellow Dr. Mads Kjolby who acts as principal investigator at the MIND Center in Aarhus.
Together, we expect to gain important insights into the crosstalk between brain and peripheral tissues, and to elucidate disease pathways common to metabolic disturbances and dementia, the two most prevalent degenerative disorders inflicting our societies.
Publications relevant to this proposal