Metabolic surveillance of vascular development and homeostasis
Endothelial cells coat the inside of blood vessels and are directly exposed to the blood. These cells are, however, much more than a protective lining as they are metabolically active and contribute to the development and preservation of a healthy vasculature and thus vital for organogenesis and organ maintenance in adulthood. Numerous factors can result in altered endothelial cell function and “endothelial adaptation” is determined to a large extent by metabolites that regulate cellular bioenergetics, serve as building blocks for DNA, RNA and proteins and that can impact on cell signalling via the post-translational modification of proteins. By making use of multi-omic approaches, stem cell methodologies, genetically altered mice and human material the IVS team investigates how metabolites regulate endothelial cell specification, homeostasis and disease phenotypes. Currently we study how metabolism regulates epitranslatomic and epigenetic mechanisms to control endothelial cell development, heterogeneity and disease states (i.e. atherosclerosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension and aging). The overall aim is to unravel novel metabolic based therapies for the preservation of endothelial cell function.