Paul T Brinkkötter - C 5

Mitochondrial energetics and its contribution to podocyte function


Metabolic signaling pathways orchestrate the dynamic turnover between catabolic and anabolic processes. Thereby, they ensure the viability of the cell and assure proper function of the tissue in changing environments regarding the availability of nutrients. There is raising evidence emphasizing alterations in metabolic signaling pathways in a variety of diseases and ageing. Mitochondriae, the cellular powerhouses, are inseparably associated with cellular metabolism to achieve homeostasis of the biological energy equivalent ATP. Yet, glomerular podocytes, which are part of the kidney filtration barrier, have not been considered to be a prime target for metabolic signaling. Podocytes are highly energy demanding cells to maintain multiple cellular functions, e.g. the maintenance of a highly dynamic and complex actin cytoskeleton or signaling events at the glomerular diaphragm. Yet, it remains elusive, how podocytes cover their demand for energy and which metabolic pathways are involved. In this project, we are addressing the role of mitochondriae in podocytes metabolism. Using genetically engineered mice targeting key processes in mitochondrial physiology, will allow to answer following research questions: (1) Does the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation system (OXPHOS) contribute to podocyte homeostasis? (2) Do alterations in mitochondrial dynamics have an impact on podocyte function?

Clinical/medical relevance and sustainability in disease understanding

Glomerular podocytes are crucial for the function of the kidney filter and critically involved in the development of proteinuria. Despite the tremendous advances in our understanding of glomerular diseases our treatment options are still limited. Individualized strategies that tackle the specific intracellular pathways leading to glomerular disease are desperately warranted. Here, metabolic signaling events represent a promising candidate.

Prof. Dr. Paul T Brinkkötter

Dept. II of Internal Medicine

Prof. Dr. Paul T Brinkkötter

Principal Investigator C 5 / CAP 1

Work +49 221 478 89593

Dept. II of Internal Medicine Nephrology, Rheumatology, Diabetology and general Internal Medicine
Kerpener Str. 62
50937 Cologne

Publications - Paul T Brinkkötter

Link to PubMed