Priv-Doz. Dr. med. Sandra Habbig
Children´s and Adolescents´ Hospital
University Hospital Cologne, Kerpener Str. 62
50937 Cologne, Germany
+49 221 478-4319
Prof. Dr. med. Bernhard Schermer
Department II of Internal Medicine
University Hospital Cologne CECAD Research Center
Joseph-Stelzmann-Str. 26
50931 Cologne, Germany
+49 221 478-89030

Address of the institution:

University Hospital of Cologne
Nephrolab Cologne &
Department of Systems Biology
Joseph-Stelzmann-Str. 26
50931 Cologne, Germany

Research project 7

The Hippo downstream effectors YAP and TAZ and podocyte’s stress signaling in the context of FSGS

Sandra Habbig and Bernhard Schermer

The Hippo signaling pathway has been identified as a central regulator of cell and organ size and tissue homeostasis modulating both proliferation and apoptosis. A number of previous studies revealed the pivotal role of hippo signaling and the tight control of its downstream effectors YAP and TAZ in maintaining podocyte integrity and preventing podocyte death. YAP and TAZ are transcriptional regulators that are controlled through a cascade of kinase activities that control YAP/TAZ nuclear localization and activation. Very recently, we could demonstrate that mechanosensory stimuli control YAP/TAZ activity in podocytes. Moreover, we found that both, knockout and transgenic expression of YAP in podocytes results in podocyte damage and proteinuria. In this project we aim to unravel the mechanisms how YAP/TAZ alterations contribute to podocyte integrity and how deregulation causes damage to podocytes. It is expected that this project, embedded in this consortium, will not only elucidate the molecular function of YAP/TAZ in FSGS but may suggest novel treatment options using modulation of YAP/TAZ associated signaling modules as a novel therapeutic principle in FSGS therapy.