Scope of the Gruber research group
The interaction of the skin with the environment is a major research topic of the Gruber research group. We investigate how the skin and its various cell types cope with intrinsic and extrinsic stressors and with aging. A special focus of our research is on the role that lipids and their oxidation play in skin biology. The research group hosts one module of the Christian Doppler Laboratroy for Biotechnology of Skin Aging, a collaborative research project on skin aging together with the Grillari Lab (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences of Vienna http://www.grillarilabs.at/johannes/cv.html) and Chanel (France).
We uncovered that ultraviolet (UV) light oxidizes phospholipids (Gruber JBC 2007 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17449870) , and characterized the oxidized phospholipidome of skin fibroblasts after UV exposure (Gruber JLR 2012 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22414483) . Characterization of individual lipids is of growing importance, as many of them have important biological activities as signaling molecules. We found that specific UVA oxidized phospholipids are agonists for the antioxidant response / NRF2 pathway (Gruber FASEBJ 2010 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19720622), and that defects in this pathway cause inflammation and enhanced redox stress (Gruber FRBM 2015 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25981373). Another response we found elicited in the skin by bioactive lipids is autophagy (Zhao JID 2013 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23340736). When autophagy is deleted, cutaneous melanocytes develop premature senescence (Zhang JID 2015 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25290687) and and secrete immunomodulatory substances including lipids (Ni & Narzt, IJBCB 2016 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27732890). Similarly, autophagy deficient epidermal keratinocytes display an aggravated senescent phenotype when stressed (Song Redox Biology 2017) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28012437). We uncovered the dynamics of lipid homeostasis restoration after UV stress in keratinocytes (Narzt, Redox Biology 2019) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30466060
Florian Gruber (Assoc. Prof. Mag. Dr.)
Yiwen Yang (Ph.D. Student)
Christopher Kremslehner (Ph.D. Student, MS)
Ionela-Mariana Nagelreiter (Lab Manager, MS (FH), collaboration with Center for Brain Research)
Maja Mitrovic (MS Student)
Christian Doppler Society, Herzfelder’sche Familienstiftung.