How cellular suicide programmes control phase transitions in fatty liver disease and liver cancer

ERC Consolidator Grant (# 771083)

Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Tom Lüdde

Project duration: 11/2018-10/2023

Overall budget: 1.998 Mio Euro

Hosted by: University Hospital Düsseldorf (since 08/2020)

In this project the molecular mechanisms that regulate the development of liver cancer based on fatty liver disease are being investigated. Fatty liver disease is the most common form of liver diseases in western countries. It can be caused, for example, by an unhealthy lifestyle and obesity, but also genetic factors and environmental influences may play a role. Some patients with fatty liver disease are at risk of developing liver cancer (HCC; hepatocellular carcinoma). In previous work, it was shown that liver cells can die in a "controlled" manner due to various stress factors, for example excessive fat storage within the cells. Such "suicide programmes" are present in all somatic cells and can cause different reactions in surrounding liver or immune cells. PhaseControl aims to investigate the key molecules causing cell death in liver cells, thereby releasing factors that can lead to inflammation and uncontrolled cell growth as the basis for cancer development. Based on the results obtained, the aim is to improve the recognition of patients with fatty liver disease who show an increased risk for liver cancer development. Furthermore, new therapeutic approaches will be developed, which ideally can be tested in a clinical study.

further information: PhaseControl: CORDIS Fact Sheet

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