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New CRC1123 Subproject funded

IPEK Postdoctoral researcher Dr. Lucia Natarelli, has successfully obtained funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) for her project within the CRC1123.

The research project, titled "Role of Micronuclei-contained DNA and the Cytosolic DNA Sensor cGAS in Atherosclerosis," has been approved within the third funding period, starting today and continuing until June 30, 2026.

The study aims to investigate the relationship between epigenetic variations in endothelial cells and the development of atherosclerosis. Specifically, the project will focus on examining micronuclei, which are chromatin bodies containing DNA damage and mutations. The researchers will determine the cell cycle phase at which micronuclei are generated in human aortic endothelial cells and mouse aortas. Additionally, they will analyze the genetic content of micronuclei through whole-genome and RNA sequencing to understand their role in promoting atherosclerosis.

Another aspect of the research involves studying the cytosolic DNA sensor cGAS and its potential impact on countering micronuclei and atherosclerosis. Gain- and loss-of-function studies will be conducted in human aortic endothelial cells, along with experiments using ApoE-cGAS-double knockout mice.