Dissecting the dynamic interplay between conserved metabolic and epigenetic signals to decipher their role in metabolic programming across generations

Supervisor: Dr. rer. nat. Merly Vogt

Enrolled since 2022

This PhD project investigates the interplay between metabolic changes and epigenetic signals as an effect of adverse nutrition. The model organism Caenorhabditis elegans will be screened for epigenetic, cellular and metabolomic changes to determine their contribution to metabolic programming across generations. Preliminary data has revealed an upregulation of the H3K27me3 demethylase JMJD-3.1 in adult hermaphrodites, which have experienced early life starvation. Studies in mice have shown similar upregulation, which indicates a role of JMJD-3.1 in metabolic adaption. This candidate gene approach will determine whether JMJD-3.1 is a factor in C. elegans metabolic response to adverse nutrition and whether it is significant for intergenerational inheritance of metabolic adaption. This project aims to uncover conserved metabolic and epigenetic signals that mediate intergenerational metabolic programming across species to get a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the metabolic responses to adverse nutrition and starvation.