Ageing leads to an impairment of tissue homeostasis and functional decline of organs. To devise therapies aimed at improving the health state of the elderly, detailed knowledge of molecular mechanisms leading to the impairment of organ function with increasing age is essential. Posttranslational modifications (PTM) of proteins are suggested to contribute to functional decline during ageing. They occur due to enzymatically catalysed or non-enzymatic reactions, with both types often targeting the same amino acids. Under physiological conditions, enzymatic PTMs regulate protein activities, thereby controlling structure and function of cells. However, due to alterations of modifying enzymes or because of an altered cellular environment in aged organisms, enzymatic and non-enzymatic PTM patterns may change. Moreover, non-enzymatic modifications, such as glycation or oxidation, may compete with enzymatically catalysed processes, such as acetylation and glycosylation. As a consequence, dysregulation of cellular processes occurs.
The aim of the RTG 2155 is to investigate PTMs of cellular proteins as key player in age progression focusing on ageing-relevant signaling proteins and epigenetic and transcriptional regulations.