Erbay Lab:

Research Title: Chronic Inflammatory and Metabolic Diseases

Research Summary: Lipotoxic endoplasmic reticulum stress in cardiometabolic syndrome: My laboratory's research focus is at the intersection of nutrient-sensitive, inflammatory and stress pathways in the context of chronic inflammatory and metabolic diseases. Metabolic overload leads to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and activates the unfolded protein response (UPR). The UPR is essentially an adaptive signaling emanating from the ER to cope with cellular stress. Our major goal is to probe the molecular differences between the detrimental consequences of metabolic ER stress and the adaptive UPR that could be therapeutically exploited in chronic metabolic and inflammatory diseases. We are mainly interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which the ER receives and regulates the lipid status of the cells in the context of metabolic diseases. We developed a chemical-genetic approach to specifically modulate several proximal kinases in the UPR. This method allows mono-specific activation or inhibition of only the modified kinase in cells and tissues and will enable targeting of individual arms of the UPR governed by these kinases. Furthermore, this will be coupled to substrate discovery (protein and noncoding RNA) and creation of transgenic mouse models where the activity of these essential kinases can be regulated at specific points during chronic metabolic and inflammatory disease process. This work involves a multidisciplinary approach including chemical-genetics, cell biology, proteomics, RNA sequencing, metabolomics, transgenic mice, and in vivo disease modeling. 

Supported by: European Commission, European Molecular Biology Organization, TUBITAK (Turkey) and BMBF (Germany)

Project 1: MetaRNAflammation
Supported by European Commission -- ERC Starting Grant
Project 2: The Impact of Bioactive Lipokines on Atherosclerosis
Supported by European Commission
Collaborators: Gökhan S. Hotamisligil (Harvard School of Public Health)
Mac Rae Linton and Vladamir Babaev (Vanderbilt University)
Project 3: Novel Molecular and Therapeutic Targets in Cardiometabolic Syndrome: Liptoxic Endoplasmic Stress
Supported by TUBITAK (Turkey) and BMBF (Germany)
Collaborator: Christian Weber (Ludwig Maximillians Universitat)
Project 4: Novel Mechanisms in Lipotoxic Endoplasmic Stress
Supported by European Molecular Biology Organization
Project 5: Delineation of lipotoxic endoplasmic stress pathway
Collaborator: Peter Walter (University of California San Francisco, HHMI)
Project 6: Consanguinity based dissection of obesity
Collaborators: Jeffrey Friedman (Rockerfeller University), Tayfun Özçelik (Bilkent University), Bülent Yıldız (Hacettepe University), Can Alkan (Bilkent University)
Project 7: Consanguinity based dissection of diabetes
Collaborators: Gökhan Hotamisligil (Harvard University), Murat Günel (Yale University), Tayfun Özçelik (Bilkent University), Bülent Yıldız (Hacettepe University), Can Alkan (Bilkent University)

Research Keywords: ER stress, Metabolism, Inflammation

Office : SB242
Phone : +90 312 290 2505
Fax : +90 312 266 5097
Lab Website :