HDACs as regulators of T cell-mediated immunity in health and disease

SFB-F70: A special research program funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

Welcome to the " HIT " SFB: HDACs – Immunomodulation – T cells !

The special research program (SFB) “HDACs as regulators of T cell-mediated immunity in health and disease” is a research network funded by the Austrian Science Fund. The SFB has been establish in 2019 and is currently in its 2nd funding period (2023-2027). It is formed by an interdisciplinary consortium of nine research groups, of which eight are located in Vienna and one in Salzburg.

HDACs are key epigenetic and genetic regulators during development and cell differentiation. HDACs control the acetylation status of histones and non-histone proteins, thus modulating chromatin function and the activity of non-histone protein targets, respectively. Pan-HDAC inhibitors (HDACi) are clinically used for the treatment of certain cancers. Preclinical data indicate that HDAC modulation is beneficial for the therapy of T cell-mediated diseases, although the use of existing pan-HDACi for these indications is limited by their side effects. We hypothesize that the usage of subclass-specific and/or isoform-selective HDACi will avert limiting side effects and thereby broaden the clinical application spectrum of HDACi far beyond cancer. The overall aim of this 8-year SFB research program and consortium is to obtain an in-depth mechanistic understanding of HDAC function in T cells and to test essential regulatory roles of reversible lysine acetylation beyond histone modifications and epigenetic gene regulation in Th cells. With this we will be able to provide a mechanistic molecular rationale for the application of isoform-selective HDACi for the treatment of T cell-mediated diseases as well as to identify and characterize HDAC target genes and target proteins as novel drug targets.

SFB project parts

• P01 – Wilfried ELLMEIER: SFB administration and platform coordination
• P02 – Christoph BOCK: Systems-level analysis of HDAC-dependent Th cell plasticity
• P03 – Michael BONELLI: HDACs as targets in systemic autoimmune disease patient
• P04 – Nicole BOUCHERON: HDACs and Th cell modulation in allergic airway inflammation
• P05 – Wilfried ELLMEIER: HDAC function in T cells beyond histone modifications
• P06 – Iris GRATZ: HDAC function in peripheral regulatory T cell biology
• P07 – Markus HARTL: HDAC-dependent interactomes and acetylomes in T cells
• P08 – Karl KUCHLER: HDACs and T cell-mediated antifungal immunity
• P09 – Christian SEISER: Regulation of HDAC complex function in T cells
• P10 – Clarissa CAMPBELL: T cell regulation by SCFA and HDACs during intestinal infection

• P11 – Thomas KRAUSGRUBER: Deciphering HDAC-dependent cellular communication

Associated Research group
• Shinya SAKAGUCHI: HDAC function during viral infection

The SFB is supported and hosted by:

Medical University of Vienna
CeMM – Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
University of Vienna
University of Salzburg
Max Perutz Labs ViennaVienna BioCenter
Austrian Science Fund

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