Reinke research group: chronobiology and environmental medicine

Liaison group between the IUF and the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics in the Medical Faculty of the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Head of research group:
Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Hans Reinke (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf) tl_files/bilder/mail.gif
Phone: +49 (0)211-8119011

Research profile

This group is studying the impact of circadian clocks on environmentally induced ageing processes. Circadian clocks enable cells and organisms to anticipate daily recurring environmental stress by adapting a plethora of physiological regulatory pathways to the time of day. Profound disturbances of circadian regulatory mechanisms prevent the timely execution of essential cellular protective functions such as stress responses and detoxification mechanisms, which under normal conditions counteract environmentally induced ageing symptoms.


Project 1: „Regulation of autophagy by the circadian clock in ageing mammals”
Aged cells display altered expression levels of specific core clock genes. We have evidence that these changes provide the mechanistic basis for reduced autophagy levels in aged mammalian skin cells. Currently we are working on the elucidation of the underlying regulatory mechanisms with the ultimate goal to understand the interplay of the clock and autophagy in ageing. This project is a collaboration project with the working groups Boege (HHU) and Ventura (HHU/IUF).

Project 2: „The role of the transcription factor Heat Shock Factor 1 (HSF1) in the circadian system of mammals“
We are in particular interested in environmental stressors and metabolic signals that are able to induce HSF1 activity in peripheral organs and the regulatory mechanisms involved. This project is supported by the DFG.

Project 3: „Molecular regulatory mechanisms involved in circadian phase shifting“
The phases of circadian clocks are continuously adapted to the geophysical time by so called Zeitgeber signals in order to counteract exogenous and endogenous stressors. We have reason to believe that not all components of the core circadian oscillator receive and process these signals. Rather we assume that single clock components work as primary receivers and change the phase of other clock components via downstream mechanisms. This project is supported by the German-Israeli-Foundation (GIF).


IUF internal:
Fritsche research group
Krutmann research group
Ventura liasison research group

Prof. Fritz Böge, University Hospital Düsseldorf (UKD)
Prof. Charlotte von Gall, University Hospital Düsseldorf (UKD)

Selected publication

Reinke H, Saini C, Fleury-Olela F, Dibner C, Benjamin IJ, Schibler U: Differential display of DNA-binding proteins reveals heat-shock factor 1 as a circadian transcription factor. Genes Dev 22(3): 331-345, 2008. [pubmed] (open access)