Hakkola Jukka & Hukkanen Janne

Xenobiotic-sensing nuclear receptors in metabolic diseases

 

Research units: Biomedicine & Internal Medicine

 

Group leaders

Professor Jukka Hakkola (MD, PhD) and Professor Janne Hukkanen (MD, PhD)

 

What do we do

Diabetes and metabolic syndrome are among the most significant health problems of the future. Xenobiotic-sensing nuclear receptors are recently identified, novel regulators of metabolic functions and may mediate adverse metabolic effects of clinically used pharmaceuticals and environmental chemical contaminants.

Human body is in constant interaction with and under influence of chemical environment. Xenobiotic-sensing nuclear receptors are molecular sensors specialized in detection of the chemical and nutrition exposure and adjust cellular functions to cope with the changing environment. While these xenosensors were originally recognized to regulate detoxification functions against foreign compounds, more recent results by us and others have shown that they are essential regulators of hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism in liver and may play an important role in development of diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

With translational approach, our group utilizes wide range of methods from basic molecular biology to clinical studies and works in the Research units of Biomedicine (Pharmacology and Toxicology) and Internal medicine.

 

Our team

Post doc researchers

  • Kummu Outi, PhD

PhD students

  • Elkhwanly Mahmoud, MSc
  • Hassan Fatemeh, MSc
  • Karpale Mikko, MSc
  • Kujala Anna, Medical student (part time)
  • Abdelfattah Heba, B.Sc. (part time)

Other staff

  • Tauriainen Ritva, technician

 

Where are we headed

We aim to identify and characterize mechanisms controlling energy metabolism by the xenobiotic-sensing nuclear receptors and the key binding partners in order to understand the significance of this newly discovered disease mechanism, to identify novel targets for drug development in metabolic syndrome, to improve safety of the current drug therapy, and to provide essential information for the needs of environmental health protection. Together with collaborators, we also aim to investigate the consequences of nuclear receptor activation in epidemiologic studies.

 

Our main collaborators

Docent Jaana Rysä, University of Eastern Finland
Professor Petr Pavek, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
Docent Ari Tolonen and Dr. Sanna-Mari Aatsinki, Admescope Ltd
Professor Markku Savolainen, University of Oulu
Docent Anna-Liisa Levonen, University of Eastern Finland
Professor Matti Lang, University Queensland, Australia
Professor Sirkka Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi, University of Oulu
Professor Mika Ala-Korpela, University of Oulu, University of Bristol
MD, PhD Käräjämäki Aki, Vaasa Central Hospital, Vaasa, Finland

 

How to find us

jukka.hakkola[at]oulu.fi
janne.hukkanen[at]oulu.fi

 

Last updated: 9.7.2019