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Image: Andreas Kohler

Verena Kohler lab

Research group Implications of ageing and disease on cellular protein quality control

Cellular proteostasis is the intricate, finely tuned balance of protein synthesis, maintenance, and degradation, essential for sustaining cellular health and linked to longevity. It continually faces challenges from unfolded proteins produced during biosynthesis, misfolding due to genetic errors, and damage caused by proteotoxic stressors. Chaperones and other protein quality control (PQC) factors are in place to facilitate proper protein folding and prevent the accumulation of abnormal misfolded proteins. While PQC systems typically maintain proteome integrity under normal conditions, aging reduces this capacity, contributing to various human diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. Accumulating intracellular damage is a hallmark of aging, as the proteostasis network becomes burdened with increasing loads of misfolded and oxidatively damaged proteins. The decline in maintaining a functional proteome is a key driver of age-related cellular dysfunction and degenerative diseases.

With our research, we will enter novel grounds by studying the interplay of localized PQC systems and their change over different life stages and conditions, thus adding age and age-related disorders as additional complexity factor. Our research is based at the intersection point between data- and hypothesis-driven research, implementing powerful bioinformatic analyses to understand new aspects of PQC as one of the most fundamental processes of cellular life. We will combine the simplicity of yeast with the multifacetedness of human cell culture. Yeast's unique attributes, such as its remarkable adaptability, exceptionally short lifespan, and high interspecies conservation, render it an excellent model for investigating aging and proteostasis. Furthermore, the availability of multiple whole-genome libraries, which enable the straightforward identification of individual mutants through unique barcodes, enhances its suitability for high-throughput experiments. Our ultimate aim is to translate knowledge acquired from yeast research into a deeper understanding of the aging processes in human cells. Yeast acts as a valuable roadmap, helping us identify the critical pathways to explore, which we can then investigate within the intricate landscape of human cell culture.

More information about my lab: www.vkohler-lab.com


Nature Communications, Springer Nature 2024, Vol. 15, (1)
Kohler, Verena; Kohler, Andreas; Berglund, Lisa Larsson; et al.
Molecular Cell, Cell Press 2023, Vol. 83, (19) : 3470-3484
Kohler, Andreas; Carlström, Andreas; Nolte, Hendrik; et al.
Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, Frontiers Media S.A. 2023, Vol. 16
Kohler, Verena; Braun, Ralf J.; Kohler, Andreas
Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, Frontiers Media S.A. 2023, Vol. 10
Kohler, Verena; Arunagiri, Anoop; Ventura, Salvador; et al.
Acta Physiologica, John Wiley & Sons 2023, Vol. 238, (3)
Vazquez‐Calvo, Carmela; Kohler, Verena; Höög, Johanna L.; et al.
Nucleus, Taylor & Francis Group 2023, Vol. 14, (1)
Keuenhof, Katharina S.; Kohler, Verena; Broeskamp, Filomena; et al.
Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, Frontiers Media S.A. 2023, Vol. 10
Kohler, Verena; Andréasson, Claes
Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, Vol. 9
Kroschwald, Sonja; Arunagiri, Anoop; Ventura, Salvador; et al.
Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group 2022, Vol. 13, (1)
Diessl, Jutta; Berndtsson, Jens; Broeskamp, Filomena; et al.
Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, Frontiers Media S.A. 2022, Vol. 10
Peselj, Carlotta; Ebrahimi, Mahsa; Broeskamp, Filomena; et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 2021, Vol. 118, (30)
Panagaki, Dimitra; Croft, Jacob T.; Keuenhof, Katharina; et al.
Contact, Sage Publications 2021, Vol. 4
Kohler, Verena; Büttner, Sabrina
Cell Reports, Cell Press 2021, Vol. 34, (3)
Tosal-Castano, Sergi; Peselj, Carlotta; Kohler, Verena; et al.
Toxins, MDPI 2020, Vol. 12, (2)
Kohler, Andreas; Kohler, Verena; Khalifa, Shaden; et al.
Cells, MDPI 2020, Vol. 9, (5) : 1184-1184
Kohler, Verena; Kohler, Andreas; Büttner, Sabrina
Biological chemistry (Print), Walter de Gruyter 2020, Vol. 401, (11) : 1233-1248
Kohler, Verena; Andréasson, Claes
EMBO Reports, John Wiley & Sons 2020, Vol. 21, (12)
Berndtsson, Jens; Kohler, Andreas; Rathore, Sorbhi; et al.
Genetics, neurology, behavior, and diet in parkinson's disease: The neuroscience of parkinson's, volume 2, Academic Press 2020 : 123-138
Kohler, Andreas; Kohler, Verena; Büttner, Sabrina
Antibiotic drug resistance, John Wiley & Sons 2019 : 141-165
Grohmann, Elisabeth; Kohler, Verena; Vaishampayan, Ankita
Antibacterial drug discovery to combat MDR: natural compounds, nanotechnology and novel synthetic sources, Springer Nature 2019 : 25-69
Kohler, Verena; Vaishampayan, Ankita; Grohmann, Elisabeth

Head of research

Verena Kohler
Other position, assistant professor


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Molecular Biology

Research area

Ageing research, Cancer, Molecular biology and genetics, Molecular medicine, Neurosciences

External funding

The Kempe Foundation, Konung Gustav V:s och Drottning Victorias Stiftelse

External funding

An audience of seated researchers listen intently to a research pitch while eating their lunches
IceLab opens the 2024 Lunch Pitches

IceLab opens its Lunch Pitch season with pitches related to aging from Verena Kohler and Mattias Forsell

Latest update: 2024-03-01