Cluster of Excellence –
University of Freiburg

Prof. Dr. Lutz Hein

Prof. Dr. Lutz Hein

Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology
and Toxicology II, University of Freiburg

+49 761 203 5314


Research activities of the group of Lutz Hein are focussed on signaling mechanisms in the cardiovascular system. Previous studies have determined the physiological and pharmacological significance of angiotensin and adrenoceptor subtypes (e.g. AT2- and a2A,B,C-receptors) and signaling molecules (e.g. phosducin) which are important for neuroendocrine control in chronic heart failure. More recently, the group has identified epigenetic mechanisms (e.g. miR-143/145, MeCP2) of cardiovascular regulation. In order to better understand cell type-specific signaling mechanisms, we have developed methods to purify cardiomyocyte nuclei from intact cardiac tissue by fluorescence-assisted sorting and to generate whole genome DNA methylation and chromatin modification maps by methylC-seq and ChIP-seq. We will apply these methods to generate epigenomes of essential cardiac cell types during development, postnatal maturation and disease and integrate these maps with signaling mechanisms which are relevant during disease development.



10 selected publications:

  • Mineralocorticoids in the heart and vasculature: New insights for old hormones.
    Lother A, Moser M, Bode C, Feldman RD, Hein L (2015).
    Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 55:289-312.
  • Dynamic DNA methylation orchestrates cardiomyocyte development, maturation and disease.
    Gilsbach R, Preissl S, Grüning BA, Schnick T, Burger L, Benes V, Würch A, Bönisch U, Günther S, Backofen R, Fleischmann BK, Schübeler D, Hein L (2014).
    Nat Commun. 5:5288.
  • Phosducin influences sympathetic activity and prevents stress-induced hypertension in humans and mice.  
    Beetz N, Harrison MD, Brede M, Zong X, Urbanski MJ, Sietmann A, Kaufling J, Lorkowski S, Barrot M, Seeliger MW, Vieira-Coelho MA, Hamet P, Gaudet D, Seda O, Tremblay J, Kotchen TA, Kaldunski M, Nusing R, Szabo B, Jacob HJ, Cowley AW, Jr., Biel M, Stoll M, Lohse MJ, Broeckel U, Hein L (2009).
    J. Clin. Invest. 119, 3597-3612
  • Acquisition of the contractile phenotype by murine arterial smooth muscle cells depends on the Mir143/145 gene cluster.
    Böttger T, Beetz N, Kostin S, Schneider J, Krüger M, Hein L, Braun T (2009).
    J Clin Invest 119, 2634-2647
  • The SARS-coronavirus receptor ACE2 protects from severe acute lung failure.
    Imai Y, Kuba K, Rao S, Huan Y, Guo F, Guan B, Yang P, Sarao R, Wada T, Leong-Poi H, Fukamizu A, Crackower MA, Hui CC, Hein L, Uhlig S, Slutsky SA, Jiang C, Penninger JM (2005).
    Nature 436, 112-116
  • Placental a2-adrenoceptors control vascular development at the interface between mother and embryo.  
    Philipp M, Brede M, Hadamek K, Gessler M, Lohse MJ, Hein L (2002).
    Nature Genetics 31, 311-315
  • Two functionally distinct a2-adrenergic receptors regulate sympathetic neurotransmission.
    Hein L, Altman JD, Kobilka BK (1999).
    Nature 402, 181-184
  • Central hypotensive effects of the a2A-adrenergic receptor subtype.
    MacMillan LB, Hein L, Smith MS, Piascik MT, Limbird LE (1996).
    Science 273, 801-803
  • Cardiovascular regulation in mice lacking a2-adrenergic receptor subtypes b and c. 
    Link RE, Desai K, Hein L, Stevens ME, Chruscinski A, Bernstein D, Barsh GS, Kobilka BK (1996).
    Science 273, 803-805
  • Behavioural and cardiovascular effect of disrupting the angiotensin II type-2 receptor gene in mice. 
    Hein L, Barsh GS, Pratt RE,  Dzau VJ, Kobilka BK (1995).
    Nature 377,  744-747