Ellagitannin-lipid interactions – Molecular aspects, mechanisms and antimicrobial effects

LipidET is funded by the Academy Of Finland (2017-2021, decision 310549) and lead by PhD, Docent Maarit Karonen.

Plant ellagitannins can affect ruminant nutrition and health for example by the better absorption of feed proteins and anthelmintic effects against intestinal nematodes. The role of ellagitannins is beneficial but the activities can be highly specific depending on their different structural features and physico-chemical properties. Tannins bind proteins and macromolecules and one explanation for their observed bioactivities could be their interaction with lipids and membranes which is so far unknown. The project studies these interactions with state-of-the-art techniques and answers the following main questions: What is the role and significance of different properties of ellagitannins? How the structure and size of the lipid are changed in their presence? What are the modes of the action? Can ellagitannins control pathogenic bacteria in animal production?

The research project is multidisciplinary and will be carried out in collaboration with three international research groups of Prof. Rebecca J. Green, Prof. Irene Mueller-Harvey and Prof. Martin Woodward. The project has one post-doctoral researcher Dr. Elina Puljula supported by the project researcher MSc Anne Koivuniemi and several undergraduates.