Ketone bodies: More than just energy carriers! (KETOplus)

Research project at a glance

So called ketone bodies acetoacetic acid and (R)-3-hydroxy-n-butyric acid (bOHB) are compounds which provide the brain with fatty acid-derived energy, mainly after fasting. In recent years it has become obvious that ketone bodies can have more biological functions than just being energy carriers. Our project is devoted to such roles of ketone bodies that may also be important for pathogenesis and treatment of diseases.

Funding type

Publicly funded research


01.07.2017 to 31.12.2025

Project manager at H-BRS

Project Description

The so-called ketone bodies acetoacetic acid and (R)-3-hydroxy-n-butyric acid (bOHB) are substances that supply the brain with energy from fatty acids, especially in a state of hunger. In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that, in addition to their role as energy carriers, ketone bodies can take on other biological functions that may also have significance for the development and treatment of diseases. This project is dedicated to such additional effects of ketone bodies. In addition to genetic disorders in ketogenesis and ketolysis that have been studied for some time, the monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1, encoded by the SLC16A1 gene) and the lack thereof have recently gained attention. MCT1 serves to transport ketone bodies to the brain, is a potential target in cancer therapy, and is also being researched as part of this project.

The project was funded from 01.07.2017 to 30.06.2020 by the "FH Time for Research" programme of the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.


Research associates