Our research programme is divided into three categories, which have been created by identification of (i) scientifically related themes, (ii) methodological convergences, and (iii) expected conceptual interaction. As the collaboration will extend to everyone involved, we believe that work in single projects will greatly benefit and that the mutual exchange will yield true synergies.

I. Control of abundance and activity of membrane proteins

Impaired or modified activity of membrane proteins causing developmental defects or pathological disorders can be addressed by drugs. Accordingly, the groups of Jutta Engel, Veit Flockerzi, Jens Rettig, and Manfred Schmitt will resolve mechanisms controlling abundance and subcellular distribution/activity of selected membrane proteins.

  • P1 BK channels in mammalian inner hair cells (Details)
  • P2 Dynamics of TRP protein assembly to plasma membrane cation channels (Details) 
  • P3 Molecular mechanism of the docking of lytic granules in cytotoxic T-cells (Details)
  • P4 Dissecting host cell intoxification by microbial and plant A/B toxins (Details) 

II. Biochemical properties and functional analysis of membrane proteins

For a comprehensive analysis of the function of membrane proteins with impact on developmental processes and disease, it is fundamental to understand their biochemical/functional properties, which represent the main topics of the IRTG research programme of Joachim Deitmer, Holger Becker, Torsten Möhlmann, Sandro Keller, and Jan Riemer. Although within this IRTG we focus on the impact of membrane proteins on development processes and in diseases, we cannot relinquish on thorough biochemical studies.

  • P5 The role of monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) for the uptake of ketone bodies into neurons and glial cells in the healthy and epileptic brain (Details)
  • P6 Identification of common mechanistic principles in plant and mammalian nucleoside transport proteins (Details)
  • P7 Rational reconstitution of membrane proteins (Details)
  • P8 Redox processes in Complex I assembly (Details)

III. Impact of membrane proteins on cellular processes

As a strength of our planned IRTG, we aim to evaluate the impact of selected membrane protein on cell- and even organ function. Most projects assembled in this category focus on the analysis of intracellularly located transport processes making them by nature closely related. However, without exception all projects require the intensive use of various “omic” technologies, a wide range of sophisticated cell biological analyses and state-of-the-art microscopy. Seven projects represent the building blocks for the third subgroup in the IRTG: Ekkehard Neuhaus, Johannes Herrmann, Barbara Niemeyer, Markus Hoth, Eckhard Friauf, and Richard Zimmermann.

  • P9 Sodium transport in plant cells (Details)
  • P10 Membrane transport in human natural killer cells (Details)
  • P11 Modulation of mitochondrial protein import during (patho)physiological conditions (Details)
  • P12 The physiological and pathophysiological role of Sec63 protein in human cells (Details)
  • P13 The role of glycine transporters (GlyT1 and GlyT2) in synaptic transmission: physiology and pathophysiology (Details)