|Universität Bielefeld > Department of Chemistry > Research Groups > Prof. Dr. Gabriele Fischer von Mollard > PD Dr. Schwake|
One of the fundamental questions in cell biology is how proteins are transported to the correct destination within the cell. Even though our primary goal is to understand basic cell function there is a medical background. Transport defects within the cell constitute the molecular basis for some inherited human diseases, contribute to some diseases and are e.g. observed in some cancer cells. The cells use membrane vesicles as transport vehicles. They bud from the donor membrane and fuse with the target membrane. We are interested in the proteins which are required for recognition between transport vesicle and target membrane and for their subsequent fusion. The family of SNARE proteins has a central role in these processes.
We focus on SNAREs which are required in transport between the Golgi, endosome and lysosome/vacuole. Substances are taken up into cells via these endosomal pathways. They are important for the supply of the cell, for signal transduction, for immune defense and also for entry of pathogens. As these proteins are conserved in evolution we can study similar processes in yeast and mammals.
As model systems we work with baker's yeast, mouse cell lines and tissues and mouse knock out models. We use a variety of methods common in molecular biology and cell biology (e.g. PCR, plasmid construction, southern blotting, generation of mutant yeast, expression of recombinant proteins, generation of antibodies, western blotting, immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence, subcellular fractionation).
Introduction to SNARE proteins Projects concerning yeast SNAREs Projects concerning mammalian SNAREs