Research Area A
CRC 1208: Identity and Dynamics of Membrane Systems
- from Molecules to Cellular Functions
All living cells are enveloped by membranes that respond to external and internal stimuli and represent constantly changing boundaries rather than static entities. Biological membranes maintain a state of non-equilibrium between the inside and outside of a cell or subcellular compartment and between the cells of multicellular organisms.
What determines the identity of membranes and how do they control their dynamic processes in space and time? What is the role of their constituents, especially membrane proteins and membrane protein complexes? These are the fundamental questions addressed in this SFB.
The finely balanced, dynamic network of interactions between membranes within a cell as well as between cells will be investigated using the closely interwoven aspects of "transport", "pathogenic processes" and "remodelling". This is illustrated by example processes, such as the secretion and endocytosis processes in eukaryotes, or the protein translocation process across two membranes using transporter nanomachines in Gram-negative bacteria, or the communication processes either between cells of a multicellular organism or between cells and pathogens. Our investigations comprise a two-pronged approach ,starting from the level of single membrane proteins and their complexes as well as from whole cellular membrane systems.
The research in our Collaborative Research Centre is structured to the topic areas
(A) Maintaining and changing membrane identity
(B) Trafficking within cells.
The Information Infrastructure Project deals with the research data management in interdisciplinary membrane research, whereby the Facilities support our networking groups, especially by refinement and development of new methods.