Area C: Synthetic Systems
Research Area C focuses on the reconstruction of isolated biological parts and modules.
The ultimate goal is to gain sufficient insights into certain biological parts and processes that it becomes possible to study their (self-)organization in vitro.
|C1||Schwille||Controlling protein pattern formation with light|
|C2||Frey||Design principles and control of synthetic cell polarity systems|
|C3||Cordes||Sensitive fluorescence monitoring of ATP turnover and small molecule transport|
The specific expertise of our group is the botton-up reconstitution of the bacterial cell division machinery in vitro. The specific aim of this research project is the engineering of photoswitchable Min protein variants that allow control, and potentially, entrainment, of their self-organization in vitro. The proposed projects involve the design, construction, and detailed quantitative biophysical and biochemical characterization of the engineered proteins, with respect to their self-organization and pattern formation.
Protein patterns play a major role in establishing cell polarity, and guiding cell division processes. We will develop mathematical models and theoretical frameworks to understand the molecular principles of synthetic cellular pattern forming systems. This will allow to design synthetic minimal protein systems able to robustly create specific spatio-temporal patterns.
In vitro characterization of membrane transporter activity relies indirect approaches, e.g., detection of small molecules via coupled enzyme systems, bulk biochemical or cell-based procedures. In this project, we develop novel fluorecent assays that allow to monitor ATP hydrolysis and substrate transport using fluorescence methods.