Cluster of Excellence –
University of Freiburg

BIOSS Research Area A: Intracellular Signalling Pathways

Cellular signalling is the key to any form of life. Research in BIOSS-1 raised the concept that cellular signalling is mediated through protein assemblies of different complexity that operate as integrated circuits. Comprehensive understanding of these assemblies and their finely orchestrated operation represents the key to physiology, pathophysiology and manipulation of cells and organs.

BIOSS-A1 focusses on signalling at and across the plasma membrane studying organization of protein complexes and networks. The rules of their assembly as well as the structural and mechanistic details of their operation are studied by an integrative approach of high-end proteomic, biochemical, structural and functional analyses of a variety of distinct classes of membrane proteins. Investigations of how extracellular signals are translated into changes in gene expression and how epigenetic modifications of chromatin modulate proliferation, cell fate decisions and differentiation are pursued in BIOSS-A2.

BIOSS-A3 focusses on key signalling mechanisms that regulate biogenesis and function of mitochondria as well as inter-organellar communication with endoplasmic reticulum and peroxisomes. Comprehensive analysis of composition and dynamics of the signalling complexes with respect to the metabolic state of the cell and a complete suborganellar map of post-translational modifications of an entire cell organelle will unravel the crosstalk of organelles and the rest of the cell. In line with the BIOSS focus on nanoscale membrane signalling and BiNEP, the molecular, structural and mechanistic characterizations of nanoscale protein complexes and circuits will be combined with synthetic approaches including inducible switches and the rebuilding of protein complexes in natural and synthetic membranes.

Funded projects within Area A



Prof. Bernd Fakler, Carola Hunte (Coordinators BIOSS A)

Dr. Asifa Akhtar, Prof. Klaus Aktories, Prof. Susana Andrade, Prof. Ralf Baumeister, Dr. Thomas Becker, Prof. Christoph Borner, Dr. Tilman Brummer, Dr. Jörn Dengjel, Dr. Frank Edlich, Prof. Oliver Einsle, Prof. Rudolf Grosschedl, Prof. Georg Häcker, Prof. Lutz Hein, Prof. Tobias Huber, Prof. Hassan Jumaa, PD Dr. Akos Kulik, Prof. Chris Meisinger, Dr. Gerhard Mittler, Dr. Peter Nielsen, Prof. Klaus Pfanner, Prof. Stefan Rensing, Prof. Ralf Reski, Prof. Michael Reth, Jun. Prof. Winfried Römer, Prof. Alexander Rohrbach, Prof. Sabine Rospert, Prof. Wolfgang Schamel, Prof. Roland Schüle, Dr. Uwe Schulte, Dr. Jochen Schwenk, Dr. Max Ulbrich, Prof. Gerd Walz, Prof. Bettina Warscheid, Prof. Wilfried Weber, PD Dr. Nils Wiedemann