Major Research Interests
The group works on different aspects of membrane protein biogenesis and its integration into the physiology of organs such as the brain or the heart. We study the early life of tail-anchored proteins that are post-translationally targeted to the endoplasmic reticulum for membrane integration. Other projects address the role of sorting motifs during the passage of ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors through the secretory pathway. One channel under investigation (the KATP channel) couples cellular metabolism to insulin secretion in pancreatic beta cells. In the brain and the heart KATP channels play less defined roles that we currently address employing biochemical methods. We study biogenesis and trafficking under (patho)physiological conditions in genetically tractable model organisms such as yeast or mouse. Besides membrane protein biochemistry we use GFP-based physiological sensors for small molecules and ions in cellular compartments. This allows us to tackle how ion channels and transporters contribute to different physicochemical milieus inside cells.