Institute for Molecular Bio Science

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Research

There are currently eleven working groups at the Institute; they investigate a wide variety of molecular aspects of life. This research primarily focuses on microorganisms and plants. Membrane Biology is traditionally one of the strongest areas at the Institute. In this context, the focal point is the analysis of the structure and function of membrane-bound proteins, as well as their regulation and participation in intracellular signalling cascades. In the field of Biotechnology, work is being conducted on the development of microbial cell factories using both classical and recombinant methods to bring about overproduction of a range of enzymes and chemicals. Another new aspect of this field is the identification, characterisation and application of new metabolites from the secondary metabolism of entomopathogenic microbes. Metabolic pathways are selectively altered, e.g. to produce biofuels or to develop therapeutic methods of improving cellular defence.

In Microbial Physiology the emphasis is on metabolic physiology, specifically on its regulation and genetic basis in the Archaea, Bacteria and Eukaryota. The results of this study form the basis of analysis by membrane biologists and biotechnologists, leading to close networking both within the faculty and beyond. Research topics in Molecular Plant Physiology are the energy metabolism of photosynthetic organisms and its underlying organelle interactions. Physiological, structural, biochemical and genetic investigation all play an important part in this research.

Degenerative Processes and Molecular Stress focuses on the investigation of molecular aging mechanisms, especially the role of mitochondria in the aging process, as well as the analysis of cellular responses to heat and light stress. The groups working on Protective Functions of Carotenoids are investigating the molecular mechanism of carotenoid function in strong light conditions, as well as in protection from reactive oxygen species and membrane damage caused by external factors. In the field of Regulatory RNAs, the research focuses on structural and functional analysis of regulatory non-coding RNAs and their interactions with proteins, as well as their biological functions and cellular regulation.

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Teaching

The Institute is involved the Bachelor's Programmes in Biological Sciences, Biophysics and Bioinformatics as well as in Teacher Education in Biological Sciences and in the biological training of medical science students. In addition, it offers two master's programmes, Molecular Biological Sciences and Molecular Biotechnology, as well as participating in interdisciplinary master's programmes.

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Colloquium

The talks starts at 17:15 

Campus Rieberg, Biocenter, Section of the Building 260 Room 3.13

Di. 07.05.2019   Dr. Christin Naumann

Leibnitz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB)

Phosphate Limitation Activates ER Stress-dependent Autophagy in Root Tips

Di. 21.05.2019   Prof. Dr. Andreas Moeglich

Universitat Bayreuth

Controlling Nucleic-Acid-Based rocesses by Light

Di. 28.05.2019   Dr. Nicolai Müller

Universität Konstanz

Anaerobic degradation of C1 and C2 compounds via acetaldehyde in the syntrophic acetogen Thermacetogenium phaeum

Di. 04.06.2019   Prof. Dr. Dina Grohmann

Regensburg

Di. 02.07.2019   Dr. Janosch Hennig

EMBL Heidelberg

Integrative structural biology of protein-RNA complexes

Recent mRNA interactome capture studies identified a large number of novel RNA binding proteins and could show that around 10% of all proteins bind directly to RNA. Many of these proteins surprisingly do not harbour any known classical RNA binding domain. Thus, it is an important task to validate and understand their RNA binding properties in order to elucidate their biological role. Another general problem is to decipher the protein-RNA recognition code, meaning to understand what determines the protein's structure- and/or sequence specificity towards RNA.

One way towards understanding the protein-RNA recognition code for certain RNA binding proteins is the combination of different structural biology methods, often termed integrative structural biology. Here, different restraints and input structures derived by classical methods, like NMR, X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM can be used to obtain a hybrid model of the protein-RNA complex. If these structural data are also combined with biophysical, biochemical and even cell biological data, a detailed description of the studied system can be provided. 
How to go about such an endeavour will be illustrated with two current examples we work on. i) The identification of TRIM25 as a non-classical RNA binding protein, and ii) RNA structure specificity of Unr, a classical single-stranded RNA binding protein.

Contact

Institute for Moelcular Bio Science

Campus Riedberg
Biocentre

Building N210-207
Post office box 6
Max-von-Laue-Str. 9
D-60438 Frankfurt

T +49 69 798-29603
F +49 69 798-29600
info-mbw@bio.uni-frankfurt.de

Managing Director: Prof. Dr. Claudia Büchel

Assis. Managing Director: Prof. Dr. Jens Wöhnert

Further information: eMail
Dr. Markus Fauth
Tel: 069 798 29603
Dr. Matthias Rose
Tel: 069 798 29529

Secretary: Brunhilde Schönberger

Campus Riedberg
Biozentrum N250 0.05
Max-von-Laue-Straße 9
60438 Frankfurt
Tel: 069 798 29558