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General Information

Collaborative Research Center 1557: Functional plasticity encoded by cellular membrane networks

Research aims

Correlative light and electron microscopy of an infected Dictyostelium cell. The mycobacteria (cyan) are initially in a vacuole (violet) of the host cell, which they damage to escape to the cytosol. To restore the vacuole, the host cell recruits a lipid transporter (OSBP, magenta) at the endoplasmic reticulum (brown) for membrane repair. © Aby Anand, Caroline Barisch - Osnabrück University

Life depends on the ability to adapt to changing conditions. For this, organisms need to regulate protein function in time and space. Unraveling the underlying mechanisms that control the functional plasticity of biological processes is at the core of fundamental biological research. Here, the complex membrane networks of eukaryotic cells with their numerous different lipids and proteins present a particular challenge.

Our research initiative addresses how membranes and their lipid code control the plasticity of membrane protein functions - and how in turn membrane properties are maintained and adapted in response to the environment. In our projects, we will focus on mechanisms of this functional plasticity of membranes in various physiological and pathophysiological processes.

Expected Insights

Our projects will provide insights into the physiological adaptation of membrane properties and their dysregulation in diseases, which are caused by defects in lipid metabolism or membrane protein assembly, targeting, or function. Importantly, many pathogens manipulate cellular membrane networks and reprogram membrane-associated machineries to promote their replication. An integrated and mechanistic understanding of the plasticity encoded by cellular membranes will be key to future concepts of therapeutic interventions.

© Arne Möller - Osnabrück University

Governing Bodies

  • Speaker

    Prof. Dr. Christian Ungermann

  • Vice Speaker

    Juniorprof. Dr. Katia Cosentino

  • Additional Board Members
    • Prof. Dr. Kerstin Bartscherer

    • Prof. Dr. Joost Holthuis

    • Prof. Dr. Arne Möller

  • SFB 1557 Office
    • Elisabeth Olaru-Warrink

    • Lydia Reckers

  • Speaker of the IRTG

    Prof. Dr. Achim Paululat

  • Additional Board Members IRTG
    • Prof. Dr. Marco Beeken

    • Dr. Ayelén González Montoro

    • Prof. Dr. Daniel Kümmel

  • IRTG Office

    Nadja Füllbrunn