How does a cell work, mechanically? How do the individual components, molecules and proteins work to fulfill their cellular function?
Our long term goal is by applying and developing state-of-the-art single molecule techniques to learn more about the mechanical aspects of protein-protein interactions. How are these interactions mediated and realized on a single molecule level and what influences have intermolecular forces? Using optical tweezers, we want to approach and answer fundamental biological questions such as how chromosomes are pulled apart during cell division, how ion-channels are gated, and how DNA is deformed during homologous recombination. Our focus on answering specific biological questions inspires instrument development, which, in turn, we hope broadens the applicability of this technology in biology.
Optical tweezers development
Mechanics of kinesin-related motor proteins Depolymerizing kinesins shorten microtubules. At present, we work on measuring depolymerisation forces and how the microtubule ends are targeted.
Gating of mechanotransduction
ZMBP, Cellular Nanoscience
Auf der Morgenstelle 32
Prof. Dr. Erik Schäffer