Comparative Protein Biochemistry -
Enzymology & Molecular Parasitology
two topics enzymology and molecular parasitology are combined
in the current research projects outlined below.
The main focus of the lab is to compare
enzymes and protein machineries from different organisms
with an emphasis on unicellular parasites.
do we compare yeast and parasites? Apart
from satisfying our curiosity, we analyze
protein functions in order to figure
out what exactly distinguishes parasitic protists from yeast
or man at the molecular level. The more we know about parasites, the more
treatment options will be discovered (even though biochemical
research is just one part of such a process). Furthermore,
the comparison of similar proteins from phylogenetically
distant organisms (Fig. 1) is highly suited to
decipher protein structure-function relationships and the
molecular evolution of protein machineries.
In brief, we try to answer the questions "what do certain proteins
do" and "how do they work" for parasites, yeast and man.
1: We work with proteins from baker's yeast (blue) and the
parasites Plasmodium falciparum (red) and Leishmania tarentolae
(green). These organisms are members from three different
groups of eukaryotes. In contrast, many commonly used model
organisms such as yeast, worms, flies, mice, etc. are all
members of a single group (the opisthokonta). The figure
was modified from Deponte
mitochondrial protein import machinery of parasitic protists
GFP-tagging sheds light on protein translocation
and thiol-disulfide metabolism - new enzymes, new lessons
glyoxalase system of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum