Research interests

My group analyzes three key machineries that are part of the gene expression network and are functionally and physically linked: (i) the nuclear pre-ribosome assembly machinery that generates the translating 60S and 40S subunits, (ii) the nuclear pre-mRNP assembly machinery, which produces the translatable messenger RNAs, (iii) the nuclear pore complex, a huge transport machine in the nuclear membrane that mediates, amongst others, nuclear export of pre-ribosomal subunits and pre-mRNPs. We have identified and functionally characterized key factors and modules of these machineries by the use of genetic, biochemical and cell biological methods, and established that these three machineries are functionally connected and under co-regulation. The complexity of the experimental system is demonstrated by the facts that (i) the pre-ribosome assembly/maturation/export machinery consists of more than 200 non-ribosomal factors that transiently associate with the evolving pre-ribosomal particles, (ii) the pre-mRNP assembly machinery shows physical coupling to both the transcription and splicing apparatus and to the nuclear export machinery, (iii) the nuclear pore complex is constructed of ~30 nucleoporins that assemble into a 50 MDa macromolecular assembly. Using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as model system we want to gain insight into the above mentioned cellular networks with regard to assembly, dynamic re-organization, movement, interconnection and regulation by other cellular networks.
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Methods applied

Yeast genetics, affinity-purification, single particle electron microscopy, gene expression, chromatin immunoprecipitation, real-time PCR, RNA methodology, de-ubiquination assays, heterologous protein expression and purification from E. col