DescriptionThis lecture looks at how a better understanding of the workings of the protein homoeostasis system will lead to an improved understanding of many diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cystic fibrosis or myopathies. This work may also provide potential targets for treatment of these diseases. Cells have to cope with stressful conditions and adapt to changing environments. Heat stress, heavy metal ions or UV stress induce damage to cellular proteins and disturb the balanced status of the proteome. The adjusted balance between folded and folding proteins, called protein homoeostasis, is required for every aspect of cellular functionality. Protective proteins called chaperones are expressed under extreme conditions in order to prevent aggregation of cellular proteins and safeguard protein quality. These chaperones co-operate during de novo folding, refolding and disaggregation of damaged proteins and in many cases refold them to their functional state. Even under physiological conditions these machines support protein homoeostasis and maintain the balance between de novo folding and degradation. Mutations generating unstable proteins, which are observed in numerous human diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cystic fibrosis or myopathies, also challenge the protein quality control system. A better knowledge of how the protein homoeostasis system is regulated will lead to an improved understanding of these diseases and the discovery of new targets for therapy.
Since 2007: Group leader and Privatdozent at the Technische Universität München. Research interests include the functional aspects of the protein folding and homeostasis system composed of molecular chaperones and other stress-protective systems. The analysis of the participating proteins and their interaction mechanisms using biophysical methods. Further we aim at establishing the influence of amyloids and other toxic protein aggregates on cellular homeostasis, in particular on the mitochondrial system and the polyphosphate/phosphate regulation in the model systems S. cerevisiae and C.elegans. 2012: Habilitation in “Biochemical Mechanisms of Stress-induced Reactions in Eukaryotes” 2004 – 2006: Post-Doctoral Fellow at Northwestern University Evanston working on the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to decipher the regulation of the heat-shock response. 1999 – 2003: Ph.D. thesis on the “ATP-Hydrolysis oft he molecular chaperone HSp90 and ist regulation by co-factors” performed at the Technische Universität München 1996 – 1997: DAAD-funded exchange student in the lab of David P. Cistola, Washington University St. Louis working on NMR-technologies to determine lipid binding to lipid binding proteins. www.richterlab.de
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