Prof. Dr. Christine Ziegler
University of Regensburg
Faculty of Biology and Pre-Clinics
Institute of Biophysics and physical Biochemistry
Structural Biology-Biophysics II
Universitätsstrasse 31, 93053 Regensburg, Germany
» Ziegler Lab at the University of Regensburg
Research in the Ziegler group focuses on molecular mechanisms underlying regulated membrane transport processes. In particular we emphasis on secondary transporters, gated ion channels and on protein complexes involved in stress sensing. Using both X-ray and electron microscopy in combination with AFM and FTIR spectroscopy, we have in the past investigated the sodium-betaine transporter BetP, a member of the LeuT-fold superfamily and the structurally related SLC6A12 betaine/GABA transporter BGT1, respectively. Both transporters display a lipid-dependent sodium and potassium coupling, which we have identify as unifying principles of regulated osmolyte transport in bacteria and mammals.
Our experimental approach is based on cryo-electron microscopy - cryo-EM - (2D crystallography, single-particle analysis, and tomography/sub-tomogram averaging) and 3D crystallography in combination with biochemical and functional studies. Our group has expertise in bacterial and mammalian expression as well as in functional reconstitution of membrane proteins in detergent, amphipols, liposomes, nanodiscs and two-dimensional crystals. All structural projects are linked to functional characterization and cellular localization studies to draw a comprehensive mechanistic picture.
Main areas of research
- Molecular mechanism of sodium coupling in secondary transport
- Osmotic stress regulation of membrane transport
- Regulatory lipid interactions in transporters and channels
- Role of transport processes in virulence in human pathogens