Membrane Protein Structural Biology and beyond ...

Membrane proteins are essential for signal transduction and the transfer of solutes across the biological membrane barrier and thus are the most important class of drug targets.

The main focus of the Hagn Lab is the structure, dynamics, small molecule and partner protein interactions of membrane proteins to obtain novel insights on their functionality and to facilitate rational drug design approaches.

To achieve this goal, we utilize a fruitful combination of structural (nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM), biophysical (fluorescence, calorimetry, light and small-angle X-ray scattering, circular dichrosim (CD) spectroscopy, (HDX) mass spectrometry) and biochemical methods (lipid self assembly, protein ligation, segmental isotope labeling, transport assays, chemical crosslinking, protein chemistry). In order to be able to study membrane proteins in a native lipid environment we are one of the leading labs in the development of phospholipid nanodiscs, a novel and advanced native-like membrane mimetic for biochemical, biophysical and structural studies.

Currently investigated membrane proteins are mitochondrial membrane proteins (Bcl2 proteins, VDAC1, MPV17), G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and their associated G-proteins and metabolite transporters in plants. These membrane proteins are linked to metabolic diseases, neurological disorders, cancer, or the supply of energy to enable plant growth and biomass production.

The group is associated with the TUM School of Natural Sciences, Department Bioscience and the Bavarian NMR Center (BNMRZ) and the Institute of Structural Biology at Helmholtz Munich.    

The group of Prof. Eisenreich is investigating metabolic pathways in human and plant cells by NMR and mass spectrometry.