Biopolymers, such as polypeptides, nucleic acids and polysaccharides, are essential for life. Under certain conditions, all of these polymers have to cross at least one biological membrane to arrive at the site of their biological function. How these polymers are secreted, some of which can be several microns long, is poorly understood, owing to the complexity of the macromolecular machines underlying their syntheses and transport.
We use a combination of structural and molecular biology techniques to reconstitute and biochemically characterize biopolymer translocation in vitro as well as to determine the structures and conformational cycles of the transporters involved in these processes.
Our goal is to unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying polypeptide and polysaccharide secretion and to engineer these processes for biotechnological and biomedical applications. Have a look at our current projects for further details.