Structural Enzymology (Schacherl lab)
The Schacherl group investigates the molecular mechanisms and three-dimensional structures of human enzymes using biophysical Methods.
The following fundamental questions are investigated:
- How do membrane-bound enzymes function in the human eye?
- How do human proteases recognize their substrates and how are they regulated?
- How can these enzymes be inhibited or stabilized in the context of human diseases?
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Research Group Structural Enzymology
The main focus of the Schacherl group is the investigation of structure-function relationships and the dynamics of human enzymes. The group uses various biochemical, biophysical and structural biology methods, such as three-dimensional cryo-electron microscopy and crystallography.
The main interest of the research group is directed at serine and metalloproteases, which take on different functions in the cell and play decisive roles in various human diseases. The workgroup is also interested in membrane-bound enzymes involved in visual signal transduction and that are located in the retina.
The group is at the moment establishing Nanobodies as research tools to investigate protein structures and as potential therapeutic tools in the future. Furthermore, the Schacherl group develops new methods in the field of crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy.
Various biochemical and biophysical methods are used within the research group. These include the following:
- Cryo-electron microscopy
- Crystallization of proteins and macromolecular crystallography
- Nanobody discovery using in vitro selection methods
- Heterologous protein expression in bacteria and insect cells
- Isolation of proteins from native tissues
- Site-directed mutagenesis
- Chemical crosslinking
- Fluorescence spectroscopy and fluorescence anisotropy
- Surface plasmon resonance (SPR)