Former Research Group of FMP: Protein Engineering (Christian Freund)

Please note that Christian Freund was appointed Professor at the Freie Universität Berlin in 2011. He still has coworkers at the FMP. 

Research Interest

Our group is interested in the understanding and manipulation of molecular interactions that govern the assembly of protein complexes. The focus is on scaffolding proteins that mediate non-covalent interactions in immune cells and other eukaryotic cells. NMR spectroscopy is used to solve the three-dimensional structure and to rationalize individual protein:ligand pairs. Complementary, phage display, peptide SPOT analysis and spectroscopic methods give valuable information on recognition codes and potential in vivo interactions. Spatial information is also used for the rational and semi-rational design of alternative scaffolds with novel binding properties. Adaptor domains also serve as baits in pulldown experiments. In combination with SILAC-MS and site-specific inhibition of protein interaction sites we are able to assess the relative importance of individual domains to the modular assembly of protein complexes. Furthermore, by extending our investigations to post-translationally modified adaptor domains, we aim to further de-convolute the complexity and dynamic regulation of certain signal transduction pathways in the cell. In this way our research has been led towards the functional investigation of adaptors in T cell adhesion and mRNA surveillance. In yet another project we are investigating the structural and dynamic modulation of MHC-peptide interactions by small molecules. 

Figure 1: Examples of adaptor domain structures and their respective functional settings that are studied in the lab. Major scientific questions relate to the possible role of proline-rich sequence recognition in spliceosomal assembly and to the regulatory role of phosphorylation and oxidation to inside-out-signaling during T cell receptor mediated cell-cell-adhesion.



Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FMP)
Campus Berlin-Buch
Robert-Roessle-Str. 10
13125 Berlin, Germany
+4930 94793 - 100 
+4930 94793 - 109 (Fax)

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