Synthetic chemistry is often used in chemical biology to generate tools for investigating mechanisms in biology or biomedicine. For example, proteins can be chemically modified or the effects of biomolecules can be altered. Cytohesins are proteins that regulate cellular signaling pathways but their exact mode of action is largely unknown.
A better understanding could lead to insights into disease mechanism and to development of treatment. We study the cellular function of cytohesins by combining chemical methods and structural biology.
We are interested in how cytohesins interact with receptor tyrosin kinases (RTKs), e.g. during insulin receptor (IR) signaling, and in their mechanism of RTK activation.
Furthermore, we develop DNA nanomachines that can exert defined functions, and aptameric nanocarriers for intracellular delivery of diverse molecular cargo.