Within CIPSM we plan to specifically invest in an already strong research environment in Munich in order to increase our competitive capacity in the field of protein-based chemical biology/genetics. To this end we will use peptide-based methods and other delivery methods (Langosch) that allow us to deliver small molecules, including RNAi oligonucleotides (Meister), more efficiently into specific cells. The goal is to manipulate and investigate intracellular protein functions. Peptides for tumor targeting with defined receptor-binding properties can be used as well. We will develop new small molecules as chemical tools to monitor, quantify, and manipulate protein function and protein complex assembly in cells (Berg and Sieber, junior groups, in collaboration with area C). Small molecule chemical entities will be developed to fish for new unknown proteins and protein complexes involved in key cellular functions such as DNA replication and repair (collaboration with Cramer and Hopfner, area C). State of the art proteomics techniques (Görg) will play an integral part in these efforts. In addition, lesion containing DNA strands will be prepared for DNA repair studies in vivo and in vitro (Carell in collaboration with Hopfner, area C and Cremer and Leonhardt, area D). Furthermore, we will engineer proteins with novel ligand-binding activities or other modes of action. This includes proteins with tailored pharmacokinetics and therapeutic potential, which will be of central interest with respect to a new generation of biopharmaceuticals (Skerra). Protein engineering methods in general will be used to elucidate structure-function relationships, e.g. of chromophore-binding proteins (Braun, research group), and to tailor their properties for practical applications (Skerra). The development of peptides with fusogenic activity and the engineering of proteins with defined dimerisation behaviour within biological membranes will help to elucidate the mechanisms of membrane fusion, which may also lead to entities with interesting practical applications as drug delivery systems (Langosch).

In Großhadern/Martinsried we plan to integrate the synthesis of chemical modulators and markers (chemical biology and chemical genetics of proteins) into a larger biological consortium. On the campus in the South West of Munich, we have the required skill base to develop new techniques and methods directly for proteins which are also of medicinal interest. In addition, we will have access to facilities that allow sophisticated studies in model organisms. Currently, the first compounds from the Carell group are handled by the Haass group in Zebrafish. In order to make Chemical Genetics as strong as possible in CiPSM, we have attracted young scientists from the LMU and the MPI for Biochemistry so that the chemical genetics section will have a broad platform. The young groups bring in new ideas and cutting edge techniques. One new W3 position will be created in the field.

At Weihenstephan, in the North of Munich, we will strengthen the branch of fundamental biological sciences by establishing new professorships (e.g. protein bioanalytics, peptide biochemistry) and provide not only a better link to the developing activities in life science engineering on this campus but also improve our synergies with the research areas of biochemistry, biophysical chemistry, biophysics, and biotechnology at the campus Garching as well as medical research at the Klinikum rechts der Isar (MRI). In such an environment, the biological chemistry at LMU Munich combined with protein engineering at TUM, focused in Weihenstephan, will rapidly become the leading research locations in the area of protein chemistry.

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TU München
Helmholtz München
MPI of Neurobiology
MPI of Biochemistry