Prior achievements

Major contributions have been made by researchers from the Munich area in the field of protein engineering, for example by the foundation of antibody engineering by Skerra and, more generally, to the in vitro evolution of novel proteins with prescribed ligand-binding activities. Also, fundamental developments were made in protein expression/purification technology, in protein-protein interaction analysis, also within biological membranes (Langosch) and especially in proteomics, by Görg. These activities will be strengthened by the newly established W3 professorship for protein Bioanalytics. Major achievements have been made by Bacher in the discovery and exploitation of microbial genes as targets for antiinfective drug design, especially with work on enzymes of the biosynthetic pathways of isoprenoids, riboflavin, and tetrahydrofolate. These contributions will be continued by the appointment of an internationally renowned successor for the W3 professorship of Biochemistry. With respect to chemical biology/genetics, the Munich area is home to several new but already internationally visible junior research groups that have started to develop small molecules which allow intracellular analysis of protein function. The Sieber group recently created a library of small molecule probes directed against the large enzyme family of metalloproteases and demonstrated its capability of labelling a diverse range of nearly all members of this enzyme class in complex biological systems (Sieber and Cravatt). With this powerful tool in hand they selectively identified enzymes which are highly active in invasive cancer cell lines but not in their non-invasive counterparts. The Mayer group succeeded in identifying novel inhibitors of the mitotic kinesin Eg5 that are significantly more potent than monastrol. In the future, they expect to gain detailed insights into the function of dynein and kinesins mediating the equal distribution of chromosomes into the newly forming daughter cells during mitosis using these small molecules. The Meister group is a young group which made within the Tuschl group seminal contributions to the analysis of the RNAi response. The Carell group achieved the synthesis of a variety of DNA lesions, which after incorporation into DNA serve as tools to investigate DNA repair in vitro and in vivo. The Berg group has identified the first small molecule able to bind to the SH2 domain of the transcription factor STAT3. The compound inhibits STAT3 dimerization and inhibits STAT3 functions in three independent cellular systems. Furthermore, they have identified two compounds which inhibit c-Myc/Max dimerization and DNA binding with good specificity over other dimeric transcription factors. These compounds inhibit c-Myc functions in cells in the low micromolar concentration range.

Campus Movie 2020


Campus Movie 2012

TU München
Helmholtz München
MPI of Neurobiology
MPI of Biochemistry