Seminar: André Nadler

A New Direction for Photo-chemical Approaches in Cell Biology

29 September 2016 13:00 hrs. - 14:00 hrs.
Figdor Lecture Theatre, 8th floor RIMLS Building, Geert Grooteplein 26-28, route 289
A New Direction for Photo-chemical Approaches in Cell Biology

André Nadler, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany


Geert van den Bogaart, Dept. of Tumor Immunology, RIMLS

29-09-2016 13:00:0029-09-2016 14:00:00Europe/AmsterdamA New Direction for Photo-chemical Approaches in Cell Biology Figdor Lecture Theatre, 8th floor RIMLS Building, Geert Grooteplein 26-28, route

Remarks / more information:

undefinedundefinedCell Biology on a molecular level is still predominantly a discipline dealing with proteins and nucleic acids. We know that small molecules are important – but detailed mechanistic studies to elucidate their involvement in cellular processes besides their housekeeping function in metabolism are rare. Even more striking, a disproportionate number of studies analyze a selected subset of molecules – the stars of the trade that are apparently involved in most cellular processes (PIP2 is a good example). It is unlikely – to say the least – that this extremely focused scientific attention is representative of the cellular reality and more likely that we are simply looking at a too small part of the picture.

The reason for this unsatisfactory situation is an observation problem. Small molecules usually cannot be visualized by fluorescence microscopy and their levels are notoriously difficult to alter on a subcellular level. Our lab focuses on developing photochemical probes and genetically encoded biosensors to provide a methodological platform that allows studying small molecule (particularly lipid) involvement in cellular signaling circuits. We aim at modulating and monitoring intracellular small molecule concentration on millisecond timescales to open an avenue for analyzing fast cellular processes with unprecedented precision. We use a highly interdisciplinary approach, combining organic chemistry, biochemistry and cell biology. We develop synthetic methods for boosting the available reservoir of photo-caged second messengers and develop new caging groups that target photoactivatable probes to distinct subcellular sites.[1] Our new tools are ultimately employed to study small molecule involvement in cell motility and cell polarity.


Key publication:

  • Exclusive photorelease of signalling lipids at the plasma membrane. Nat Commun.;6:10056, 2015


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