Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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Nickel0217 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Nickel, Walter
Application deadline:
15. Feb 2018
Start of PhD project:
1. Feb 2018

Project description:

Molecular analysis of FGF2 membrane translocation in tumour cells
FGF2 is a cell survival factor involved in tumour-induced angiogenesis with an extraordinary significance in a broad range of malignancies of both solid and hematological cancers. Our lab is interested in the molecular mechanism by which tumour cells secrete FGF2, an unusual mechanism that is independent of the ER/Golgi dependent secretory pathway. The current project is based upon a recently published experimental system reconstituting unconventional secretion of FGF2 with purified components using giant unilamellar vesicles. It aims at the elucidation of the molecular function of various components that have been identified to play a role in FGF2 secretion. Employing cryoEM tomography, it further concerns the structural analysis of membrane inserted FGF2 oligomers, the translocation intermediates of this process.
Steringer JP, Lange S, Čujová S, Šachl R, Poojari C, Lolicato F, Beutel O, Müller HM, Unger S, Coskun Ü, Honigmann A, Vattulainen I, Hof M, Freund C, Nickel W (2017) Key steps in unconventional secretion of fibroblast growth factor 2 reconstituted with purified components. eLife (pii: e28985. doi: 10.7554/eLife.28985)

La Venuta G, Zeitler M, Steringer JP, Müller HM, Nickel W (2015) The Startling Properties of Fibroblast Growth Factor 2: How to Exit Mammalian Cells Without a Signal Peptide at Hand? J Biol Chem. 290:27015-20
Methods that will be used:
Biochemical reconstitution experiments with giant unilamellar vesicles using purified lipids and proteins; confocal microscopy; cryoEM tomography, correlative light and electron microscopy
Cooperation partners:
- Yannick Schwab, EMBL Heidelberg

- Carsten Sachse, EMBL Heidelberg
Personal qualifications:
We are looking for enthusiastic and motivated students with a master degree in the life sciences (in particular Biochemistry and Biophysics) and an interest in biochemical reconstitution experiments (“synthetic biology)” and structural biology (cryoEM tomography; CLEM and cryoCLEM)