Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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Bruegger0119 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Brügger, Britta
Application deadline:
31. May 2019
Start of PhD project:
1. Jul 2019

Project description:

Exploring modulatory functions of lipids in controling membrane protein activities
The Brügger group studies roles of lipids in biological processes. One major focus is the structural and functional characterization of protein-lipid interactions in the biological context, including viral replication, intracellular trafficking and T cell signaling.
These topics are investigated using innovative tools in chemical biology, biochemistry, cell biology and lipidomics.

PhD positions are available in projects that are part of SFB-TRR83 (Molecular architecture and cellular functions of lipid/protein assemblies) and SFB1129 (Integrative analysis of pathogen-replication and spread). In order to characterize and study protein-lipid interactions within cells we use lipid precursors functionalized with clickable and photoactivatable groups. Our studies include both cellular and reconstitution assay as well as high resolution mass spectrometry to identify interacting lipids and to decipher cellular and organismal roles of these protein-lipid interactions.
Brügger B. Inconspicuous Little Allies: How Membrane Lipids Help Modulate Protein Function. ACS Cent Sci. 2018 May 23;4(5):530-531

Trautz B, Wiedemann H, Lüchtenborg C, Pierini V, Kranich J, Glass B, Kräusslich HG, Brocker T, Pizzato M, Ruggieri A, Brügger B, Fackler OT. The host-cell restriction factor SERINC5 restricts HIV-1 infectivity without altering the lipid composition and organization of viral particles. J Biol Chem. 2017 Aug 18;292(33):13702-13713. doi: 10.107 4/jbc.M117.797332.

Gerl MJ, Bittl V, Kirchner K, Sachsenheimer T, Brunner HL, Lüchtenborg C, Özbalci C, Wiedemann H, Wegehingel S, Nickel W, Haberkant P, Schultz C, Krüger M and Brügger B. Sphingosine-1-phosphate lyase deficient cells as a tool to study protein lipid interactions. PlosOne, 2016;11(4):e0153009.

Brügger B. Lipidomics: analysis of the lipid composition of cells and subcellular organelles by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Annu Rev Biochem. 2014 Jun 2;83:79-98.

Björkholm P, Ernst AM, Hacke M, Wieland F, Brügger B, von Heijne G. Identification of novel sphingolipid-binding motifs in mammalian membrane proteins. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Aug;1838(8):2066-70.

Contreras FX, Ernst AM, Haberkant P, Björkholm P, Lindahl E, Gönen B, Tischer C, Elofsson A, von Heijne G, Thiele C, Pepperkok R, Wieland F, Brügger B. Molecular recognition of a single sphingolipid species by a protein's transmembrane domain. Nature 2012;481(7382):525-9.
Methods that will be used:
Click chemistry, cell biology, biochemical reconstitution experiments, molecular dynamics simulation
Cooperation partners:
Christian Freund, FU Berlin
Ünal Coskun, Dresden University
Ilpo Vattulainen, Helsinki University
Burkhard Bechinger, Strasbourg University
Jacomina Krijnse-Locker, Pasteur Institute Paris
Personal qualifications:
We are looking for enthusiastic students with a master degree in the life sciences with a solid background in biochemistry and cell biology as well as a genuine interest in projects with strong interdisciplinarity. The fellow will join a highly interactive and collaborative research team.