Welcome to the website of the Department of Biochemistry
The Department of Biochemistry at the University of Bayreuth comprises groups working on the functional, structural, and mechanistic characterization of proteins. In particular, they study signaling mechanisms in aging and disease (Steegborn lab), protein evolution and design (Höcker lab), and photosensor proteins (Möglich lab). A variety of biochemical and biophysical methods, such as protein spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, computational analyses, and protein crystal structure determination are employed at the Department.
AG Steegborn: Signaling mechanisms in aging and disease – from proteins to targets to drugs
Ongoing demographic changes attract more and more attention to aging-related issues and aging-associated diseases, such as atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. A well-known aging factor is the accumulation of damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are mainly formed during cellular energy metabolism. Consistent with this and further observations of a close connection between metabolism and aging processes, many lifespan influencing proteins are metabolic sensors or regulators.
We aim to understand the molecular details of how these metabolic sensors are regulated and how they interact to control aging processes and disease development. We use biochemical and biophysical methods, such as activity and binding assays and in particular protein xray crystallography, to understand these regulation mechanisms in atomic detail. We then try to develop small molecules that can modulate these mechanisms in order to provide chemical tools for physiological studies and lead compounds for drug development. Such drugs for preventing or treating aging-associated disorders will enable to extend people’s healthy lifespan („healthspan“) and to contain health care costs in times of a rapidly growing elderly population. Read more….
Other research groups at the Department of Biochemistry:
- Sensory Photoreceptors - Prof. Dr. Andreas Möglich
- Protein Evolution and Design - Prof. Dr. Birte Höcker