Head of the Research Group

Dr. Julia von Blume
Dr. Julia von Blume

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How are proteins transported in the cell?

Research Group "Molecular Basis of Protein Trafficking" (Julia von Blume)

In order to allocate the many proteins at the right time to the right place, the cell needs an address and distribution station: The Golgi apparatus. In its interior proteins are marked with an “address” by adding different signal molecules. Tagged like that they are transported into specific areas of the Golgi itself, carried off into other cell organelles or even transported to the surface or out of the cell. Julia von Blume investigates with her group “Molecular Basis of Protein Trafficking”, which molecules and structures are needed for these processes and how mistakes influence them. In former studies von Blume already identified key players in Golgi-sorting: actin, a central support and transport molecule, and the complex ADF/cofilin, which regulates actin. On the picture a cell is depicted which does not produce ADF/cofilin anymore. Therefore, it shows an accumulation of actin stress fibers (red) and cannot sort its proteins (green) in the Golgi properly. The calcium transporter SPCA1 is also an important player, which increases the local concentration of calcium ions in the Golgi. If SPCA1 does not work correctly, the rare skin disease Hailey-Hailey can evolve. Julia von Blume is also interested in investigating the mechanisms of this disease. 

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