Dr. Robert Ernst
Juniorprofessor for Biochemistry
BMLS - office 3.670
Max-von-Laue Str. 15
phone +49-69-798 42 524
fax +49-69-798-763 42 524
KING NEWS ***BREAKING
Our manuscript 'A eukaryotic sensor for membrane lipid saturation' has now appeared in Molecular Cell.
The article is a product of a wonderful cooperation with the Gerhard Hummer group and uncovers a central molecular mechanism of the homeoviscous response in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Molecular Membrane Biology - Sensing and Signaling
Biological membranes are composed of thousands of interacting proteins and lipids. In fact, membrane proteins and lipids have co-evolved since the origin of life. Owing to their complex composition, biological membranes are extremely challenging to study. Our central interest is the crosstalk of lipids and proteins for the homeostasis of biological membranes. Which molecular events are underlying lipid induced cellular stress responses? Do, for example, lipids modulate general protein degradation? To address such questions appropriately, the lab follows a strictly interdisciplinary approach, combining biochemistry, biophysics and cell biology.
Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids have gained a celebrity status and are referred to as ‘bad’ and ‘good’ fats. It is well established that a continuous misbalance of these dietary fats induces massive cellular stress responses that can ultimately result in cell death. Until now, the molecular events underlying these phenomena are not understood. With quantitative lipidomics coming of age, membrane biochemistry is gaining a new focus. Now is the time to address fundamental questions regarding membrane complexity and function.