Research

Main content

The 8 research groups show a high level of interaction and integration. They all share a common management of their fundings, the human ressources, the research and the IT infrastructure.

Accordion. Press Tab to navigate to entries, then Enter to open or collapse content.

 

Barral: Coordination of cytoskeletal events during mitosis

We use the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as our main model to study how asymmetric cell division contributes to the generation of cell diversity in eukaryotes. We follow three axes of research. First, we investigate how the mitotic spindle senses and orients along the polarity axis of the cell to reproducibly segregate its oldest centrosome to the bud. Second, we investigate the role of diffusion barriers in the coordination of cell polarity with the plane of division, and in the asymmetric segregation of fate determinants between mother and bud. Third, we are particularly interested in understanding the nature and segregation of age determinants. This leads us to investigate the intriguing possibility that part of the aging process may consist in the accumulation of memory traces by the yeast mother cell. More...

Helenius (emeritus): Virus entry

Our group studies interactions that occur between animal viruses and their host cells during the early infectious cycle; how virus particles bind to cells, how they are internalized by endocytosis, how they are transported to various organelles such as endosomes and the endoplasmic reticulum, how they penetrate into the cytosol, and how the genome is uncoated. Since viruses take advantage of host cell factors and processes during their entry, we combine virological techniques with cell biological approaches, molecular biology, advanced imaging, and systems biology. The virus systems presently analyzed include enveloped and non-enveloped viruses; influenza virus, vaccinia virus, uukuniemi virus, semliki forest virus, human cytomegalovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, and simian virus 40. In addition, we study the dynamics of caveolae and their role in endocytosis. More...

Korkhov: Membrane protein biology

Interactions between the cell and its environment, as well as between cellular compartments, occur at the biological membranes. Extracellular signals are sensed by the receptors embedded in the plasma membrane. Following multiple protein-protein interactions within and near the membrane surface, these signals are transmitted across the membrane, resulting in profound changes in cellular physiology. The process of signal transduction is of paramount importance in physiological and pathophysiological processes involving communication between cells. Despite the tremendous progress in understanding the molecular mechanisms of receptors (such as GPCRs), the steps that follow the initial chemo- or photoreception, i.e. downstream signal transduction events, are not well understood. More....

Kornmann: Interorganelle communication

Cells are complex entities that contain several subcompartments, called organelles. These compartments need to exchange informations and nutrients to ensure functional coordination of the cellular activity.

The Kornmann laboratory studies the communication between these various organelles. In particular we are interested in the cross-talk between two of these: the endoplasmic reticulum and the mitochondria.

We use the powers of yeast genetics as a tool to discover important cellular players involved in connecting both organelles and we study these components using state-of-the-art biochemical methodologies. Finally, we apply the knowledge gathered in yeast to higher eukaryotes, to gain invaluable insight in the physiology of the human cell. More...

Kutay: Nuclear structure, function and dynamics

Research in our lab is centered on the structure, function, biogenesis and dynamics of the mammalian cell nucleus. A main focus is given to unravel the molecular mechanism of nuclear envelope breakdown at the onset of open mitosis. Second, we investigate the biogenesis of the nuclear envelope constituents such as the assembly of nuclear pore complexes and the sorting of membrane proteins to the inner nuclear membrane. Third, we characterize structure and function of LINC complexes, which connect the nuclear envelope to cytoskeletal components and serve as devices for force transmission across the nuclear boundary. And finally, as the second major topic, we seek to understand the assembly of mammalian ribosomes, giving specific emphasis to the role and crosstalk of signalling pathways that coordinate ribosome synthesis with input from external and internal cues. These questions are addressed by a combination of quantitative microscopy, RNAi screening, and biochemistry, exploiting powerful in vitro systems that we have developed. More...

Matos: Genome stability and haploidisation

The life cycle of sexually reproducing eukaryotes depends on two specialized chromosome segregation programs: mitosis and meiosis. Whereas mitosis drives cellular proliferation and the stable propagation of the genome, meiosis promotes genetic diversity and the formation of haploid gametes, which combine at fertilization to restore the diploid state. Remarkably, both genome stability and genetic diversity/haploidisation depend on the cell’s ability to repair damaged chromosomes using homologous recombination.

We study how cells rewire their DNA repair machinery in order to: 1) promote genetic diversity and haploidisation during meiosis; 2) prevent genomic instability during mitotic proliferation; 3) ensure the efficient disengagement of recombination intermediates prior chromosome segregation and cell division. More...

Peter: Regulation of cell growth and division

Regulation of cell growth and division by selective degradation mechanisms. Every living organism requires a tight coordination of cell growth and cell division, and defects in these regulatory systems are intimately linked to metabolic disorders and cellular transformation. Cell growth is manifested by an increase in cell mass, and thus involves the homeostasis and regulation of metabolic pathways, ribosome biogenesis and protein translation, and catabolic pathways including autophagy and ubiquitin-dependent degradation. Cell division requires the precise duplication of chromosomes and their partitioning between two daughter cells. The morphological transitions that lead to chromosome segregation during mitosis need to be coordinated in space and time with subsequent cytoplasm separation during cytokinesis. However, the molecular mechanisms that govern cell growth and division, and the different intra- and extracellular signals that regulate these pathways, are still poorly understood. More...

Picotti: Targeted proteomic

In our laboratory we study the molecular effects of protein aggregation in cells. A number of human diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, are associated to the intracellular deposition of specific aggregation-prone proteins, which are critically involved in cellular dysfunction. Characterizing the generic and specific cellular responses to such proteins is of crucial importance to understanding disease pathogenesis and developing novel therapeutics. We apply a combination of new generation proteomic and phosphoproteomic approaches and fluorescence microscopy to studying the proteome-wide responses of cells to the intracellular accumulation of protein aggregates. In addition, we use targeted mass spectrometric assays, based on selected reaction monitoring (SRM) and SWATH-MS, to probe the capability of chemical and genetic modulators of reverting the toxic effects of protein aggregates. More...

Weis: Cellular dynamics

The interest of our laboratory is centered on very fundamental questions in eukaryotic cell biology: how are macromolecules properly localized within a cell, and how do eukaryotes take advantage of transport and compartmentalization to regulate their gene expression programs? Our work particularly focuses on studying transport processes between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. The exchange of macromolecules between the nucleus and the cytoplasm is absolutely essential to establish and maintain order in eukaryotic cells, and constitutes an important step in the regulation of gene expression. Our laboratory combines genetic, biochemical, cell biological and biophysical approaches in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and in metazoan cells to characterize and analyze the molecular machinery that is responsible for the transport of macromolecules into and out of the nucleus.
More...

 
 
Page URL: http://www.bc.biol.ethz.ch/research.html
Fri Jun 23 11:57:34 CEST 2017
© 2017 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich