Our group works in the field of pathological protein aggregation. For a number of neurodegenerative diseases protein deposits in the brain, either intra- or extracellular, are a key pathologic feature. These deposits often contain protein in a specific, β-sheet rich conformation named amyloid. Questions regarding the kinetics of aggregate formation with special emphasis on the timely evolution of size distributions and the nature of reaction intermediates are in the focus of our interest. With the acquired knowledge we will expand our tool box for the characterization of the mechanism of action for disease modifying drugs.
At the HHUD we host two analytical ultracentrifuge (AUC) instruments (Beckman-Coulter) which are equipped either with only absorption optics or with an additional fluorescence detection system (AVIV Biomedical). An eight hole rotor allows to make measurements in up to seven standard double sector sample cells with 1.2 cm optical path length. Temperatures can be chosen between 4 and 30°C. With this instrument sedimentation velocity as well as sedimentation equilibrium centrifugation experiments for the determination of size and shape of macromoelcules or macromolecular assemblies, native molecular weights, and equilibrium constants can be performed under a wide varity of solution conditions. AUC is a first principle method.
Also two preparative ultracentrifuges are on place, one table-top machine with a rather small rotor allowing centrifugation in 1 ml lab tubes, the other one equipped with rotors housing tubes of 10 to 30 ml volume. (up to 320,000 x g)
List of Collaborations
- PD Dr. Bernd König, Institute of Complex Systems (ICS-6): Structural Biochemistry, FZ Jülich
- Prof. Dr. Holger Gohlke, Institut für Pharmazeutische und Medizinische Pharmazie, HHU Düsseldorf
- PD Dr. Andreas Stadler, JCNS/ICS-1 Neutron Scattering and Soft Matter, FZ Jülich
- PD Dr. Vero Maurino, Entwicklungs- und Molekularbioloie der Pflanzen, HHU Düsseldorf