AG Molekulare Neurophysiologie M. Meyer:
We are trying to understand cell biology and physiology of calcium-binding proteins. Calcium is a major and universal signaling molecule. Calcium-binding proteins help to shape intracellular calcium levels and thereby regulate many physiological processes, such as growth, migration and adhesion, differentiation, secretion and cell communication. They have also been implicated in degenerative diseases particularly of the nervous system.
Our focus is on EF hand proteins, a specific class of calcium-binding proteins. Questions we address are (1) How is the intracellular localization of these proteins regulated? (2) Do they interact with other proteins in situ in cells? (3) What is the physiological and pathophysiological significance of specific localization and interaction? (4) What determines cytoprotective as opposed to cell damaging effects? (5) Are these proteins useful as disease biomarkers? (6) Is there a basis for their therapeutic application? Questions may change and new questions may be developed.
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