Dr. Johannes Broichhagen, FMP Berlin, DE

Visualization and Manipulation of Cell Surface Proteins

Start Date 27.09.2022 - 16:30
Location University of Zurich, Department of Chemistry
Lecture Hall Y03-G-95

Selective targeting of biomolecules for labeling, visualization and functional manipulation is at the forefront of Chemical Biology. Key challenges in the field are currently the interrogation and analysis of biomolecules in a selective and quantitative manner. To tackle these issues, we employ approaches from photopharmacology and fluorophore design. For instance, we engineered azobenzene photoswitches that enable reversible on/off remote optical control of metabotropic glutamate receptor 2, a class C G Protein Coupled Receptor involved in neurotransmission. Our latest generation of photoswitches showing increased sensitivity and fast kinetics to probe working memory with light in vivo. More generally, the specific labeling of GPCRs is important to learn about their distribution and behavior, and to differentiate functional receptor pools. For this reason, we equip labeling techniques with new properties to selectively stain proteins in different tissue and to interrogate distinct cellular protein pools. In order to pave the way for better image quality, we design fluorophores for super-resolution imaging in live cells and tissue. In our latest study, we endow fluorophores with deuterium to yield dyes with increased fluorescent lifetimes, higher photostability and augmented brightness. Taken together, we bring chemistry into biology and are on the lookout to put the spotlight on the invisible.