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Süleyman Kösem
Schliwa Lab
Schillerstr. 42, 80336 Munich

How did cells generate the level of complexity in living organisms as we know and appreciate it today?

The necessity for efficient intracellular transport grew as cells developed from simple, one-micron organisms to highly complex, several 100-micron structures. In a eukaryotic cell, transport processes and inter-organelle-communication need to function reliably and efficiently, not unlike a major city that depends on complex and well-organized transport of goods and information. To keep up with these growing transport demands cells evolved processive motors. Like nano-machines, motor proteins transport cargo unidirectionally and efficiently to their destinations on cytoskeletal filaments, cells’ multifunctional highways. This way cells no longer need to rely on diffusion alone but can specifically manipulate cellular processes as to what, when, and where molecules need to go. Developing means of directed and regulated transport might in fact be the most crucial achievement of eukaryotes during the course of evolution.

Dissecting the working mechanisms of molecular motors on various levels

Our interest in molecular motors is multifaceted ranging from single molecule to cellular level. We are employing diverse methods to unveil the secrets of molecular motors spanning the spectrum from classic biochemistry to single molecule assays, from seeking to solve solution structures to apply proteomics to untangle the complex regulatory mechanisms of molecular motors.

A non-mitotic CENP-E homolog in Dictyostelium discoideum with slow motor activity.

Kösem S, Okten Z, Ho TH, Trommler G, Koonce MP, Samereier M, Müller-Taubenberger A.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013 Feb 15;431(3):490-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.01.030. Epub 2013 Jan 16.

Regulation of a heterodimeric kinesin-2 through an unprocessive motor domain that is turned processive by its partner.

Brunnbauer M, Mueller-Planitz F, Kösem S, Ho TH, Dombi R, Gebhardt JC, Rief M, Okten Z.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jun 8;107(23):10460-5. Epub 2010 May 24.

Nuclear architecture of rod photoreceptor cells adapts to vision in mammalian evolution

Solovei I, Kreysing M, Lanctôt C, Kösem S, Peichl L, Cremer T, Guck J, Joffe B.

Cell. 2009 Apr 17;137(2):356-68


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Süleyman Kösem