During the first funding period scientists in the CRC were successful in studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms of membrane scaffolding in different cellular and organismic models as well as across a large range of temporal and spatial scales. This included scaffolds that organize exo- and endocytic processes at chemical neuronal synapses as well as scaffolds that receive and process signals at cell membranes. They also studied scaffolds that organize cellular signaling and intracellular transport in the context of physiological adaptations during cell migration and development.
In terms of methodology, the scientists were able to establish a wide range of imaging techniques, in particular in the field of high resolution microscopy. This enabled them to visualize the organization of protein scaffolding spatially and temporally with a very high resolution. Using structural biology methods they were also able to gain insights into the molecular architecture of structures that are responsible for scaffolding intracellular membranes. With other novel approaches, the scientists hope to clarify exactly how membrane-associated scaffolding interacts with lipid membranes and how it would be possible to perturb such functions.
The participating institutions are the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam-Rehbrücke, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin-Buch, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the medical school operated jointly by Freie Universität and Humboldt-Universität.