We aim to uncover the molecular mechanisms responsible for the membrane fusion between cells. This fundamental process of eukaryotic cell biology is what allows gametes to merge during sexual reproduction, a key evolutionary event in the emergence of complex life on our planet. In addition, cell-cell fusion is required for the development of syncytial tissues such as muscle and the placenta. Using yeast as our model system, we use a range biochemical and biophysical approaches to identify and characterize the molecular players which drive cell-cell membrane fusion.
Hernandez JM, Kreutzberger AJ, Kiessling V, Tamm LK, Jahn R (2014).
Variable cooperativity in SNARE-mediated membrane fusion.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111(33):12037-42.
Hernandez JM, Stein A, Behrmann E, Riedel D, Cypionka A, Farsi Z, Walla PJ, Raunser S, Jahn R (2012).
Membrane fusion intermediates via directional and full assembly of the SNARE complex.
Park Y, Hernandez JM, van den Bogaart G, Ahmed S, Holt M, Riedel D, Jahn R (2012).
Controlling synaptotagmin activity by electrostatic screening.
Nat Struct Mol Biol 19(10):991-7.