Stefan Raunser

Stefan Raunser

Director, Structural Biochemistry

Research Interests

Struktural Biochemistry >

Our research concentrates on the molecular understanding of fundamental cellular processes. Firstly, we are interested in membrane homeostasis in eukaryotic cells and secondly we want to understand the molecular details of muscle contraction. Another focus is on the molecular understanding of the mechanism of action of bacterial toxin complexes.
Our overarching goal is to understand the mechanisms underlying these processes in the healthy and diseased organism in molecular detail. To achieve this, it is essential to elucidate the structure and thus the function of the involved proteins and protein complexes.
We perform structural analyses by single particle cryo-EM and X-ray crystallography, fluorescence-based assays and site-directed mutagenesis to determine the structures and functions of these complexes. For their biophysical characterization we employ isothermal titration calorimetry, ESI-MS, bio-layer interferometry, thermophoresis and CD spectroscopy.

Zooming in on Muscle Cells

Watch how an international Team led by Prof. Stefan Raunser has produced the first high-resolution 3D image of the sarcomere, the basic contractile unit of skeletal and heart muscle cells, by using electron cryo-tomography (cryo-ET).

Mechanism of Tc Toxin Action

The cell membrane receptors beige) identify and bind the toxin complex. The channel (yellow) of the TcA subunit pushes through the membrane and the poison (red) is injected.

Selected Publications

PubMed List>

Wang Z, Grange M, Wagner T, Khoo AL, Gautel M, Raunser S (2021). The molecular basis for sarcomere organization in vertebrate skeletal muscle  Cell  

Gatsogiannis C, Balogh D, Merino F, Sieber SA, Raunser S (2019). Cryo-EM structure of the ClpXP protein degradation machinery. Nat Struct Mol Bio
doi: 10.1038/s41594-019-0304-0.

Raisch T, Chang CT, Levdansky Y, Muthukumar S, Raunser S, Valkov E (2019). Reconstitution of recombinant human CCR4-NOT reveals molecular insights into regulated deadenylation. Nature Communications
doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11094-z.

Gatsogiannis C, Merino F, Roderer D, Balchin D, Schubert E, Kuhlee A, Hayer-Hartl M, Raunser S. (2018). Tc toxin activation requires unfolding and refolding of a β-propeller. Nature
doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0556-6.

Vinayagam D, Mager T, Apelbaum A, Bothe A, Merino F, Hofnagel O, Gatsogiannis C, Raunser S (2018). Electron cryo-microscopy structure of the canonical TRPC4 ion channel. eLife
doi: 10.7554/eLife.36615.

Klink BU, Zent E, Juneja P, Kuhlee A, Raunser S, Wittinghofer A. (2017). A recombinant BBSome core complex and how it interacts with ciliary cargo. eLife
doi: 10.7554/eLife.27434.

Pospich S, Kumpula EP, von der Ecken J, Vahokoski J, Kursula I, Raunser S. (2017). Near-atomic structure of jasplakinolide-stabilized malaria parasite F-actin reveals the structural basis of filament instability. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1707506114

von der Ecken J, Heissler SM, Pathan-Chhatbar S, Manstein DJ & Raunser S (2016).Cryo-EM structure of a human cytoplasmic actomyosin complex at near-atomic resolution. Nature 534(7609):724-28.
doi: 10.1038/nature18295
freely available!

Gatsogiannis C, Merino F, Serdiuk T, Prumbaum D, Roderer D, Leidreiter F, Meusch D, Müller DJ, and Raunser S (2016). Membrane insertion of a Tc toxin in atomic detail. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology 23(10):884-890.
doi: 10.1038/nsmb.3281
freely available!

Gatsogiannis C, Hofnagel O, Markl J, Raunser S (2015). Structure of Mega-Hemocyanin reveals protein origami in snails. Structure 23(1):93-103.
doi: 10.1016/j.str.2014.10.013

Efremov R, Hofnagel O, Raunser S (2015). Architecture and Conformational Switch Mechanism of the Ryanodine Receptor. Nature 517(7532):39-43.
doi: 10.1038/nature13916
freely available!

Whitney JC, Quentin D, Sawai S, LeRoux M, Harding BN, Ledvina HE, Tran BQ, Robinson H, Goo YA, Goodlett DR, Raunser S, Mougous JD (2015). An Interbacterial NAD(P)(+) Glycohydrolase Toxin Requires Elongation Factor Tu for Delivery to Target Cells. Cell 163(3):607-19.
doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.09.027

von der Ecken J, Müller M, Lehman W, Manstein DJ, Penczek PA, Raunser S (2015). Structure of the F-actin-tropomyosin complex. Nature 519(7541):114-7.
doi: 10.1038/nature14033
freely available!

Meusch D, Gatsogiannis C, Efremov R, Lang A, Hofnagel O, Vetter I, Aktories K, Raunser S (2014). Mechanism of Tc toxin action revealed in molecular detail. Nature 508(7494):61-5.
doi: 10.1038/nature13015
freely available!

Gatsogiannis C, Lang A, Meusch D, Pfaumann V, Hofnagel O, Benz R, Aktories K, Raunser S (2013). A syringe-like injection mechanism in Photorhabdus luminescens toxins. Nature. 495(7442):520-23
doi: 10.1038/nature11987
freely available!

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