Header Wanker Lab

E. Wanker Lab

Proteomics and Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Profile

Millions of people worldwide suffer from neurodegenerative disorders, like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease. Most of these illnesses break out later in life. Correlated to the current demographic shift towards aging societies in many countries, the number of people affected with neurodegenerative diseases is growing.

Still, we do not understand exactly how these diseases develop. One of the characteristic features many neurodegenerative diseases share is the deposition of abnormally folded proteins in patient brains.

My group's research focusses on ‘Neuroproteomics’, the protein-based investigation of neurodegenerative diseases. We aim to elucidate the molecular principles by which proteins, sometimes abnormally folded, alone or in interaction, lead to cellular toxicity and neuronal dysfunction, causing neurodegeneration.

We pursue two main lines of investigation: Hypothesis-driven molecular studies of protein misfolding, aggregation and spreading on the one hand, unbiased protein-protein interaction or ‘interactomics’ studies on the other. Click "Research" above to read about our current projects and fields of interest.

 

My lab is hosting the team of Dr. Alessandro Prigione, Delbrück Fellow, Mitochondria and Cell Fate Reprogramming.

See his webpages here.

Team

Erich Wanker, PhD, DI

Principal Investigator

+49/30/9406-2157
ewanker@mdc-berlin.de

 

Erika Pisch

Office

+49/30/9406-2157
pisch@mdc-berlin.de

 

Anne Ast, MSc

Graduate student

+49/30/9406-2636
anne.steinhof@mdc-berlin.de

 

Kathleen Baumgart, BSc

Student assistant

+49/30/9406-2354
kathleen.baumgart@mdc-berlin.de

 

Stephanie Beetz, MSc

Technician

+49/30/9406-2353
stephanie.beetz@mdc-berlin.de

 

Annett Böddrich, PhD

Senior scientist, project manager

+49/30/9406-2357
a.boeddrich@mdc-berlin.de

 

Lydia Brusendorf, DI

Technician

+49/30/9406-2636
lydia.brusendorf@mdc-berlin.de

 

Morena Cauglia

Undergraduate student

+49/30/9489-2147
morena.cauglia@mdc-berlin.de

 

Annika Deckert, PhD

Postdoc, Marie Curie Sklodowska Fellow

+49/30/9489-2147
annika.deckert@mdc-berlin.de

 

Marta Dominguez Martinez, MSc

Graduate student

+49/30/9489-2147
marta.dominguez@mdc-berlin.de

 

Juliane Edel 

Undergraduate student

+49/30/9406-2636
juliane.edel@mdc-berlin.de

 

Sabrina Golusik, BTA

Technician, DKTK, with Charité

+49/30/9406-2805
sabrina.golusik@mdc-berlin.de

 

Mirjam Groh

Master student

+49/30/9406-2433
mirjam.groh@mdc-berlin.de

 

Christian Hänig, DI

Computational scientist, IT, automation

+49/30/9406-2437
c.haenig@mdc-berlin.de

 

Markus Hensel, BTA

Technician

+49/30/9406-2353
m.hensel@mdc-berlin.de

 

Daria Kiesel

Undergraduate student

+49/30/9406-3824
daria.kiesel@mdc-berlin.de

 

Simona Kostova, MSc

Graduate student

+49/30/9406-2433
simona.kostova@mdc-berlin.de

 

Evangelos Kyriazidis

Trainee

+49/30/9406-3824
evangelos.kyriazidis@mdc-berlin.de

 

Nancy Neuendorf, BTA

Senior technician

+49/30/9406-2805
nancy.neuendorf@mdc-berlin.de

 

Hannah Niederlechner, MSc

Technician

+49/30/9406-2433
hannah.niederlechner@mdc-berlin.de

 

Mary Paniscus, MSc

Computational biologist, automation

+49/30/9489-2147
mary.paniscus@mdc-berlin.de

 

Oliver Polzer

Trainee

+49/30/9406-3824
oliver.polzer@mdc-berlin.de

 

Franziska Schindler, PhD

Postdoc

+49/30/9406-2636
franziska.schindler@mdc-berlin.de

 

Philipp Schleumann

Undergraduate student

+49/30/9406-2805
philipp.schleumann@mdc-berlin.de

 

Sigrid Schnögl, MPhil, MBA

Coordinator

+49/30/9406-2357
sigrid.schnoegl@mdc-berlin.de

 

Aline Schulz, PhD

Postdoc

+49/30/9406-2437
aline.schulz@mdc-berlin.de

 

Christopher Secker

Physician-scientist, ALS Fellow, with Charité

+49/30/9406-2433
christopher.secker@mdc-berlin.de

 

Philipp Trepte, PhD

Postdoc, head interactomics platform

+49/30/9489-2147
philipp.trepte@mdc-berlin.de

 

Martina Zenkner, DI

Senior technician, lab manager

+49/30/9406-2357
zenkner@mdc-berlin.de

 

 

> Previous members <

Claudia Abraham

Mohammed Ahmed

Anna-Clara Amler

Kathrin Andrich, PhD

Iris Apostel-Krause

Anup Arumughan, PhD

Vinayagam Arunachalam, PhD

Jennifer Doreen Augsten

Katrin Bagola

Bianca Bauer

Lynn van der Beek

Simon Berberich

Annaporna Bhat

Jan Bieschke, PhD

Malla Bimalla

Nicole Bock

Svenja Bolz

Anne Borowski

Lamia Bouguerne

Yacine Bounab, PhD

Anja Briese

Raul Bukowiecki

Alexander Buntru, PhD

Anne Busch, PhD

Branca Cajavec

Irene Carod

Laura Benitez Casanova

Gautam Chaurasia, PhD

Ummi Hadiba Ciptasari

Monishita Dey

Ina Dieckmann

Nea Dierolf

Lisa Diez, PhD

Franziska Dinter

Christin Donner

Ulrike Drewes

Anja Dröge, PhD

Dagmar Ehrnhöfer, PhD

Thomas Ehrnhöfer

Sabine Engemann, PhD

Figen Ertas

Claudia Eulenberg

Maik Faltysek

Claudia Felsch

Christian Fink, PhD

Leonhard Fister

Raphaele Foulle

Ralf Friedrich, PhD

Anja Fritzsche

Joris Geigenmüller, BSc

Klaus Genser, PhD

Heike Göhler, PhD

Gerlinde Grelle

Saskia Gressel

Nicole Groenke

Mirjam Groh

Anja Guhra

Stephanie Haase

Ulrike Hagen

Anne Hahmann

Tobias Hahn, MSc

Mohamed Haji, MSc

Anna Happe-Kramer

Renate Hasenbank

Regine Hasenkopf

Antje Haug

Denise Heidler

Michael Henriksen

Martin Herbst, PhD

Christin Hesse

Sheila Hoffmann

Sabine Horn

Inna Hoyer

Ulrike Hübner

Melanie Humpenöder

Ismail Ishola, PhD

Manuela Jacob

Philipp Jäger, PhD

Marina Jahns

Isabelle Jansen

Sha Jin, PhD

Carmen Judis

Ronny Kalis

Sedef Karayel

Stefanie Kasper

Tina Kausel

Kaymak

Birgit Kersten, PhD

Christopher Kessler

Sylvia Kietzmann

Loni Klaus

Daniela Kleckers

Konrad Klockmeier, MSc

Maria Knoblich

Young-In Ko, PhD

Matthias Könn, PhD

Susanne Köppen

Marja Kornhuber

Susanne Kostka

Manuel Krispin

Sabrina Kruse

Maciej Lalowski, PhD

Hans Lehrach jr.

Iva Lelios

Megan Leong

Anna Lewandowski

Rahel Lewin

Elena Lucas

Barbara Lucke

Marie Lütke-Eversloh

Melanie Manzke

Phoebe Markovic, PhD

Stefan Maul

Sonia Mazzitelli

Benjamin McMahon

Sascha Mintzlaff

Angeli Möller, PhD

Annekathrin Möller, PhD

Katja Mühlenberg, PhD

Eva-Christina Müller, PhD

Stanley Myers O’Mulloy

Sandra Neuendorf

Cecilia Nicoletti

Hannah Niederlechner

Julia Niepelt

Anna Norton

Yetunde Odunsi

Leon Olivier

Albrecht Otto, PhD

Inken Padberg

Christine Petersen, PhD

Spyros Petrakis, PhD

Vanessa Pfiffer

Maria Lucia Pigazzini

Stephanie Plassmann, PhD

Pablo Porras Millan, PhD

Anita Pras

Ellen Ramminger, PhD

Tamas Rasko, PhD

Kirstin Rau

Susanne Rautenberg

Alexandra Redel

Sean-Patrick Riechers, PhD

Uli Rockenbauch

Susanne Rohn

Eugenia Rojas

Maxi Rothbart

Dana Rotte

Jenny Russ, PhD

Natalja Rutz

Linda Salzwedel

Maria Saßning

Kati Scharf

Franziska Schiele

Sebastian Schmid

Michael Schmidt, PhD

Vera Schmiedel

Stefanie Schneider

Anke Schönherr

Eileen Schormann

Nadja Schräpel

Herwig Schüler, PhD

Margitta Schümann

Paul Schultze-Motel, PhD

Sabrina Schulz

Erik Schweitzer, PhD

Derya Sen

Leticia Serra

Maliha Shah, PhD

Luke Southan

Silke Spading

Selma Staege

Uli Stelzl, PhD

Kerstin Stemmer

Kathrin Stilz

Nadine Strempel, PhD

Sarah Stricker, MD

Martin Strödicke, PhD

Jaana Suopanki-Lalowski, PhD

Bernhard Suter, PhD

Babila Tachu, PhD

Anne Tempelmeier

Pallavi Thaore

Lasse Thiem

Anke Thieme

Jan Timm

Engin Toksoez

Julia Ucar

Patrick Umbach, PhD

Jose Miguel Urquiza

Tobias Vöpel, PhD

Stephanie Wälter, PhD

Anne Wagner, PhD

Lia Walcher

Jacqueline Walter

Katja Welsch, PhD

Ina Wendland, undergraduate student

Carsta Werner

Franziska Wiedemann

Thomas Wiglenda, PhD

Lindsay Willmore

Sascha Wiswedel

Heike Wobst

Uwe Worm

Sargon Yigit

Oleksandr Zabiegalov

Jana Zielinski

 

Research

We would like to proudly announce our recent papers in the areas of protein aggregation in Huntington's disease and of protein-protein interaction mapping:

Anne Ast, Alexander Buntru, Franziska Schindler et al., mHTT Seeding Activity: A Marker of Disease Progression and Neurotoxicity in Models of Huntington's Disease. Molecular Cell, 2018 Sep 6;71(5):675-688.e6
doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2018.07.032

Philipp Trepte et al., LuTHy: a double-readout bioluminescence-based two-hybrid technology for quantitative mapping of protein-protein interactions in mammalian cells. Molecular Systems Biology, 2018 Jul 11;14(7):e8071.
doi: 10.15252/msb.20178071

My group's research focusses on ‘Neuroproteomics’, the protein-based investigation of neurodegenerative diseases. In detailed, hypothesis-driven studies we address mechanisms of protein misfolding and aggregation, with the aim of understanding the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and further diseases causally related to the misfolding of proteins. In particular, we aim to elucidate the molecular principles by which abnormally folded proteins, their complexes and aggregates cause cellular toxicity and neuronal dysfunction. In our efforts to promote translation of basic research into benefits for patients, we identify and characterize modulators of protein misfolding cascades in disease (Ehrnhoefer et al., Nat Struct Mol Biol, 2008; Bieschke et al., Nat Chem Biol, 2011). We have previously demonstrated that expanded polyglutamine (polyQ) sequences trigger misfolding and aggregation of N-terminal huntingtin fragments in vitro and in vivo (Scherzinger et al., Cell, 1997; Davis et al., Cell, 1997). More recently, we have started new lines of translational research establishing methods to detect disease-relevant misfolded protein species in biosamples from models and patients. These investigations are directed at the development of predictive disease markers which are a prerequisite for the clinical investigation of new disease-modifying therapies targeting neurodegeneration before symptoms of irreversible neuronal damage arise. In collaboration with Alessandro Prigione, a Delbrück Fellow I have been mentoring since 2013, we have established stem cell research strategies for the rare neurological Leigh syndrome and Huntington’s disease (Lorenz et al. Cell Stem Cell, 2017).

Our second field of activity is systems biology, in particular using interactomics approaches, which are also mainly applied to neurodegenerative disease processes. Previously, we developed an automated yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) system, which we used to generate a focused protein-protein interaction network for the huntingtin protein relevant to Huntington's disease (Goehler et al., Mol. Cell, 2004), as well as a large interaction map of the human proteome (Stelzl et al., Cell, 2005). Recently, we identified highly relevant interactions between the triple A ATPase VCP/p97 and an adaptor protein that effects a fundamental structural change in VCP from a homohexamer to a heterooligomer with far-reaching functional implications (Arumughan et al. 2016). We are constantly developing more powerful methods for the identification and validation of protein-protein interactions, most recently LuTHy, a double readout luminescence-based technology for interactome mapping in mammalian cells (Trepte et al., Mol Syst Biol, 2018).

Publications

News

Prof. Dr. Erich Wanker
Prof. Dr. Erich E. Wanker
Group Leader
Contact
Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin (MDC)
Robert-Rössle-Str. 10
13125 Berlin, Germany

 

Office
Erika Pisch
+49 30 9406-2157
+49 30 9406-2552
31.2: Max Delbrück House
Room 2.01

 

My lab is hosting the team of Dr. Alessandro Prigione, Delbrück Fellow, Mitochondria and Cell Fate Reprogramming.

See his webpages here