Emeritus Group Prof. Ernst Bamberg

Emeritus Group Prof. Ernst Bamberg

Functional analysis of electrogenic membrane proteins

The focus of the research of the emeritus group is the functional analysis of electrogenic membrane proteins. Transporters, ion pumps as well as ion channels are under investigation. Electrical, electrophysiological and spectroscopic methods are applied.

The methodological spectrum is completed by protein purification and molecular biology approaches In order to obtain a detailed view of the transport across the membrane. Kinetic methods are applied to study transport and conformational dynamics of the proteins in situ and in vitro. The main topic is the functional and structural analysis of microbial rhodopsins, which can be used as optogenetic tools. The most prominent player within this class of proteins is channelrhodopsin 2 (ChR2). ChR2 was described by us as the first light-gated channel, which became a long-sought tool in neurobiology, because its insertion in electrically excitable cells (neurons, muscle cells) yields the depolarisation and thereby the activation of the cells.

Expression of ChR2 together with light-activated rhodopsin-like hyperpolarising ion pumps allows the multimodal control of cells in culture as well as in living animals simply by light with high spatiotemporal resolution in a minimally invasive manner. ChR2 and our newly developed analogues are used worldwide for basic neurobiological research, for biomedical applications and for drug discovery.


Selected Publications, Prof. Dr. Ernst Bamberg

  1. Bamberg, E., Tittor, J.und Oesterhelt, D.: Light-driven proton or chloride pumping by halorhodopsin. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90, 639-643 (1993).

  2. Nagel,G., Möckel, B., Büldt, G. und Bamberg, E.: Functional expression of bacteriorhodopsin in oocytes allows direct measurement of voltage dependence of light induced H+-pumping. FEBS Letters 377, 263-266 (1995).

  3. Nagel, G., Ollig, D., Fuhrmann, M., Kateriya, S., Musti, A.-M., Bamberg, E. und Hegemann, P.: Channelrhodopsin-1, A Light-Gated Proton Channel in Green Algae. Science 296, 2395-2398 (2002).

  4. Nagel, G., Szellas, T., Huhn, W., Kateriya, S., Adeishvili, N., Berthold, P., Ollig, D., Hegemann, P. and Bamberg, E.: Channelrhodopsin-2, a directly Light-gated Cation-selective Membrane Channel. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 100, 13940-13945 (2003).

  5. Boyden, E.S., F. Zhang, Bamberg, G. Nagel, K. Deisseroth: Millisecond-timescale, genetically targeted optical control of neural activity. Nature Neuroscience 8, 1263-1268 (2005).

  6. Nagel, G., M. Brauner, J.F. Liewald, N. Adeishvili, Bamberg, A. Gottschalk: Light-activation of Channelrhodopsin-2 in excitable cells of Caenorhabditis elegans triggers rapid behavioral responses. Current Biology 15, 2279-2284 (2005).

  7. Zhang,F.,Wang,L.,Brauner,M,Liewald,J.Kay,K.,Watzke,N.,Wood,P.,Bamberg,E.Nagel,G.,Gottschalk,A., and K. Deisseroth: Multimodal fast optical interrogation of neural circuits. Nature 446, 633-639, (2007).

  8. Feldbauer, K., Zimmermann, D., Pintschovius, V., Spitz, J., Bamann, C., Bamberg, E.: Channelrhodopsin-2 is a leaky proton pump. Natl. Acad. Sci. 106, 12317-12322 (2009).

  9. Shevchenko V, Mager T, Kovalev K, Polovinkin V, Alekseev A, Juettner J, Chizhov I, Bamann C, Vavourakis C, Ghai R, Gushchin I, Borshchevskiy V, Rogachev A, Melnikov I, Popov A, Balandin T, Rodriguez-Valera F, Manstein DJ, Bueldt G, Bamberg E*, Gordeliy V* Inward H+ pump xenorhodopsin: Mechanism and alternative optogenetic approach. Science advances 3: (2017).

  10. Volkov O, Kovalev K, Polovinkin V, Borshchevskiy V, Bamann C, Astashkin R, Marin E, Popov A, Balandin T, Willbold D, Büldt G, Bamberg E*, Gordeliy V*: Structural insights into ion conduction by channelrhodopsin 2. Science 358, eaan8862 (2017).

  11. Mager T, Lopez de la Morena D, Senn V, Schlotte J, D Errico A, Feldbauer K, Wrobel C, Jung S, Bodensiek K, Rankovic V, Browne L, Huet A, Jüttner J, Wood PG, Letzkus JJ, Moser T*, Bamberg E*.: High frequency neural spiking and auditory signaling by ultrafast red-shifted optogenetics. Nat Commun. 20181;9(1):1750. (2018).
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