Welcome to the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics!

Welcome to the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics!

The Max Planck Institute of Biophysics focuses on investigating the structure and function of proteins that are embedded in cellular membranes. Membrane proteins functioning as channels, transporters, or molecular sensors mediate the exchange of matter and information of cells with their environment.
Martin Beck receives prestigious ERC Advanced Grant

Martin Beck receives prestigious ERC Advanced Grant

A research proposal aiming to address the mechanical properties of huge pores in the nuclear membrane of cells has earned our Director Martin Beck one of the highly prestigious Advanced Grants from the European Research Council (ERC). Congratulations!
 
New discovery of researchers from the MPI of Biophysics in Science magazine: Nuclear pore complexes are mechanosensitive

New discovery of researchers from the MPI of Biophysics in Science magazine: Nuclear pore complexes are mechanosensitive

A group of scientists led by Martin Beck (Molecular Sociology) has, in collaboration with the group of Gerhard Hummer (Theoretical Biophysics) and scientists from the EMBL, published new insights into the dynamics of the 3D structure of nuclear pores in eukaryotic cells in the scientific journal Science. By showing that membrane tension influences the diameter of the nuclear pore complexes, they identified an unexpected way of regulating the transport in and out of the nucleus under different physiological conditions such as cellular stress. (Visuals: Antoni Kosinski)
 
Werner Kühlbrandt receives the Cothenius Medal for his lifetime achievement

Werner Kühlbrandt receives the Cothenius Medal for his lifetime achievement

With this award, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina honours Werner Kühlbrandt, Director of the Department of Structural Biology, for his outstanding scientific lifetime achievement.
Murphy group’s work published in Science magazine: How methanogenic microbes manage electrons

Murphy group’s work published in Science magazine: How methanogenic microbes manage electrons

This month, the renowned Science magazine published new results from Olivia Pfeil-Gardiner and Bonnie Murphy (Max Planck Insitut of Biophysics) in collaboration with researchers from the Max Planck Insitute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg. New structures solved by the group shed light on direct and conformationally-controlled electron transfer for CO2 fixation in methanogens.
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Our Research 

Martin Beck – Molecular Sociology
How do molecular modules act in concert to generate complex cellular functions?
Werner Kühlbrandt – Structural Biology
How can we make the most of cryo-electron microscopy for determining the structure and function of membrane protein complexes?
Bonnie Murphy – Redox and Metalloproteins
How are the structures of redox and metalloproteins fine-tuned to facilitate their activity?

Ulrich Ermler – Enzyme Mechanism
We are focused on the enzyme structure-based analysis of challenging biochemical processes in anaerobic biomass degradation.
 
Eugene Kim – Structure and Dynamics of Chromosomes
What are the universal principles that underlie chromosome organization across all forms of life?
Melanie McDowell – Membrane Protein Biogenesis
What molecular mechanisms control the delivery and correct insertion of membrane proteins at the endoplasmic reticulum?
Hartmut Michel – Molecular Membrane Biology
How to generate and use structural information to investigate function and mechanisms of membrane protein complexes?
 
Beata Turoňová – Image Processing
Our software method development focuses on improving tomogram quality and integrating contextual information into subtomogram averaging routines.
Sonja Welsch – Electron Microscopy
Our state-of-the-art equipment, and technical and scientific user support allow for novel insights into biological structures and molecular mechanisms.
Ernst Bamberg (Emeritus) – The Functional Analysis of Electrogenic Membrane Proteins
We focus on the molecular mechanism of rhodopsin-like ion pumps and channels, and on their optogenetic applications.
 

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Latest Publications

1.
Journal Article
Yongchan Lee, Pattama Wiriyasermkul, Pornparn Kongpracha, Satomi Moriyama, Deryck J. Mills, Werner Kühlbrandt, and Shushi Nagamori, "Ca2+-mediated higher-order assembly of heterodimers in amino acid transport system b0,+ biogenesis and cystinuria," Nature Communications 13, 2708 (2022).
2.
Journal Article
Valentin Borshchevskiy, Kirill Kovalev, Ekaterina Round, Rouslan Efremov, Roman Astashkin, Gleb Bourenkov, Dmitry Bratanov, Taras Balandin, Igor Chizhov, Christian Baeken, Ivan Gushchin, Alexander Kuzmin, Alexey Alekseev, Andrey Rogachev, Dieter Willbold, Martin Engelhard, Ernst Bamberg, Georg Büldt, and Valentin Gordeliy, "True-atomic-resolution insights into the structure and functional role of linear chains and low-barrier hydrogen bonds in proteins," Nature Structural and Molecular Biology (2022).

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