With this microscopy technique we are determining the cellular Ca2+ level optically using chemically or genetically encoded Ca2+ indicators.
Using electrophysiology, we studying the flow of ions across and the electrical properties of ion channels and corresponding mutants. Ion currents can be studied across single cells as well as single ion channels.
Using confocal FRET fluorescence microscopy we study localization and interaction of fluorescence labelled proteins in real time and at the level of single cells.
Using molecular biology we are introducing a variety of mutations (gain-of-function, loss-of-function single point mutations, truncations, …) to identify and study functionally relevant regions with our protein of interest. Molecular biology methods include molecular cloning, polymerase chain reaction, gel electrophoresis, macromolecule blotting and probing.
In addition to macromolecule blotting, we are further performing protein purification and chemical synthesis.
Genetic code expansion
An expanded genetic code is an artificially modified genetic code in which one or more specific codons have been re-allocated to encode an amino acid that is not among the 22 common naturally occurring canonical amino acids. These include among others light-sensitive and chemoselectively reactive ones, which are specifically of interest for our understanding on ion channels. They can be introduced during the natural protein translation machinery site-specifically into the protein of interest using specifically designed tools of the genetic code expansion technology. With that we expect to obtain high spatiotemporal control over protein function, interactions and motions at the structural level.