Univ.-Prof. Dr. Uwe Wolfrum

The overall goal of the research in my lab is elucidating the function of vertebrate ciliated sensory cells, in particular retinal photoreceptor cell in health and disease. Our studies are aimed to understand the basic molecular and sub-cellular mechanisms by which structural molecules and protein complexes contribute to the function and viability of photoreceptor cells in the vertebrate retina and other primary cilia. In our projects, we combine molecular biology and cell biology with protein biochemistry and structural biology to study sensory cell functions and dysfunctions on a molecular level. Into the EMZM we bring an extraordinary expertise in electron microscopy with a focus on immunoelectron microscopy for the in situ localization of proteins and their complexes. The research achievements of our basic science approaches allow us to elucidate mechanisms of retinal degeneration and evaluate founded molecular therapeutic strategies for treatments and cures of retinal diseases.

Current projects in the lab include:
- SANS scaffold function in molecular transport, ciliogenesis and/or deciliation (DFG, GRK 1044)
- On the move: Protein transport through photoreceptor cells (DFG)
- Ciliary protein function: gene regulation and alternative splicing (GeneRed)
- Elucidation of adhesion-GPCR signaling: Deciphering the function of the orphan adhesion GPCR VLGR1/GPR98 (DFG, FOR 2149)
- Generation and characterization of a transgenic Usher syndrome type 1C pig model (FFB, USER2020, FAUN)
- Evaluation of gene-based therapeutic strategies for retina ciliopathies (FFB, USER2020, FAUN, ProRetina Deutschland, Research contra Blindness - Initiative Usher syndrome)

6 relevant papers from over 150 peer reviewed papers

A siRNA-based functional genomics screen for the identification of regulators of ciliogenesis and ciliopathy genes, Wheway G, et al., ... Wolfrum U., ….. Johnson CA., 2015, Nat Cell Biol., 17, 1074-1087. DOI: 10.1038/ncb3201

Phosphorylation of the Usher syndrome protein SANS controls Magi2-mediated endocytosis, Bauss K, Knapp B, Jores P, Roepman R, Kremer H, v. Wijk E, Maerker T, Wolfrum U., 2014, Hum. Mol. Genet., 23(15), 3923-3942. DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddu104

Intraflagellar transport molecules in ciliary and non-ciliary cells of the retina, Sedmak T, Wolfrum U., 2010, J Cell Biol, , 189, 171-186. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.200911095

Immunoelectron microscopy of vesicle trafficking to the primary cilium of photoreceptor cells, Sedmak T, Sehn E, Wolfrum U., in J In: Sloboda R (ed) Methods in Cell Biology: The Cell Biology of Primary Cilia. Elsevier Inc, Academic Press, 2009 Vol. 94, Chapter 13, pp 259-72.

A novel Usher protein network at the periciliary reloading point between molecular transport machineries in vertebrate photoreceptor cells, Maerker T, van Wijk E, Overlack N, Kersten FFJ, McGee J, Goldmann T, Sehn E, Roepman R, Walsh EJ, Kremer H, Wolfrum U., 2008, J Hum Mol Genet, 17, 71-86. DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddm285

Rhodopsin´s carboxy-terminal cytoplasmic tail acts as a membrane receptor for cytoplasmic dynein by binding the dynein light chain Tctex-1, Tai AW, Chuang J-Z, Bode C, Wolfrum U, Wolfrum U., Sung C-H, J Cell., 1999, 97, 877-887. DOI: 10.1016/S0092-8674(00)80800-4

Teaching with EMZM relation:
MSc/MEd in Biology
Molecular Cell Biology (Module 10a,b)
Module 10a (MSc/MEd Biologie und MSc Biomedizin (Universitätsmedizin))
Seminar: Current Topics in Cell Biology, 2 SWS, in Englisch
Lecture: Mechanisms in Intracellular Motility, 2 SWS
Hands on course: Molecular Cell Biology I, 8 SWS
Module 10b (MSc/MEd Biologie)
Hands on course: Molecular Cell Biology II, 14 SWS

Lecture series in the International PhD Programme (IPP) on gene regulation since 2014 (IMB, UMC, JGU, MPI-P), in Englisch