Principal Investigators

Prof. Dr. Maja Köhn

Prof. Dr. Maja Köhn


Prof. Dr. Maja Köhn

Institute of Biology III – Integrative Signalling Research (Faculty of Biology)
University of Freiburg

T +49 761 203 67900

Further Information


Phosphatases are key enzymes in biological signaling processes. As such, their malfunction contributes to a variety of diseases, including cancer, immune and heart diseases, and they are hot targets for therapeutic purposes. The Köhn lab studies these enzymes integrating interdisciplinary approaches including organic synthesis, biochemistry, bioinformatics, molecular and cell biology. Researchers in the lab from different backgrounds aim to dissect phosphatase signaling and to target phosphatase function in disease, with the long-term goal to contribute to applying phosphatase targeting drugs in the clinic. Within CIBSS, the Köhn lab is particularly interested in phosphatases acting downstream of immune receptors, and develops control-of-function tools to study downstream events of receptor activation with spatio-temporal precision.



Phosphatases, immune receptors, control-of-function, chemical tools, interdisciplinary research, biological signalling

The Köhn lab applies chemistry and biology approaches to study and target phosphatase signaling in health and disease.

10 selected publications

  • Emerging insights into serine/threonine-specific phosphoprotein phosphatase function and selectivity.
    Kokot T, Köhn M (2022).
    J Cell Sci. 135(19):jcs259618.
  • The phosphatase PRL-3 affects intestinal homeostasis by altering the crypt cell composition.
    Rubio T, Weyershaeuser J, Montero MG, Hoffmann A, Lujan P, Jechlinger M*, Sotillo R*, Köhn M* (2021)
    J Mol Med. (Berlin) 99(10):1413-1426
  • Dissecting the sequence determinants for dephosphorylation by the catalytic subunits of phosphatases PP1 and PP2A.
    Hoermann B, Kokot T, Helm D, Heinzlmeir S, Chojnacki JE, Schubert T, Ludwig C, Berteotti A, Kurzawa N, Kuster B, Savitski MM, Köhn M (2020).
    Nat Commun. 11(1):3583
  • Turn and face the strange: A new view on phosphatases.
    Köhn M (2020)
    ACS Cent Sci. 6(4):467-477
  • Molecular mechanism of SHP2 activation by PD-1 stimulation.
    Marasco M, Berteotti A, Weyershaeuser J, Thorausch N, Sikorska J, Krausze J, Brandt HJ, Kirkpatrick J, Rios P, Schamel WW, Köhn M, Carlomagno T (2020)
    Sci Adv. 2020/6: eaay4458.
  • The human DEPhOsphorylation database DEPOD: a 2019 update.
    Damle NP, Köhn M* (2019).
    Database (Oxford). 2019, baz133. doi: 10.1093/database/baz133.
  • Activation of protein phosphatase 1 by a selective phosphatase disrupting peptide reduces sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ leak in human heart failure.
    Fischer TH, Eiringhaus J, Dybkova N, Saadatmand A, Pabel S, Weber S, Wang Y, Köhn M, Tirilomis T, Ljubojevic S, Renner A, Gummert J, Maier LS, Hasenfuß G, El-Armouche A, Sossalla S (2018).
    Eur J Heart Fail. 20(12):1673-1685.
  • PRL-3 disrupts epithelial architecture by altering the post-mitotic midbody position.
    Luján P, Varsano G, Rubio T, Hennrich ML, Sachsenheimer T, Gálvez-Santisteban M, Martín-Belmonte F, Gavin AC, Brügger B, Köhn M (2016).
    J Cell Sci. 129, 4130-4142.
  • Elucidating human phosphatase-substrate networks.
    Li X, Wilmanns M, Thornton J, Köhn M (2013).
    Sci Signal. 6, 275, rs10.
  • Development of a peptide that selectively activates protein phosphatase-1 in living cells.
    Chatterjee J, Beullens M, Sukackaite R, Qian J, Lesage B, Hart DJ, Bollen M, Köhn M (2012).
    Angew Chem Int Ed. 51, 10054-9.