Cluster of Excellence, University of Freiburg

CIBSS-A – Molecular Signalling Dynamics

Cells are the fundamental unit of life and are separated from their environment and compartmentalized internally by cellular membranes. By extension, the transmission of information across membranes that is accomplished by cellular signalling is a fundamental process of life. Signalling processes at and across membranes – such as the cell membrane and the nuclear membrane – are thought to be predominantly mediated by multi-protein complexes operating as supra-molecular signalling assemblies. CIBSS investigates how these dynamic signalling machineries perceive, process and transmit signals, and how signalling specificity is achieved through variations in their formation and composition. CIBSS also elucidates how complex networks of signalling assemblies contextualize information and accurately transduce the signals that control cellular fate and function.



Asifa Akhtar

Bernd Fakler

Thomas Laux

Nikolaus Pfanner



Funded projects within CIBSS Research Area A

  • Studying the dual function of MOF histone acetyl transferase in epigenetics and metabolic control (Asifa Akthtar)

 • Metabolic signalling-dependent molecular coupling of the ain mitochondrial protein translocase (Thomas Becker)

 • Comprehensive molecular analysis of trans-synaptic organization and communication networks (Bernd Fakler)

 • Lipid-Protein interactions in signalling assemblies (Heiko Heerklotz)

 • Signal integration by membrane signalling assemblies (Carola Hunte)

 • Signalling environmental stress to chromatin (Nicola Iovino)

 • Integration of developmental and environmental signals in regulating the chromatin state of root stem cells (Thomas Laux)

 • Signalling at the mitochondrial protein entry gate: Targeting import receptors by cell cycle-dependent and mitogen-activated protein kinases (Chris Meisinger)

 • Integration of BMP graded signals with uniform ZGA activators on early developmental enhancers (Daria Onichtchouk)

The mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system as regulatory hub (Nikolaus Pfanner)

 • Signalling across scales controlling fundamental switches of plant developmental transitions (Ralf Reski)

 • Generation and composition of functional nanodomains on Lymphocytes (Michael Reth)

 • Signaling within phase-separated domains at chromatin in human cells (Ritwick Sawarkar)

 • Spatiotemporal specificity and dynamics of metabotropic neurotransmitter signaling (Uwe Schulte)

 • Spatiotemporal resolution of the role of stress sensors in hematopoietic stem cells (Eirini Trompouki)

 • Inter-compartmental communication in times of stress: Regulatory mechanisms of dual protein targeting between mitochondria and the nucleus (Nora Vögtle)

 • An integrative stress response network activated by mitochondrial membrane signalling assemblies (Bettina Warscheid)

 • Regulatory plasticity of mitochondrial inner membrane translocase and respiratory chain complexes (Nils Wiedemann)