Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences
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Schwappach, Blanche, Prof. Dr.

Professor, Director of Biochemistry

  • 1996 Dr rer nat (Biology), Centre for Molecular Neurobiology (ZMNH), University of Hamburg

  • 1997-2000 Postdoctoral fellow (Laboratory of Lily Jan, University of California, San Francisco, USA)

  • 2000-2007 Research group leader at the Centre for Molecular Biology (ZMBH), University of Heidelberg

  • 2004 Habilitation (Molecular Biology and Cell Biology) at the ZMBH

  • 2007-2010 Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, UK

  • since 2010 Professor of Biochemistry and Director of Biochemistry

  • since 2010 the group is associated with the Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry

Major Research Interests

The group works on different aspects of membrane protein biogenesis and its integration into the physiology of organs such as the brain or the heart. We study the early life of tail-anchored proteins that are post-translationally targeted to the endoplasmic reticulum for membrane integration. Other projects address the role of sorting motifs during the passage of ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors through the secretory pathway. One channel under investigation (the KATP channel) couples cellular metabolism to insulin secretion in pancreatic beta cells. In the brain and the heart KATP channels play less defined roles that we currently address employing biochemical methods. We study biogenesis and trafficking under (patho)physiological conditions in genetically tractable model organisms such as yeast or mouse. Besides membrane protein biochemistry we use GFP-based physiological sensors for small molecules and ions in cellular compartments. This allows us to tackle how ion channels and transporters contribute to different physicochemical milieus inside cells.

Homepage Department/Research Group


Selected Recent Publications

  • WRB and CAML are necessary and sufficient to mediate tail-anchored protein targeting to the ER membrane.
    Vilardi F, Stephan M, Clancy A, Janshoff A, Schwappach B. PLoS One. 2014 Jan 2;9(1):e85033. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085033. eCollection 2014.
    PMID: 24392163

  • Tuning the electrical properties of the heart by differential trafficking of KATP ion channel complexes.
    Arakel EC, Brandenburg S, Uchida K, Zhang H, Lin YW, Kohl T, Schrul B, Sulkin MS, Efimov IR, Nichols CG, Lehnart SE, Schwappach B. J Cell Sci. 2014 May 1;127(Pt 9):2106-19. doi: 10.1242/jcs.141440. Epub 2014 Feb 25. PMID: 24569881

    Wilhelm Voth, Markus Schick, Stephanie Gates, Sheng Li, Fabio Vilardi, Irina
    Gostimskaya, Daniel R. Southworth, Blanche Schwappach and Ursula Jakob
    in the press Molecular Cell

  • Powis K, Schrul B, Tienson H, Gostimskaya I, Breker M, High S, Schuldiner S, Jakob U, Schwappach B (2013) Get3 is a holdase chaperone and moves to deposition sites for aggregated proteins when membrane targeting is blocked. J Cell Sci 126: 473-483

  • Braun NA, Morgan B, Dick TP, Schwappach B (2010) The yeast CLC protein counteracts vesicular acidification during iron starvation J Cell Sci 123: 2342-2350

  • Leznicki P, Clancy A, Schwappach B, High S (2010) Bat3 promotes the membrane integration of tail-anchored proteins. J Cell Sci 123: 2170-2178

  • Schuldiner M, Metz J, Schmid V, Denic V, Rakwalska M, Schmitt HD, Schwappach B, Weissman JS (2008) The GET Complex Mediates Insertion of Tail-Anchored Proteins into the ER. Cell 134: 635-645

  • Michelsen K, Schmid V, Metz J, Heusser K, Liebel U, Schwede T, Spang A, Schwappach B (2007) Novel cargo-binding site in the beta and delta subunits of coatomer. J Cell Biol 179: 209-217



Prof. Dr. Blanche Schwappach
Universitätsmedizin Göttingen
Institut für Molekulare Biologie
Humboldtallee 23
37073 Göttingen
Tel.: +49-(0)551-39 5962
Fax: +49-(0)551-39 5960
e-mail: blanche.schwappach@med.uni-goett

Molecular Biology (IMPRS)
Molecular Biology of Cells (GZMB)
Biomolecules: Structure - Function -
Dynamics (GZMB)

Molecular Physiology of the Brain (C