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
  • 2010-2020 Professor of Biochemistry and Director of Biochemistry
  • 2010-2020 the group was associated with the Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry
  • since 2020 Professor and Dean at University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany

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

  • Arakel E, Schwappach B (2018) Formation of COPI-coated vesicles at a glance. J Cell Sci 2018 131: jcs209890 doi: 10.1242/jcs.209890
  • Arakel E, Richter K, Clancy A, Schwappach B (2016) delta-COP contains a helix C-terminal to its longin domain key to COPI dynamics and function. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113(25): 6916-21
  • Kilisch M, Lytovchenko O, Arakel EC, Bertinetti D, Schwappach B (2016) A dual phosphorylation switch controls 14-3-3-dependent cell surface expression of TASK-1. J Cell Sci 129: 831-42
  • Pfaff J, Rivera Monroy J, Jamieson C, Rajanala K, Vilardi F, Schwappach B, Kehlenbach RH (2016) Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy mutations impair TRC40-mediated targeting of emerin to the inner nuclear membrane. J Cell Sci 129: 502-16
  • Vilardi F, Stephan M, Clancy A, Janshoff A, Schwappach B (2014) WRB and CAML are necessary and sufficient to mediate tail-anchored protein targeting to the ER membrane. PLoS One 9(1): e85033
  • Arakel EC, Brandenburg S, Uchida K, Zhang H, Lin YW, Kohl T, Schrul B, Sulkin MS, Efimov IR, Nichols CG, Lehnart SE, Schwappach B (2014) Tuning the electrical properties of the heart by differential trafficking of KATP ion channel complexes. J Cell Sci 127(Pt 9): 2106-19
  • Voth W, Schick M, Gates S, Li S, Vilardi F, Gostimskaya I, Southworth DR, Shwappach B, Jakob U (2014) The protein targeting factor GET3 functions as an ATP-independent chaperone under oxidative stress conditions. Molecular Cell 56: 116-127
  • 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