Ficner, Ralf, Prof. Dr.

Professor of Structural Biology

  • Dr. rer. nat. (1992) and Postdoc (1993), Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried
  • Postdoctoral fellow, EMBL Heidelberg, 1994 -1996
  • Junior Group Leader, University of Marburg, 1997-2000
  • Appointed 2001 as Head of the Department of Molecular Structural Biology at the University of Göttingen

Major Research Interests

In order to understand the relationship between the three-dimensional structure and the cellular function of biological macromolecules we determine the structures of proteins and protein-RNA complexes by means of X-ray crystallography. Our current projects concern proteins involved in the splicing and modification of RNA and, as well, proteins required for the nucleocytoplasmic transport, and enzymes of the polysialic acid metabolism.

Homepage Department/Research Group

Selected Recent Publications

  • Monecke T, Haselbach D, Voss B, Russek A, Neumann P, Thomson E, Hurt E, Zachariae U, Stark H, Grubmüller H, Dickmanns A, Ficner R (2013) Structural basis for cooperativity of CRM1 export complex formation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110, 960-965
  • Khoshnevis S, Hauer F, Milon P, Stark H, Ficner R (2012) Novel insights into the architecture and protein interaction network of yeast eIF3. RNA 18, 2306-2319
  • Lehwess-Litzmann A, Neumann P, Parthier C, Lüdtke S, Golbik R, Ficner R, Tittmann K (2011) Twisted Schiff base intermediates and substrate locale revise transaldolase mechanism. Nat Chem Biol 7(10), 678-684
  • Güttler T, Madl T, Neumann P, Deichsel D, Corsini L, Monecke T, Ficner R, Sattler M, Gorlich D (2010) NES consensus redefined by structures of PKI-type and Rev-type nuclear export signals bound to CRM1. Nature Struct Mol Biol 17, 1367-1376
  • Schulz E-C, Dickmanns A, Urlaub H, Schmitt A, Mühlenhoff M, Stummeyer K, Schwarzer D, Gerardy-Schahn R, Ficner R (2010) Crystal structure of a novel intramolecular chaperone mediating triple ß-helix folding.Nature Struct Mol Biol 17: 210-215
  • Monecke T, Güttler T, Neumann P, Dickmanns A, Görlich D, Ficner R (2009) Crystal structure of the nuclear export receptor CRM1 in complex with Snurportin1 and RanGTP. Science 324(5930):1087-91
  • Monecke T, Dickmanns A, Ficner R (2009) Structural basis for m7G-cap hypermethylation of small nuclear, small nucleolar and telomerase RNA by the dimethyltransferase TGS1. Nucleic Acids Res 37(12):3865-77
  • Ficner R (2009) Novel structural insights into class I and II histone deacetylases. Curr Top Med Chem 9(3):235-40
  • Wohlwend D, Strasser A, Dickmanns A, Ficner R (2007) Structural basis for RanGTP independent entry of spliceosomal U snRNPs into the nucleus. J Mol Biol 374(4):1129-38
  • Wohlwend D, Strasser A, Dickmanns A, Doenecke D, Ficner R (2007) Thermodynamic analysis of H1 nuclear import: receptor tuning of importinbeta/importin7. J Biol Chem 282(14):10707-19
  • Strasser A, Dickmanns A, Lührmann R, Ficner R (2005) Structural basis for m3G-cap-mediated nuclear import of spliceosomal UsnRNPs by snurportin1. EMBO J 24: 2235-43
  • Dierks T, Dickmanns A, Preusser-Kunze A, Schmidt B, Mariappan M, von Figura K, Ficner R, Rudolph MG (2005) Molecular basis for multiple sulfatase deficiency and catalytic mechanism for formylglycine generation of the human formylglycine generating enzyme. Cell 121 541-552
  • Stummeyer K, Dickmanns A, Mühlenhoff M, Gerardy-Schahn R, Ficner R (2005) Crystal structure of endosialidase NF - the polysialic acid degrading tailspike of bacteriophage K1F. Nature Struct Mol Biol 12: 90-96