Prof. Dr. Rubén Fernández-Busnadiego
- 2005 - 2010 Department of Chemistry at the Technical University of Munich, Germany
Degree: Doctor Rer.Nat.
- 2010 - 2011 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany, Department of Cell Biology
- 2011 - 2013 Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA, Department of Cell Biology
- 2013 - 2019 Project Group Leader, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany, Department of Molecular Structural Biology
- since 2019 Full Professor at the University Medical Center, University of Göttingen, Germany, Institute of Neuropathology
Major Research Interests
We use cutting-edge electron microscopy to reveal the intricate detail of cellular architecture. We combine cryo-FIB milling with cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) to image cells pristinely preserved by vitrification at molecular resolution.
One of our focus is the study of membrane contact sites (MCS), structures where two cellular membranes come into close apposition to directly exchange Ca2+, lipids and metabolites. We combine cryo-ET with molecular biology and functional assays to reveal the structural and functional roles of different MCS-resident proteins in situ, i.e. within their unaltered cellular environment.
Another major research area is the molecular architecture of neurons, both in their healthy state and in the context of neurodegenerative diseases. For example, our work has revealed the intricate structure of the presynaptic cytomatrix, a dense network of filaments linking synaptic vesicles to each other and to the active zone, likely playing important roles in the regulation of neurotransmitter release. We have also investigated toxic protein aggregates related to e.g. Huntington’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Our work reveals the broad diversity of such aggregates, both structurally and in terms of cellular interactions. These studies are shedding new light into the molecular mechanisms of neuron (dys)function.
Homepage Department/Research Group
Selected Recent Publications
- J. Collado, M. Kalemanov, A. Martínez-Sánchez, F. Campelo, W. Baumeister, C.J. Stefan and R. Fernández-Busnadiego. Tricalbin‐mediated contact sites control ER curvature to maintain plasma membrane integrity. Dev Cell (2019) 51(4):476-487.
- Q. Guo, B. Huang, J. Cheng, M. Seefelder, T. Engler, G. Pfeifer, P. Oeckl, M. Otto, F. Moser, M. Maurer, A. Pautsch, W. Baumeister, R. Fernández-Busnadiego* and S. Kochanek. The cryo-EM structure of huntingtin. Nature (2018), 555(7694): 117-120. *Co-corresponding author.
- Q. Guo, C. Lehmer, A. Martínez-Sánchez, T. Rudack, F. Beck, H. Hartmann, M.S. Hipp, F.U. Hartl, D. Edbauer and W. Baumeister and R. Fernández-Busnadiego. In situ structure of neuronal C9orf72 poly-GA aggregates reveals proteasome recruitment. Cell (2018), 172(4): 696-705.
- F.J. Bäuerlein, I. Saha, A. Mishra, M. Kalemanov, A. Martinez-Sanchez, R. Klein, I. Dudanova, M.S. Hipp, F.U. Hartl, W. Baumeister and R. Fernández-Busnadiego. In situ architecture and cellular interactions of polyQ inclusions. Cell (2017), 171(1): 179-187.
- R. Fernández-Busnadiego, Y. Saheki and P. De Camilli. Three dimensional architecture of E-Syt-mediated endoplasmic reticulum-plasma membrane contact sites. PNAS (2015), 112 (16) E2004-13.
- R. Fernández-Busnadiego, S. Asano, A.M. Oprisoreanu, E. Sakata, M. Doengi, Z. Kochovski, M. Zürner, V. Stein, S. Schoch, W. Baumeister and V. Lučić. Cryo-electron tomography reveals a critical role of RIM1α in synaptic vesicle tethering. J Cell Biol (2013), 201 725-740.