Division of Neurobiologie


Major research topic of our group is the regulation of the neuronal actin cytoskeleton. The actin
cytoskeleton of neurons plays an important role in a number of dynamic processes like neurite
outgrowth, axonal guidance, neuron migration, dendritic spine formation or synaptic vesicle release.
Regulation of neuronal actin cytoskeleton dynamics is provided by various actin binding proteins and is
essential for CNS development and functionality. Hence it is essential to understand the function
of the molecules implicated in actin cytoskeleton modulation.

In the focus of our research interest are members of two different families of actin binding proteins:
the actin filament depolymerizing factor Cofilin as well as the monomeric actin sequestering molecule
Profilin that provides actin polymerization. Using the mouse as a model system, conditional mutagenesis
and a multi-disciplinary approach in analysing the mutant strains (molecular biology, biochemistry,
physiology, behavior) allows us to link these molecules to dynamic events and ultimately to CNS