Ralser Lab: Biochemistry und Systems Biology of Metabolism

Life runs on thousands of chemical reactions, known collectively as metabolism. This reaction network is highly dynamic, and adapts to many biologically important phenomena, such as ever changing environments, ageing, and cell proliferation. We study regulatory roles of metabolism and how its dynamics are maintained by combining methods of functional genomics with mass spectrometry. 

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Research Areas

For a long time, metabolism has been seen as a static series of biochemical reactions. Cellular metabolism is indeed however highly dynamic and adapts to various biological situations, such as ever changing environments, cellular aging or proliferation. These properties draw our attention to the metabolic network, for example, when we think of ways to develop therapies against cancer and neurodegenerative disorders or to understand the aging process. Our reserach is focused on:

  • the regulatory functions of the metabolic network
  • the maintenance of its dynamics
  • the systematic identification of gene-metabolism interactions
  • the cooperation of cells to share metabolites
  • the evolution of metabolism 
  • the development of high-throughput metabolomic and proteomic methods

Research Profile

As model organism we often employ the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Working with this single-cellular eukaryote removes some complexity from our investigations, and bias which would result from altered metabolic activity that can be found in mammalian cell culture systems. Furthermore, a plethora of genetic and biochemical techniques is available that allows us to work with up to thousands of mutants in parallel. The combination of functional genomics with mass spectrometry, plus the development of sophisticated computer programs for data analysis, reveals patterns of metabolic control, reconfiguration and adaptation. The simplicity of the model organism on the one hand, allows us to be a 'Multi-Omic' laboratory that tackles some of the most complex biological questions, on the other hand.

Within the frame of the national initiate for mass spectrometry in systems medicine (BMBF), we participate in the coordination and establishment of high-throughput mass spectrometry analytics for clinical and epidemiological studies.

 

More information about the Ralser Lab: Twitter

 

Selected Publications

Key Publications

Messner C.B. et al. Cell Syst 2020

Demichev V. et al. Nat Methods 2020

Gosmann T.I. et al. Curr Biol 2019

Olin-Sandoval V. et al. Nature 2019

Keller M.A. et al. Nature Ecol and Evol 2017

Alam M.T. et al. Nature Commun 2017

Mülleder M. et al. Cell 2016

Alam M.T. et al. Nature Microbiology 2016

Campbell K. et al. eLife 2015

Keller M.A. et al. Mol Syst Biol 2014

Grüning N.M. et al. Cell Metabolism 2011 

Ralser M. et al. Nature Biotechnol 2009

Ralser M. et al. J Biol 2007

Key Reviews

Stincone A. et al. Biol Rev Camb Soc 2015

Miller-Fleming L et al.  J Mol Biol 2015

 

Key Commentaries

Patil K.R. & Ralser M. Cell 2018

Grüning N.M. & Ralser M. Nature 2011