Prof. Dr. Anne Spang

Biozentrum
University of Basel
Klingelbergstrasse 50 / 70
CH - 4056 Basel
Biozentrum, Room 501A Phone: +41 61 267 23 80
Email: anne.spang-at-unibas.ch
Curriculum Vitae

Administrative Assistant

Brigitte Olufsen
Biozentrum, Room 510
Phone: +41 61 267 21 45
Fax: +41 61 267 21 48
Email: brigitte.olufsen-at-unibas.ch

Maja Güntensperger-Heckel
Biozentrum, Room 508
Phone: +41 61 267 21 51
Fax: +41 61 267 21 48
Email: maja.guentensperger-at-unibas.ch

News

Stressed yeast stores proteins

Unicellular organisms, such as yeast, are particularly exposed to external...more

Anne Spang Research Group receives Sinergia SNSF Contribution

As part of the Sinergia program promoted by the Swiss National Science...more

Journey to Other Worlds – From the Cosmos to the Nanoworld

Come with scientists on a virtual journey of discovery – The University of...more

Research group Anne Spang

The mechanisms underlying protein and mRNA transport within the cell

Molecular transport processes responsible for the correct distribution of protein and mRNA molecules in the cell are important for cellular function. Understanding these processes may help drug development.

Caenorhabditis elegans with fluorescently labeled protein.

Correct intracellular localization of proteins and mRNA ensures cell survival. Specific localization of these molecules allows the development of multicellular organisms such as humans. Were this distribution to be disrupted, two identical cells would always result from cell division. No specific cells with different cell fates could be formed, and in turn, no organs would develop.

Basic principles of intracellular transport

Our work aims to understand the underlying mechanisms that enable precise protein and mRNA localization. In recent years, endocytosis, in particular the maturation from early-to–late endosomes became a focus in the lab, next to secretion. mRNA localization appears to be part of translational control and is therefore important for the temporal and spatial regulation of protein expression.

Baker's yeast and earthworms as model organisms

We use the baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the earthworm Caenorhabditis elegans for our research. Since transport mechanisms are evolutionary conserved, we can extend our findings from the unicellular yeast to the multicellular worm.

Transport and disease

Many diseases are based on defects in the correct intracellular protein localization, i.e. the hereditary form of Alzheimer's disease, cystic fibrosis, lysosomal storage diseases and cancer. Moreover, pathogenic organisms highjack cell transport pathways to be effective. Better understanding of cell transport mechanisms may be useful in developing targeted drugs.