Research Groups

Molecular Architecture of the Apical-Junctional-Complex

We combine 3D super-resolution STED microscopy with 3D cell culture to reconstruct the structure of the apical-junctional complex of mammalian epithelial cells. Based on STED imaging of ~20 different junctional proteins we are assembling a supra-molecular model of the APJ. Our model reveals and quantifies stratification of receptors, adapters, scaffolders and cell cortex components from the membrane towards the cytoplasm as well as the asymmetric distribution of polarity proteins along the apical basal axis. This work provides the structural basis to understand assembly of the junctional ring, its mechanical properties and its role in signalling and polarity.