Project group leader Sascha Pust: Membrane-associated proteins in intracellular trafficking and disease

Sascha Pust

Biomembranes are highly dynamic structures that act as communicating platforms, able to respond to extra- and intracellular stimuli. A complex network of interactions with membrane-associated proteins is the basis to execute the enormous variety of biological processes that are associated with cellular membranes. In consequence, the exact spatial-temporal regulation of these interactions is absolutely essential for the maintenance of cellular functions and the integrity of tissues. Dysregulation of these processes is linked to developmental defects, cancer and other diseases. A detailed understanding of the mechanisms that are involved in the structural and functional regulation of membrane-associated processes is the basis for the development of new strategies for cancer treatment.


The primary aim of our research is to characterize the underlying molecular mechanisms that determine the function of membrane-associated proteins in trafficking processes and carcinogenesis.

A specific focus of this project is to elucidate the mechanistic and functional role of scaffolding proteins in the development of pathological conditions. Beside other components, membrane scaffolding proteins guarantee the structural organization of membranes and are involved in the regulation of signaling and trafficking processes. These proteins are preferentially associated to the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane, are known to mediate the assembly and maintenance of specialized subdomains and interact with membrane components and other membrane associated proteins. However, our knowledge about the interaction of scaffolding proteins with specific components of biomembranes, such as lipids and receptors, is still limited and only very few detailed studies about molecular mechanisms or pathophysiological consequences are available.



Intracellular dynamics of ErbB2 receptors visualized by live-cell microscopy.



Our research is supported by:



Contact information:
Sascha Pust, Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute for Cancer Research
Oslo University Hospital,The Norwegian Radium Hospital,0379 Oslo, Norway
Phone +47 22 78 18 04