The movement of ions across cellular membranes underlies fundamental physiological processes such as electrical signaling, transepithelial transport and the control of the cell volume.
The research in the Dutzler lab focuses on a mechanistic understanding of ion transport and its regulation in response to environmental stimuli. To this end the group uses an interdisciplinary approach combining biochemistry X-ray crystallography and electrophysiology to determine the structures and function of selected families of ion channels and secondary active transporters that play a key role in human physiology.
When working as PostDoc with Roderick MacKinnon at ‘The Rockefeller University’, Raimund Dutzler has determined the first structures of ClC proteins, members of a family of chloride selective transport proteins that combine gated ion channels and secondary active Cl/H exchangers in a single conserved structural framework (Dutzler, R., et al. Nature (2002) 415, 287-94 and Dutzler, R., et al. Science (2003) 300, 108-12).
The research on ClC proteins was pursued in his laboratory after moving to the University of Zurich in 2003 initially as Assistant Professor and since 2009 as Professor of Biochemistry. In Zurich the Dutzler lab has extended its activities towards other ion channels and transport proteins, which include the pentameric ligand-gated ion channels, a large family of neurotransmitter receptors.
The research on this subject has revealed first structural insight into the family at high resolution by determining the structures of close prokaryotic homologues in different conformations (Hilf, R. & Dutzler R., Nature (2008) 452, 375-379). Hilf, R. & Dutzler, R. Nature (2009) 457, 115-118).
Recently the group has also become increasingly interested in the interaction of ion transport proteins with small molecules, which provides the basis for the design of novel therapeutic agents.
Function in NCCR
- Principal Investigator (PI)
- Management Comm. Member
Professor of Biochemistry, University of Zurich
- Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Basel
- M.Sc. in Biochemistry at the University of Vienna, Austria
- EMBO Young Investigator Award (2006)