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Stefan Knapp

Professor of Structural Biology

Kinases and phosphatases control a large number of cellular processes like metabolism, transcription, cell migration, events in cell cycle progression, cell communication, differentiation as well as apoptosis. These essential processes are not only controlled by phosphorylation levels but also by various protein interactions, activators and modulators present in kinases and phosphatases. Furthermore, the central role of phosphorylation dependent signalling in the control of a large number of cellular processes make kinases and phosphatases very attractive drug targets. In particular kinases have been selected as targets for therapeutic invention since about 80 kinases map to loci that are implicated in human diseases and 164 kinases map to amplicons that have been detected frequently in tumors. Our aim is to determine a large number of structures of representative family members of these important signaling molecules in order to understand their function, regulation and how they interact in signaling cascades.

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