The long-term goal of the Krämer laboratory is to understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate responses to diverse cellular stresses. To discover the genetic basis of such stress responses we employ genetic and cell biological approaches.
We focus on three specific topics:
Autophagy and Neurodegeneration
The quality control function of autophagy is necessary to suppress neurodegeneration. We are employing genetic screens to identify genes participating in the regulatory mechanisms that adjust the levels of autophagy to maintain neuronal health.
AMPylation and Neurotransmitter Recycling
Fic domains regulate proteins by AMPylation. We found that this posttranslational modification is required for the normal recycling of histamine neurotransmitters in the fly visual system. Our biochemical and genetic approaches aim to define the critical AMPylation targets necessary for normal histamine recycling.
Lysosomal Fusion and Immune Signaling
Arthrogryposis-renal dysfunction-cholestasis (ARC) syndrome is caused by mutations in the human Vps33B and VIPAS39/Vps16B proteins. For homologs of both genes, Drosophila loss-of-functions models exhibit compromised fusion of phagosomes with lysosomes. We are investigating the physiological consequences of this cell biological deficiency.