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Professor of Cellular Biology

   Johannes M. Herrmann


    Curriculum vitae:

  • 1986 - 1992 Biology at the Universities of Bayreuth and Tübingen
  • 1992 - 1996 PhD student in the laboratory of Walter Neupert at the Department of Physiological Chemistry in Munich
  • 1996 - 1998 Postdoc in the laboratory of Randy Schekman at the University of California in Berkeley, USA
  • 1999 - 2006 Group leader (wissenschaftlicher Assistent) in the Department of Physiological Chemistry at the Adolf-Butenandt Institute in Munich
  • 2006 - Arnold Sommerfeld Award of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences
  • since 2006 - Professor of Cell Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Kaiserslautern. Head of the Department
  • 2008 - Personal Teaching Award, Rheinland-Pfalz
  • Feb 2009 -  Feb 2012 Dean of the Biological Faculty
  • 2010 - Award for Excellent Teaching in Rheinland-Pfalz
  • 2011 - FEBS National Lecture Award, Brussels
  • 2011-2017 - Spokesperson of the GBM studygroup Redox Biology
  • 2015-2017 - Vice President of the GBM
  • since 2016 Member of the DFG Panel Biochemistry (Fachkollegium 201)
  • since 2017 - President of the GBM (German Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
  • Membership on Editorial Boards of BBA-General Topics, of Biological Chemistry, and Microbial Cell

Major Research Interest:

One main focus of our group is the biogenesis of proteins of the mitochondrial inner membrane which belongs to the protein-richest membranes of the eukaryotic cell. The inner membrane accommodates a large number of different integral membrane proteins which, typically assembled in multiprotein complexes, perform a variety of functions like the transport of molecules or generation of ATP. We analyze how these proteins are inserted into the inner membrane, and especially focus on the membrane integration and assembly of mitochondrial translation products.

The second aspect of our research addresses the biogenesis of proteins of the intermembrane space of mitochondria. This compartment contains factors which are essential for energy metabolism, metabolite and protein transport or apoptosis. Several of these proteins contain cysteine residues which are oxidized in the intermembrane space forming intramolecular disulfide bridges. We characterize the machinery which catalyses protein oxidation and analyse its relevance in vitro and in vivo.

Selected Recent Publications:

Boos F, Krämer L, Groh C, Jung F, Haberkant P, Stein F, Wollweber F, Gackstatter A, Zöller E, van der Laan M, Savitski MM, Benes V, Herrmann JM. 2019. Mitochondrial protein-induced stress triggers a global adaptive transcriptional programme. Nature Cell Biol 2019 21:442-451

Hansen KG, Aviram N, Laborenz J, Bibi C, Meyer M, Spang A, Schuldiner M, Herrmann JM. 2018. An ER surface retrieval pathway safeguards the import of mitochondrial membrane proteins in yeast. Science. 361, 1118-1122.

Peleh V, Cordat, E, Herrmann JM. 2016. Mia40 is a trans-site receptor that drives protein import into the mitochondrial intermembrane space by hydrophobic substrate binding. eLIFE 2016 Jun 25;5. pii: e16177. doi: 10.7554/eLife.16177

Beckmann R, Herrmann JM. 2015. Mitoribosome oddities. Science 348, 288-289

Pfeffer S, Woellhaf MW, Herrmann JM, Förster F. 2015. Organization of the mitochondrial translation machinery studied in situ by cryoelectron tomogrphy. Nature Commun. 6, 6019

Weckbecker D, Longen S, Riemer J, Herrmann JM. 2012. Atp23 biogenesis reveals a chaperone-like folding activity of Mia40 in the IMS of mitochondria. EMBO J. 31, 4348-4358

Bien M, Longen S, Wagener N, Chwalla I, Herrmann JM, Riemer J. 2010. Mitochondrial Disulfide Bond Formation Is Driven by Intersubunit Electron Transfer in Erv1 and Proofread by Glutathione. Mol Cell 37, 516-528

Riemer J, Bulleid N, Herrmann JM. 2009. Disulfide formation in the ER and mitochondria: two solutions to a common process. Science 324, 1284-1287

Neupert W, Herrmann JM 2007. Translocation of Proteins into Mitochondria. Annu Rev Biochem 76, 723-749

Mesecke N, Terziyska N, Kozany C, Baumann F, Neupert W, Hell K, Herrmann JM. 2005. A disulfide relay system in the intermembrane space of mitochondria that mediates protein import. Cell 121, 1059-1069