Academics at the Department of Biology

Prof. Busch

Karin Busch, Prof. Dr. rer. nat.

Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Institut für Molekulare Zellbiologie (IMZ)
AG Zoologie und Molekulare Zellbiologie
Schlossplatz 5
D-48149 Münster
Tel: +49-(0) 251-83-21560
Fax: +49-(0) 251-83-24723

Wissenschaftlicher Werdegang
1986-1995    Studium der Biochemie (Vordiplom), Biologie (Diplom, Staatsexamen) und Chemie (Staatsexamen) an der Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
1996     Promotion (magna cum laude) am Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen bei Prof. Dr. Helga Ninnemann
1997 - 1999     Postdoktorandin am Department of Plant Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel bei Prof. Dr. Hillel Fromm
1999 - 2000     Postdoktorandin am Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Martinsried, München, und Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie, Tübingen bei Dr. Stefan Schuster, Prof. Dr. Dieter Österhelt und Prof. Dr. Christiane Nüsslein-Vollhard
2000 - 2003     Postdoktorandin an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Institut für Biochemie, bei Prof. Dr. Robert Tampé 
2004 - 2007    Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Institut für Zellbiologie und Neurobiologie, bei Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bereiter-Hahn 
2008 - 2009    Unabhängige Nachwuchsgruppenleiterin „Zellbiologie höherer Eukaryonten“ am Fachbereich Biologie der Universität Osnabrück
2009 - 2015    Juniorprofessorin “Mitochondriale Dynamik” am Fachbereich Biologie/Chemie der Universität Osnabrück
Seit April 2015    Professorin „Zoologie und Molekulare Zellbiologie“ am Fachbereich Biologie der WWU Münster

Physikalische und Chemische Grundlagen des Lebens; Zellbiologie; Humanbiologie; Bioenergetik und Energiestoffwechsel; Fortgeschrittene Methoden der Mikroskopie; Die zentrale Rolle von Mitochondrien im Leben, Altern und Sterben von Zellen


  • Bioenergetik, Dynamik und Qualitätskontrolle von Mitochondrien in höheren Eukaryonten
  • Einzelmolekül-Mikroskopie
  • Mikrokompartimentierung und Ultrastruktur der Mitochondrien
  • In situ-Funktionsmessungen mitochondrialer Aktivität
  • Protein-Makrokomplexe in bioenergetischen Membranen
  • Regulation und Adaption mitochondrialer Funktionalität
  • Höchstauflösende Mikroskopie-Methoden, Einzelmolekül-Mikroskopie, Kryo-Tomography, Korrelative Mikroskopie
  • Membranprotein-Dynamik in lebenden Zellen
  • Nanopartikel als Marker für Langzeitbeobachtungen in Zellen

Ausgewählte Projekte

  • Spatio-temporal assembly of OXPHOS supercomplexes in mitochondrial fusion and fission dynamics (DFG Bu2211/1-1, 1-2)
  • Impact of mitochondrial ultra-structure and dynamics on OXPHOS functionality and mitochondrial performance: matters of micro-compartmentation
  • Mitochondrial dynamics and mitochondrial quality control
  • Localization and tracking of individual mitochondrial OXPHOS complexes in living mammalian cells
  • Mitochondria in neuronal cell types with tauopathies (SFB 944-P16)

Our research focuses on the dynamic organization of the mitochondrial bioenergetics system. In particular, we are interested in the causes and consequences of functional heterogeneity in mitochondria in mammalian cells in situ, a topic that is not well understood until now. We are convinced that the combination of novel, highly advanced microscopic techniques (together with ample molecular biology) gives us new and deeper insights in the role of micro-compartmentation for functionality and thus regulation of mitochondrial bioenergetics. With the answers to our questions we will gain a fundamental understanding how the mitochondrial respiratory compartment is spatio-temporally and functionally structured. Our qualitative and quantitative analysis will provide us with more information how quality control is organized, a matter of pivotal interest in the context of mitochondrial failure in neuro-degenerative diseases. Least, we will learn about the adaptive plasticity of the OXPHOS system in highest spatio-temporal resolution.

Ausgewählte Kooperationen

  • Samuel T. Hess, Orono States Univerity, Maine, USA
  • Guy Perkins, University of California, San Diego, USA
  • Orian Shirihai, Boston University, USA
  • Andreas Reichert, Universität Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Jacob Piehler, Biophysik, Universität Osnabrück, Germany


  • Rieger B., Shalaeva D., Söhnel A., Kohl W., Duwe P., Mulkidjanian A., Busch K. . ‘Lifetime imaging of GFP at CoxVIIIa reports respiratory supercomplex assembly in live cells.’ Scientific Reports 7, No. null. doi: 10.1038/srep46055.
  • Appelhans T., Busch K. . ‘Single molecule tracking and localization of mitochondrial protein complexes in live cells.’ In Methods in Molecular Biology - Mitochondria, edited by Springer (Ed.): , 273-291. New York: Humana Press Inc. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-6824-4_17.
  • Drees C, Raj AN, Kurre R, Busch KB, Haase M, Piehler J. . ‘Engineered Upconversion Nanoparticles for Resolving Protein Interactions inside Living Cells.Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 55, No. 38: 11668-11672.
  • Sohnel AC, Kohl W, Gregor I, Enderlein J, Rieger B, Busch KB. . ‘Probing of protein localization and shuttling in mitochondrial microcompartments by FLIM with sub-diffraction resolution.’ Biochim Biophys Acta Bioenergetics special issue EBEC-2016, No. 1857 (8): 1290-1299. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2016.03.021.
  • Beinlich F., Drees C., Piehler J., Busch K. . ‘Shuttling of PINK1 between Mitochondrial Microcompartments Resolved by Triple-Color Superresolution Microscopy.’ ACS Chemical Biology 10, No. 9: 1970-1976. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.5b00295.
  • Orban-Glass I, Voskoboynikova N, Busc, K B, Klose D, Rickert C, Mosslehy W, Roder F, Wilkens V, Piehler J, Engelhard M Steinhof HJ, Klare JP,. . ‘Clustering and dynamics of phototransducer signaling domains revealed by site-directed spin labeling electron paramagnetic resonance on SRII/HtrII in membranes and nanodiscs.’ Biochemistry 54, No. 2: 349-362.
  • Rieger B, Junge W, Busch K. . ‘Lateral pH gradient between OXPHOS complex IV and F0F1 ATP-synthase in folded mitochondrial membranes.’ Nature Communications 5. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4103.
  • Busch K., Kowald A., Spelbrink J. . ‘Quality matters: How does mitochondrial network dynamics and quality control impact on mtDNA integrity?Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 369, No. 1646. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0442.
  • Wilkens, V. Kohl, W. Busch, K. . ‘Restricted diffusion of OXPHOS complexes in dynamic mitochondria delays their exchange between cristae and engenders a transitory mosaic distribution.’ Journal of cell science 126, No. Pt1: 103-116.
  • Hanke G., Busch K., Deckers-Hebestreit G., Mulkidjanian A., Biology C. . ‘Dynamics of bioenergetic microcompartments.’ Biological Chemistry 394, No. 2: 163-188. doi: 10.1515/hsz-2012-0254.
  • Appelhans T., Richter C., Wilkens V., Hess S., Piehler J., Busch K. . ‘Nanoscale organization of mitochondrial microcompartments revealed by combining tracking and localization microscopy.’ Nano Letters 12, No. 2: 610-616. doi: 10.1021/nl203343a.
  • Wilmes S., Staufenbiel M., Liße D., Richter C., Beutel O., Busch K., Hess S., Piehler J. . ‘Triple-color super-resolution imaging of live cells: Resolving submicroscopic receptor organization in the plasma membrane.’ Angewandte Chemie - International Edition 51, No. 20: 4868-4871. doi: 10.1002/anie.201200853.
  • Liße D., Wilkens V., You C., Busch K., Piehler J. . ‘Selective targeting of fluorescent nanoparticles to proteins inside live cells.’ Angewandte Chemie - International Edition 50, No. 40: 9352-9355. doi: 10.1002/anie.201101499.
  • Sukhorukov V., Dikov D., Busch K., Strecker V., Wittig I., Bereiter-Hahn J. . ‘Determination of protein mobility in mitochondrial membranes of living cells.’ Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes 1798, No. 11: 2022-2032. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2010.07.016.
  • Muster B., Kohl W., Wittig I., Strecker V., Joos F., Haase W., Bereiter-Hahn J., Busch K. . ‘Respiratory chain complexes in dynamic mitochondria display a patchy distribution in life cells.’ PLoS ONE 5, No. 7. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011910.
  • Busch K., Bereiter-Hahn J., Wittig I., Schagger H., Jendrach M. . ‘Mitochondrial dynamics generate equal distribution but patchwork localization of respiratory Complex I.’ Molecular Membrane Biology 23, No. 6: 509-520. doi: 10.1080/09687860600877292.
  • Busch K., Tampé R. . ‘Single molecule research on surfaces: From analytics to construction and back.’ Reviews in Molecular Biotechnology 82, No. 1: 3-24. doi: 10.1016/S1389-0352(01)00026-5.
  • Busch K., Piehler J., Fromm H. . ‘Plant succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase: Dissection of nucleotide binding by surface plasmon resonance and fluorescence spectroscopy.’ Biochemistry 39, No. 33: 10110-10117. doi: 10.1021/bi000589e.
  • Busch K., Fromm H. . ‘Plant succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase. Cloning, purification, localization in mitochondria, and regulation by adenine nucleotides.’ Plant Physiology 121, No. 2: 589-597.
  • Busch K., Ninnemann H. . ‘The controlling influence of ADP, ATP and magnesium on the activities of adenylate kinase, ATP synthase, ADP/ATP translocator and the mitochondrial respiration in plants.’ Plant Science 128, No. 1: 85-95. doi: 10.1016/S0168-9452(97)00117-9.
  • Busch K., Ninnemann H. . ‘Characterization of adenylate kinase in intact mitochondria of fertile and male sterile potato (Solanum tuberosum L.).’ Plant Science 116, No. 1: 1-8. doi: 10.1016/0168-9452(96)04372-5.