Research Group Liebau

The genetic regulatory network that determines how an organism detects and responds to stress is a dynamic and complex system. Exposure to stress causes a perturbation of this system as the organism prepares a defense against its changing environment.

Our general research interest lies in the area of glutathione and the oxidative stress response. Experimental strategies comprise the analysis of single molecules to whole organisms and include methods of molecular biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, recombinant protein technology and structure determination.

We conduct research on parasitic nematodes of medical importance and use Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to investigate the molecular mechanisms of genetic adaptation to xenobiotic compounds and oxidative stressors. Due to the availability of a broad spectrum of transgenic methodology, C. elegans is an excellent system for studies on organismal level under stress conditions. Here we are interested in analysing whether different stressors induce cross-tolerance, being not specific to the physical nature of the stressor but promoting adaption to subsequent environmental challenges.

The current research activities can be divided into five main areas:

Environmental stress, thiol-based redox signaling, thiol-based redox gene regulation and redox homeostasis 

Other glutathione-related enzymes

Regulation of translation and protein synthesis in Caenorhabditis elegans focussing on the 1+ translational frameshift of the antizyme

The secretome of parasitic nematodes: Analysis of host-parasite cross-talk

The UFM1 cascade is a posttranslational modification system highly conserved in most multicellular organisms. UFM1 is implicated in various human diseases. We are utilizing C. elegans as a model system to understand the cellular functions of the UFM1 cascade.