Institute of Physiology II
D- 53115 Bonn
Phone +49 (0) 228 287-52173
Curriculum vitae Professor Dr. Valentin Stein
The main focus of our work is on the function and development of glutamatergic synapses. We try to decipher the molecular interactions of proteins within the post- or presynapse, and proteins bridging the synaptic cleft.
Synaptic adhesion molecules glue the pre- and postsynaptic membranes together. This class of molecules is important during all phases of the life on a synapse. First, synaptic adhesion molecules allow small protrusion of dendrites to contact axons. In the next step, the adhesive action of these molecules helps to stabilizing these contacts. Finally, synaptic adhesion molecules are signaling inside the axon or dendrite to recruit other molecules and thereby are important mediators for synapse development.
Currently, we study the ability of the SynCAM family to regulate the number of synapses. In addition, we study the trafficking and modulation of glutamate receptors. The interaction of receptor subunits with other proteins is critical to maintain the number of receptors at the synapse and is an important regulator of the receptor function. Currently we are studying posttranslational modifications that strongly influence the protein-protein interactions.
We use the patch-clamp technique to characterize synapse function. With 2-photon in vivo imaging we can observe changing structures in the brain over a long time period.