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Sensory cell biology

The research team is interested retinal cell biology studying the role of the cytoskeleton in respect to the function of sensory cells. We analyze processes and protein complexes associated to the intracellular transport, in particularly the function of centrins and the protein networks (protein interactome) related to the human Usher syndrome.

Our “therapy team” develops gene based therapy strategies for the Usher syndrome for future clinical use. In the lab training of undergraduate and graduate students of the “Neuro Graduate School” of the Johannes Gutenberg University is integrated in the research topics.


  • biochemistry, cell and molecular biology techniques (e.g. mRNA/protein expression analyses; protein interaction assays, Y2H system, TAP-tags, Co-IP, GST pull down; organotypic retina culture; transgenic animals).
  • conventional/immunoelectron microscopy, cryotechniques; high resolution fluorescence microscopy; confocal microscopy
  • gene transfer; adeno-associated viruses; nanoparticles; subretinal injections; read through

Scientific Cooperations

  • Cooperation 1
    H. Kremer, R. Roepman (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
  • Cooperation 2
    A. Pulvermüller, P. Hofmann (Charité, Berlin, Germany)
  • Cooperation 3
    M. Ueffing (Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, Germany)
  • Cooperation 4
    W.W. Hauswirth (University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA)
  • Cooperation 5
    T. Ben-Yossef, T. Baasov (Technion, Haifa, Israel)

Group Leader

Uwe Wolfrum
[more information]


Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz

Cell und Matrix Biology
Institute of Zoology
655099 Mainz

Phone: +49 6131 392-5148
Fax: +49 6131 392-3815



Current Research Projects

  • Project 1
    Functions of centrins in retinal photoreceptors (DFG)
  • Project 2
    Molecular transport in photoreceptor cells (DFG)
  • Project 3
    Decipherment of the interactome related to the human Usher syndrome (DFG, FAUN)
  • Project 4
    Gene based therapies for human Usher syndrome (FFB, FAUN):

    • recombinant adeno-associated viruses
    • nanoparticle mediated gene transfer
    • gene repair via homologous recombination mediated by Zink finger nucleases
    • read through of missense mutations mediated by aminoglycosides

Research Groups