Biochemistry and Physiology of Plants
ETH Zurich, LFW D46.1
Tel: +41 +44 632 38 44
Fax: +41 +44 632 10 44
The molecule we study is so plain
the inorganic polyphosphate chain
The focus of the research in
our group is a simple
polyphosphate (poly P).
Poly P is a linear polymer that consists of a variable number of
(from three to more than a thousand) that are
linked by energy-rich phosphoanhydride bonds. It has been detected
in all organisms and living cells and was found in many organelles.
In eukaryotes, poly P is particularly
prominent in fungi, algae and trypanosomatids.
Poly P serves as a phosphate and energy store and regulates
enzymes, chromatin condensation
and translation. Poly P is also involved in bacterial pathogenicity,
survival during stationary phase in
bacteria and yeast, or the adaptation to alkaline and osmotic stress.
In the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum, poly P regulates
development and predation behaviour, and in humans blood coagulation is
accelerated and fibrinolysis is delayed by poly P.
In our group we study poly P metabolism and functions in eukaryotes and
we work mostly with yeast, filamentous fungi and algae.