The group develops new methods for the identification and optimization of protein ligands by fragment ligation and fragment ligation assays. Aim of these works is a more profound understanding of the contributions of molecular substructures to protein-ligand recognition. Cooperative enhancement of fragment-interactions is in the focus of our interest.
Progress in ligand identification is translated into optimized chemical probes which are used for the structural and functional characterization of proteins and for the visualization of molecular interactions in living systems. In special cases the chemical probes are starting points for investigating the pharmacological potential of the developed bioactive molecules.
Most protein targets of the group are disease-related enzymes including proteases and phosphatases relevant to clinical indications including cancer, Alzheimer, tuberculosis, and SARS. Recently, the targeted proteins have been extended towards protein-protein interactions.