Sonderforschungsbereich 1324 (Collaborative Research Center 1324)

Mechanisms and functions of Wnt signaling

Physiological relevance of Wnt signaling pathways

Wnt signaling comprises a closely related group of key developmental and disease pathways. Arguably, Wnt signaling belongs to the most complex pathways. Recent discoveries in the Wnt signaling field have shed light on the intricate regulatory mechanisms that control Wnt signaling activity and its role in larger signaling networks. During recent years, significant progress has been made towards the understanding of Wnt signaling cascades.

Research program and collaborative activities

The SFB1324 research program consists of 13 projects and three technology platforms working on two  research areas that are of key importance for advancing our understanding of molecular mechanisms governing Wnt signal transduction. In particular, the CRC1324 will focus on two overarching topics:

Research focus A: Wnt secretion, trafficking and receptor-ligand interactions

• How are Wnt proteins produced, how are they modified and how are they transported in the extracellularspace?
• How do Wnt ligand/receptor interactions specify the signaling response and induce different signaling cascades?

Research focus B: Wnt coupling to downstream and context-dependent signaling

• How is Wnt signaling activated and coupled to different downstream factors in a context-dependent manner?
• How are spatio-temporal dynamics of Wnt signaling controlled?

Project Project title Principal investigators
A01 Mechanisms of Wnt protein secretion in polarized epithelia Michael Boutros, Heidelberg University
A02 Autocrine and angiocrine vascular Wnt signaling in tumor progression and metastasis Hellmut Augustin, Heidelberg University
A03 Ykt6-dependent trafficking of Wnts Julia Gross, University of Göttingen
A04 Roles of lipids in transport of Wnt proteins Britta Brügger, Heidelberg University
Michael Boutros, Heidelberg University
A05 The Wnt code: Deciphering early Wnt ligand-receptor interactions Thomas Holstein, Heidelberg University
A06 Quantitative fluorescence microscopy for the analysis of Wnt pathway interactions and dynamics Gary Davidson, KIT, Karlsruhe
G. Ulrich Nienhaus, KIT, Karlsruhe
B01 Role of DEAD box helicases in kinase regulation during Wnt signaling Christof Niehrs, DKFZ, Heidelberg
B02 Mechanism of oscillatory Wnt signaling activity during mesoderm patterning in the mouse embryo Alexander Aulehla, EMBL, Heidelberg
B03 The roles of Wnt signaling during mitosis Sergio P. Acebrón, Heidelberg University
Holger Bastians, University of Göttingen
B04 Wnt signaling in fate determination of retinal precursors Jochen Wittbrodt, Heidelberg University
B05 Mathematical modeling of pattern formation in Wnt signaling Anna Marciniak-Czochra, Heidelberg University
B06 Orchestration by the Wnt/Hippo/CD95 signalosome of stem like and EMT phenotypes Ana Martin-Villalba, DKFZ, Heidelberg
B07 Uncovering novel molecular mechanisms within Wnt signaling Irmgard Sinning, Heidelberg University
Z02 Advanced fluorescence microscopy G. Ulrich Nienhaus, KIT, Karlsruhe
Ulrike Engel, Heidelberg University
Z03 Advanced genetic screens and genome engineering Michael Boutros, Heidelberg University
Z04 Proteomics Jeroen Krijgsveld, Heidelberg University