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04/23/2018 - MoLife Research Seminar: Gerhard Schütz

Monday, April 23, 2018 - 13:00
Lecture Hall of Research II

Talk by:

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schütz,  Professor at the Institute of Applied Physics, Vienna University of Technology

Title of the talk:

Superresolution Microscopy Images: What they tell us about protein clusters – and what they don’t

The organization and dynamics of proteins and lipids in the plasma membrane, and their role in membrane functionality, have been subject of a long-lasting debate. Developments in superresolution microscopy have facilitated for the first time the direct imaging of cellular structures at length scales far below the optical diffraction limit. Indeed, when applied to the plasma membrane the presence of a variety of protein nanoclusters was revealed, which lead to speculations whether nanoclustering was a general feature of plasma membrane proteins. Particularly in T lymphocytes, clustering of signaling proteins has been proposed to represent a fundamental mechanism for cell activation. Recently, however, doubts were raised whether imaging artifacts inherent to PALM/STORM might have influenced or even caused the observation of some of those protein clusters. To approach these concerns, we developed a method to robustly discriminate clustered from random distributions of molecules detected with single molecule localization microscopy-based techniques like PALM and STORM (1). In my talk I will present the application of superresolution techniques to different proteins expressed at the T cell plasma membrane. Particularly, I will show that the T cell receptor complex is randomly distributed at the plasma membrane of non-activated T cells.

  1. Baumgart et al. Nat Meth. 2016;13(8):661-4.



Further information by: Prof. Dr. Sebastian Springer, Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology - Email:  s.springer [at] ( (link sends e-mail)) - Tel: +49 421 200-3243 - Link to Homepage: