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Sie sind hier: Startseite Forschung Prof. Dr. U. Schweizer


Ulrich Schweizer Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schweizer
Institut für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie
Nussallee 11, D-53115 Bonn
Tel. 0228-73 4444
Fax.0228-73 4558
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Our research focuses on two principal topics. One major focus is thyroid hormone action and metabolism. Thyroid hormone is required for proper brain development and function and is a major regulator of metabolic rate. We are particularly interested in a novel concept, i.e. that thyroid hormones need transmembrane transport proteins to cross the plasma membrane: Mutations in one of these transporters, monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8), lead to severe psychomotor retardation in patients. Another facet of pre-receptor regulation of thyroid hormone action pertains to local adjustment of T3 levels by the action of iodothyronine deiodinases, enzymes capable of activation and inactivation of thyroid hormones. Deiodinases are selenium-containing proteins, which represent our second research topic:

 Neurobiochemistry of Selenium:




The complete article can be downloaded as PDF.

Thyroid hormone transporters 

 A very recent addition to thyroid hormone biology is the discovery that thyroid hormones need specific transport proteins to cross the plasma membrane. Patients with mutations in one such gene (MCT8) have been identified (Friesema 2004; Biebermann 2005). Since brain development is known to depend on thyroid hormones and since patients with MCT8 mutations present with severe mental retardation, we aim to understand the role of MCT8 in brain development. 

Some of our projects are focussed on the physiological roles of thyroid hormone transporters in mouse models, Mct8 and in particular Lat2. Here, we are collaborating with Dr. Eva Wirth, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin. 

More recently, we have initiated a project on structure-function relations in human MCT8. This project studies MCT8 with biochemical methods in order to understand the transport mechanism and substrate specificity.


We receive(d) funding from the DFG (Einzelanträge, Schwerpunktprogramm 1087, SFB 665/A7, Graduate College 1208, Schwerpunktprogramm THYROID TRANS ACT).