Welcome to the eilslabs

The eilslabs form a joint research group between the division "Theoretical Bioinformatics" at the German Cancer Research Center (dkfz) and the department Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics at the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology (IPMB) at Heidelberg University. The group is headed by Prof. Roland Eils.



2014jan diventura molbiosys graphical abstract 500pxAfter winning the Grand Prize at the prestigious iGEM competition at MIT at the end of last year, part of the work of the Heidelberg team has now been published in ”Molecular Biosystems”.

The students' project, supervised by eilslabs members Dominik Niopek, Barbara Di Ventura  and Roland Eils, focused on the engineering of non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) by means of domain swapping. NRPSs are mega-enzymes composed of modules - each, in turn, composed of domains -  incorporating a single amino acid into the peptide chain. NRPSs provide an alternative to the ribosomal peptide synthesis,offering the possibility to incorporate in the final peptide product a huge variety of monomers, among which non-proteinogenic amino acids.

In their recent publication, the iGEM team Heidelberg demonstrates that the domain responsible for carrying the activated amino acid (T domain) of the indigoidine-synthesizing NRPS module can be exchanged with heterologous domains from other organisms or with synthetic T domains. These findings open up the possibility to create tailor-made synthetic NRPSs to produce new bioactive peptides important for industrial as well as medical applications.

Beer, R., Herbst, K., Ignatiadis, N., Kats, I., Adlung, L., Meyer, H., Niopek, D., Christiansen, T., Georgi, F., Kurzawa, N., Meichsner, J., Rabe, S., Riedel, A., Sachs, J., Schessner, J., Schmidt, F., Walch, P., Niopek, K., Heinemann, T., Eils, R., & Di Ventura, B. (2014). Creating functional engineered variants of the single-module non-ribosomal peptide synthetase IndC by T domain exchange. MOLECULAR BIOSYSTEMS. doi: 10.1039/C3MB70594C

Further Information:
•        iGEM 2013 Heidelberg Wiki
•        iGEM@eilslabs