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David Haselbach

Cells are factories full of molecular machines, fuelled by the thermal energy of the surrounding medium. Randomly impacting solution molecules force the machines to vibrate and therefore move in all directions. Only through well-placed structural features, that prohibit some of the random movements, can molecules work productively. Our lab aims to identify and understand design principles of molecular machines. We use biophysical techniques – in particular cryo-electron microscopy – to watch them in action.



Amann, SJ., Keihsler, D., Bodrug, T., Brown, NG., Haselbach, D. (2023)

Frozen in time: analyzing molecular dynamics with time-resolved cryo-EM.

Structure. 31(1):4-19
Bodrug, T., Welsh, KA., Bolhuis, DL., Paulаkonis, E., Martinez-Chacin, RC., Liu, B., Pinkin, N., Bonacci, T., Cui, L., Xu, P., Roscow, O., Amann, SJ., Grishkovskaya, I., Emanuele, MJ., Harrison, JS., Steimel, JP., Hahn, KM., Zhang, W., Zhong, ED., Haselbach, D., Brown, NG. (2023)

Time-resolved cryo-EM (TR-EM) analysis of substrate polyubiquitination by the RING E3 anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C).

Nat Struct Mol Biol. 30(11):1663-1674
Hodáková, Z., Grishkovskaya, I., Brunner, HL., Bolhuis, DL., Belačić, K., Schleiffer, A., Kotisch, H., Brown, NG., Haselbach, D. (2023)

Cryo-EM structure of the chain-elongating E3 ubiquitin ligase UBR5.

EMBO J. 42(16):e113348
Leesch, F., Lorenzo-Orts, L., Pribitzer, C., Grishkovskaya, I., Roehsner, J., Chugunova, A., Matzinger, M., Roitinger, E., Belačić, K., Kandolf, S., Lin, TY., Mechtler, K., Meinhart, A., Haselbach, D., Pauli, A. (2023)

A molecular network of conserved factors keeps ribosomes dormant in the egg.

Corresponding preprint Nature.


Kandolf, S., Grishkovskaya, I., Belačić, K., Bolhuis, DL., Amann, S., Foster, B., Imre, R., Mechtler, K., Schleiffer, A., Tagare, HD., Zhong, ED., Meinhart, A., Brown, NG., Haselbach, D. (2022)

Cryo-EM structure of the plant 26S proteasome.

Plant Commun. 3(3):100310
Morreale, FE., Kleine, S., Leodolter, J., Junker, S., Hoi, DM., Ovchinnikov, S., Okun, A., Kley, J., Kurzbauer, R., Junk, L., Guha, S., Podlesainski, D., Kazmaier, U., Boehmelt, G., Weinstabl, H., Rumpel, K., Schmiedel, VM., Hartl, M., Haselbach, D., Meinhart, A., Kaiser, M., Clausen, T. (2022)

BacPROTACs mediate targeted protein degradation in bacteria.

Corresponding preprint Cell. 185(13):2338-2353.e18
Pechincha, C., Groessl, S., Kalis, R., de Almeida, M., Zanotti, A., Wittmann, M., Schneider, M., de Campos, RP., Rieser, S., Brandstetter, M., Schleiffer, A., Müller-Decker, K., Helm, D., Jabs, S., Haselbach, D., Lemberg, MK., Zuber, J., Palm, W. (2022)

Lysosomal enzyme trafficking factor LYSET enables nutritional usage of extracellular proteins.

Science. 378(6615):eabn5637
Prattes, M., Grishkovskaya, I., Hodirnau, VV., Hetzmannseder, C., Zisser, G., Sailer, C., Kargas, V., Loibl, M., Gerhalter, M., Kofler, L., Warren, AJ., Stengel, F., Haselbach, D., Bergler, H. (2022)

Visualizing maturation factor extraction from the nascent ribosome by the AAA-ATPase Drg1.

Nat Struct Mol Biol. 29(9):942-953


de Almeida, M., Hinterndorfer, M., Brunner, H., Grishkovskaya, I., Singh, K., Schleiffer, A., Jude, J., Deswal, S., Kalis, R., Vunjak, M., Lendl, T., Imre, R., Roitinger, E., Neumann, T., Kandolf, S., Schutzbier, M., Mechtler, K., Versteeg, GA., Haselbach, D., Zuber, J. (2021)

AKIRIN2 controls the nuclear import of proteasomes in vertebrates.

Nature. 599(7885):491-496
Grabarczyk, DB., Petrova, OA., Deszcz, L., Kurzbauer, R., Murphy, P., Ahel, J., Vogel, A., Gogova, R., Faas, V., Kordic, D., Schleiffer, A., Meinhart, A., Imre, R., Lehner, A., Neuhold, J., Bader, G., Stolt-Bergner, P., Böttcher, J., Wolkerstorfer, B., Fischer, G., Grishkovskaya, I., Haselbach, D., Kessler, D., Clausen, T. (2021)

HUWE1 employs a giant substrate-binding ring to feed and regulate its HECT E3 domain.

Nat Chem Biol.
Gutiérrez-Pérez, P., Santillán, EM., Lendl, T., Wang, J., Schrempf, A., Steinacker, TL., Asparuhova, M., Brandstetter, M., Haselbach, D., Cochella, L. (2021)

miR-1 sustains muscle physiology by controlling V-ATPase complex assembly.

Sci Adv. 7(42):eabh1434
Prattes, M., Grishkovskaya, I., Hodirnau, VV., Rössler, I., Klein, I., Hetzmannseder, C., Zisser, G., Gruber, CC., Gruber, K., Haselbach, D., Bergler, H. (2021)

Structural basis for inhibition of the AAA-ATPase Drg1 by diazaborine.

Nat Commun. 12(1):3483
Rodriguez Carvajal, A., Grishkovskaya, I., Gomez Diaz, C., Vogel, A., Sonn-Segev, A., Kushwah, MS., Schodl, K., Deszcz, L., Orban-Nemeth, Z., Sakamoto, S., Mechtler, K., Kukura, P., Clausen, T., Haselbach, D., Ikeda, F. (2021)

The linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex (LUBAC) generates heterotypic ubiquitin chains.

Corresponding preprint Elife. 10
Schimpf, J., Oppermann, S., Gerasimova, T., Santos Seica, AF., Hellwig, P., Grishkovskaya, I., Wohlwend, D., Haselbach, D., Friedrich, T. (2021)

Structure of the peripheral arm of a minimalistic respiratory complex I.



Ahel, J., Lehner, A., Vogel, A., Schleiffer, A., Meinhart, A., Haselbach, D., Clausen, T. (2020)

Moyamoya disease factor RNF213 is a giant E3 ligase with a dynein-like core and a distinct ubiquitin-transfer mechanism.

Elife. 9
Sonn-Segev, A., Belacic, K., Bodrug, T., Young, G., VanderLinden, RT., Schulman, BA., Schimpf, J., Friedrich, T., Dip, PV., Schwartz, TU., Bauer, B., Peters, JM., Struwe, WB., Benesch, JLP., Brown, NG., Haselbach, D., Kukura, P. (2020)

Quantifying the heterogeneity of macromolecular machines by mass photometry.

Nat Commun. 11(1):1772


Prajapati, S., Haselbach, D., Wittig, S., Patel, MS., Chari, A., Schmidt, C., Stark, H., Tittmann, K. (2019)

Structural and Functional Analyses of the Human PDH Complex Suggest a "Division-of-Labor" Mechanism by Local E1 and E3 Clusters.

Structure. 27(7):1124-1136.e4
Watson, ER., Grace, CRR., Zhang, W., Miller, DJ., Davidson, IF., Prabu, JR., Yu, S., Bolhuis, DL., Kulko, ET., Vollrath, R., Haselbach, D., Stark, H., Peters, JM., Brown, NG., Sidhu, SS., Schulman, BA. (2019)

Protein engineering of a ubiquitin-variant inhibitor of APC/C identifies a cryptic K48 ubiquitin chain binding site.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 116(35):17280-17289


Haselbach, D., Komarov, I., Agafonov, DE., Hartmuth, K., Graf, B., Dybkov, O., Urlaub, H., Kastner, B., Lührmann, R., Stark, H. (2018)

Structure and Conformational Dynamics of the Human Spliceosomal Bact Complex.

Cell. 172(3):454-464.e11


Bertram, K., Agafonov, DE., Dybkov, O., Haselbach, D., Leelaram, MN., Will, CL., Urlaub, H., Kastner, B., Lührmann, R., Stark, H. (2017)

Cryo-EM Structure of a Pre-catalytic Human Spliceosome Primed for Activation.

Cell. 170(4):701-713.e11
Haselbach, D., Schrader, J., Lambrecht, F., Henneberg, F., Chari, A., Stark, H. (2017)

Long-range allosteric regulation of the human 26S proteasome by 20S proteasome-targeting cancer drugs.

Nat Commun. 8:15578


Brown, NG., VanderLinden, R., Watson, ER., Weissmann, F., Ordureau, A., Wu, KP., Zhang, W., Yu, S., Mercredi, PY., Harrison, JS., Davidson, IF., Qiao, R., Lu, Y., Dube, P., Brunner, MR., Grace, CRR., Miller, DJ., Haselbach, D., Jarvis, MA., Yamaguchi, M., Yanishevski, D., Petzold, G., Sidhu, SS., Kuhlman, B., Kirschner, MW., Harper, JW., Peters, JM., Stark, H., Schulman, BA. (2016)

Dual RING E3 Architectures Regulate Multiubiquitination and Ubiquitin Chain Elongation by APC/C.

Cell. 165(6):1440-1453
Qiao, R., Weissmann, F., Yamaguchi, M., Brown, NG., VanderLinden, R., Imre, R., Jarvis, MA., Brunner, MR., Davidson, IF., Litos, G., Haselbach, D., Mechtler, K., Stark, H., Schulman, BA., Peters, JM. (2016)

Mechanism of APC/CCDC20 activation by mitotic phosphorylation.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 113(19):E2570-8
Yamaguchi, M., VanderLinden, R., Weissmann, F., Qiao, R., Dube, P., Brown, NG., Haselbach, D., Zhang, W., Sidhu, SS., Peters, JM., Stark, H., Schulman, BA. (2016)

Cryo-EM of Mitotic Checkpoint Complex-Bound APC/C Reveals Reciprocal and Conformational Regulation of Ubiquitin Ligation.

Mol Cell. 63(4):593-607


Chari, A., Haselbach, D., Kirves, JM., Ohmer, J., Paknia, E., Fischer, N., Ganichkin, O., Möller, V., Frye, JJ., Petzold, G., Jarvis, M., Tietzel, M., Grimm, C., Peters, JM., Schulman, BA., Tittmann, K., Markl, J., Fischer, U., Stark, H. (2015)

ProteoPlex: stability optimization of macromolecular complexes by sparse-matrix screening of chemical space.

Nat Methods. 12(9):859-65


Dölker, N., Blanchet, CE., Voß, B., Haselbach, D., Kappel, C., Monecke, T., Svergun, DI., Stark, H., Ficner, R., Zachariae, U., Grubmüller, H., Dickmanns, A. (2013)

Structural determinants and mechanism of mammalian CRM1 allostery.

Structure. 21(8):1350-60
Monecke, T., Haselbach, D., Voß, B., Russek, A., Neumann, P., Thomson, E., Hurt, E., Zachariae, U., Stark, H., Grubmüller, H., Dickmanns, A., Ficner, R. (2013)

Structural basis for cooperativity of CRM1 export complex formation.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 110(3):960-5


Köster, DM., Haselbach, D., Lehrach, H., Seitz, H. (2011)

A DNAzyme based label-free detection system for miniaturized assays.

Mol Biosyst. 7(10):2882-9