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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.



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.
Pre-printMorreale, FM., Kleine, S., Leodolter, J., Ovchinnikov, S., Kley, J., Kurzbauer,R., Hoi, DM., Meinhart, A., Hartl, M., Haselbach, D., Kaiser, M., Clausen, T. (2021)

BacPROTACs mediate targeted protein degradation in bacteria

bioRxiv . 2021.06.09.447781
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


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