Professor of Pathobiochemistry
Chair and Director of the Institute of Pathobiochemistry
University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany
Vice Speaker of the CRC1177 on Selective Autophagy
Editor-in-Chief Autophagy Section, Cells
The lab of Christian Behl has a long-standing interest in neurodegenerative disease with a focus on autophagy, proteostasis and oxidative stress. The continuing goal of this research is to uncover molecular maintenance processes that allow neurons to survive long-term challenges that occur during aging and neurodegeneration. One key process enabling cells to clear aggregation-prone disease proteins that accumulate over time is BAG3-mediated selective macroautophagy, an autophagic/lysosomal degradation process that is highly regulated by several co-factors and at a post-translational level. Moreover, this pathway appears to be involved in long-term adaptation of neuronal cells to redox stress. Further, employing C. elegans as an in vivo model, the Behl group identifies novel regulators of autophagy with a focus of genes/proteins linked to neuronal disease, such as small Rab GTPases and RABGAPs.
Enhanced autophagic-lysosomal activity and increased BAG3-mediated selective macroautophagy as adaptive response of neuronal cells to chronic oxidative stress.
Redox Biology 24:101181. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2019.101181 Chakraborty D, Felzen V, Hiebel C, Stürner E, Perumal N, Manicam C, Grus F, Wolfrum U, Behl C (2019).
Sigma-1 receptor activation induces autophagy and increases proteostasis capacity in vitro and in vivo.
Cells 8(3). pii: E211. Christ M, Huesmann H, Nagel H, Kern A, Behl C (2019).
RAB3GAP1 and RAB3GAP2 modulate basal and rapamycin-induced autophagy.
Autophagy 10:2297-309. Spang N, Feldmann A, Huesmann H, Bekbulat F, Schmitt V, Hiebel C, Koziollek-Drechsler I, Clement AM, Moosmann B, Jung J, Behrends C, Dikic I, Kern A, Behl C (2017).
BAG3 mediates chaperone-based aggresome-targeting and selective autophagy of misfolded proteins.
EMBO Reports 12(2):149-56. Gamerdinger M, Kaya AM, Wolfrum U, Clement AM, Behl C (2011).
Protein quality control during aging involves recruitment of the macroautophagy pathway by BAG3.
EMBO Journal 28, 889-901. Gamerdinger M, Hajieva P, Kaya AM, Wolfrum U, Hartl U, Behl C (2008).
Amyloid in Alzheimer's Disease: Guilty Beyond Reasonable Doubt?
Trends Pharmacol Sci. 38(10):849-851. Behl C (2017).
Breaking BAG: The Co-Chaperone BAG3 in Health and Disease.
Trends Pharmacol Sci. 37:672-88. Behl C (2016).