Dötsch Group

Prof. Dr. Volker Dötsch

Volker Dötsch is a structural biochemist who studies the role of p63 in oocyte quality control. He has been involved in p63 research since the time of its discovery as a postdoc in the McKeon lab. The Dötsch laboratory has discovered that TAp63α adopts a closed and only dimeric conformation in resting oocytes and described the molecular details of how this protein becomes activated including the kinases and kinetic mechanism. He provides expertise in biochemical and biophysical techniques as well as access to the TAp63 k.o. mouse and a mouse strain expressing GFP only in oocytes.


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  • Gebel J, Tuppi M, Chaikuad A, Hötte K, Schröder M, Schulz L, Löhr F, Gutfreund N, Finke F, Henrich E, Mezhyrova J, Lehnert R, Pampaloni F, Hummer G, Stelzer EHK, Knapp S & Dötsch V. 2020. p63 uses a switch-like mechanism to set the threshold for induction of apoptosis. Nat Chem Biol, 16, 1078-1086

  • Tuppi M, Kehrloesser S, Coutandin DW, Rossi V, Luh LM, Strubel A, Hötte K, Hoffmeister M, Schäfer B, De Oliveira T, Greten F, Stelzer EHK, Knapp S, De Felici M, Behrends C, Klinger FG & Dötsch V. 2018. Oocyte DNA damage quality control requires consecutive interplay of CHK2 and CK1 to activate p63. Nat Struct Mol Biol, 25, 261-269

  • Russo C, Osterburg C, Sirico A, Antonini D, Ambrosio R, Würz JM, Rinnenthal J, Ferniani M, Kehrloesser S, Schäfer B, Güntert P, Sinha S, Dötsch V* & Missero C*. 2018. Protein aggregation of the p63 transcription factor underlies severe skin fragility in AEC syn-drome. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 115, E906-E915

  • Coutandin D, Osterburg C, Srivastav RK, Sumyk M, Kehrloesser S, Gebel J, Tuppi M, Hannewald J, Schäfer B, Salah E, Mathea S, Müller-Kuller U, Doutch J, Grez M, Knapp S & Dötsch V. 2016. Quality control in oocytes by p63 is based on a spring-loaded activation mechanism on the molecular and cellular level. eLife 5: e13909

  • Deutsch GB, Zielonka EM, Coutandin D, Weber TA, Schäfer B, Hannewald J, Luh LM, Durst FG, Ibrahim M, Hoffmann J, Niesen FH, Sentürk A, Kunkel H, Brutschy B, Schleiff E, Knapp S, Acker-Palmer A, Grez M, McKeon F & Dötsch V. 2011. DNA damage in oocytes induces a switch of the quality control factor TAp63α from dimer to tetramer. Cell, 144, 566-576