About our Department

Carsten Wrenger

Phone +55 (11) 2648-8127
Room 147
Email cwrenger@icb.usp.br

Currículo Lattes

Unit for Drug Discovery

Group Members

Flavia M Zimbres
Position PhD Student
Email flaviazimbres@usp.br
Phone +55 (11) 2648-8127
Jasmin Lindner
Position PhD Student
Email jasminlindner@usp.br
Phone +55 (11) 2648-8127
Kamila A Meissner
Position PhD Student
Email meissner.kamila@usp.br
Phone +55 (11) 2648-8127
Marleen Linzke
Position PhD Student
Email marleenlinzke@web.de
Phone +55 (11) 2648-8127
Natalia M Izui
Position Graduate student
Email natimichan@gmail.com
Phone +55 (11) 2648-8127
Soraya Soledad Bosch
Position Graduate student
Email Sorybosch@gmail.com
Phone +55 (11) 2648-8127
Thales Kronenberger
Position PhD Student
Email kronenberger7@gmail.com
Phone +55 (11) 2648-8127

Research line

The Unit for Drug Discovery aims to identify novel drugs and therapeutics to interfere with the metabolism of pathogens and to tackle human diseases.

Research Interests

The general research interest is based on drug discovery against infectious diseases as well as against cancer. The aim of discovering new compounds/inhibitors is mediated by several approaches such as rational drug design by exploiting peculiarities of proteins which has been analysed at the structural level or by high throughput screening (HTS) studies against selected proteins of human pathogenic agents that are involved in disease manifestation. Identified compounds are subsequently validated at the biochemical level using enzymatic assays and mutagenic studies of the respective proteins. In addition to the biochemical analysis novel compounds are also verified at the cellular level by employing the transfection technology. The generated transgenic cell lines are afterwards subject for reverse genetic studies as well as protein- and protein-drug-localisation experiments using GFP-reporter proteins or compound-labelling and fluorescence microscopy.


Wrenger C, Müller S (2004) The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has distinct organelle specific lipoylation pathways. Mol. Microbiol. 53, 103-113

Wrenger C, Eschbach ML, Müller IB, Warnecke D, Walter RD (2005) Analysis of the vitamin B6 biosynthesis pathway in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. J. Biol. Chem. 280, 5242-5248

Müller IB*, Wu F*, Bergmann B, Knöckel J, Walter RD, Gehring H, Wrenger C (2009) Poisoning pyridoxal 5-phosphate dependent enzymes of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. PLoS ONE 4, e4406

Müller IB, Bergmann B, Groves MR, Couto I, Amaral L, Begley TP, Walter RD, Wrenger C (2009) The vitamin B1 metabolism of Staphylococcus aureus is controlled at enzymatic and transcriptional levels. PLoS ONE 4:e7656

Müller IB, Hyde JE, Wrenger C (2010) Vitamin B metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum as a source of drug targets. Trends Parasitol. 26, 35-43

Müller IB, Knöckel J, Eschbach ML, Bergmann B, Walter RD, Wrenger C (2010) Secretion of an acid phosphatase provides a possible mechanism to acquire host nutrients by Plasmodium falciparum. Cell. Microbiol. 12, 677-691

Knöckel J, Müller IB, Butzloff S, Bergmann B, Walter RD, Wrenger C (2012) The antioxidative effect of de novo generated vitamin B6 in Plasmodium falciparum validated by protein interference. Biochem. J Disease 443, 397-405

Reeksting SB, Müller IB, Burger PB, Burgos ES, Salmon L, Louw AI, Birkholtz LM, Wrenger C (2013) Exploring inhibition of Pdx1, a component of the PLP synthase complex of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Biochem. J. Chem. Biol. 449, 175-187

Chan XW*, Wrenger C*, Stahl K, Bergmann B, Winterberg M, Müller IB#, Saliba KJ# (2013) Chemical and genetic validation of thiamine utilization as an antimalarial drug target. Nature Commun. 4, 2060

Begum A* Drebes J*, Kikhney A, Müller IB, Perbandt M, Svergun D, Wrenger C#, Betzel C# (2013) Staphylococcus aureus thiaminase II - Oligomerization warrants proteolytic protection against serine proteases. Acta Crystallogr. D Biol. Crystallogr. 69, 2320-2329


Research Projects/Funding



Prof. Dr. Alexander Henning Ulrich – IQ/USP, Brazil

Prof. Dr. Dr. Christian Betzel, University of Hamburg, Germany

Prof. Dr. Eva Liebau, University of Münster, Germany

Prof. Dr. Carsten Claussen, European ScreeningPort, Fraunhofer IME, Germany

Dr. Matthew R Groves, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Prof. Dr. Lyn-Marie Birkholtz, University of Pretoria, South-Africa

Dr. Kevin J Saliba, The Australian National University, Australia