Structural biology of proteins involved in circadian rhythms & DNA replication forks

Many physiological, metabolic and behavioural processes are regulated in a day-time dependent (circadian) manner via circadian clocks. Our goal is to acquire an atomic resolution picture and quantitative understanding of the molecular processes governing circadian rhythms and their synchronisation with the environmental light-dark cycle. To do this, we perform structural, biochemical and biophysical studies on purified clock proteins as well as structure-based functional assays in cell culture.

Our goals are 1) to provide a detailed mechanistic understanding of the circadian clockwork and its impact on gene regulation and 2) to guide the design of small-molecule ligands with diagnostic or therapeutic potential in the treatment of clock-related disorders (e.g. shift-work problems, jetlag, diabetes, obesity, sleep- and depressive disorders).

Research website

Positions held

  • Since 2013: Professor in Structural Biology, Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU), Mainz
  • 2012 - 2013: Group Leader in Structural Biology at Adolf-Butenandt-Institute, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich
  • 2009 - 2013: Private Lecturer for Biochemistry, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich
  • 2009 - 2011: Cellular Structural Biology, Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried
  • 2007 - 2009: Private Lecturer for Biochemistry at the Ruhr-University, Bochum
  • 2000 - 2009: Group Leader, Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Physiology, Dortmund
  • 1996 - 2000: Postdoc, Rockefeller University, New York, USA


  • 2007: Habilitation and venia legend in Biochemistry at Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 1996: PhD in Biology at University Heidelberg
  • 1991: Diploma in Biology at University Heidelberg

Selected publications by Eva Wolf

Garg A, Orru R, Ye W, Distler U, Chojnacki JE, Köhn M, Tenzer S, Sönnichsen C and Wolf E (2019) Structural and mechanistic insights into the interaction of the circadian transcription factor BMAL1 with the KIX domain of the CREB-binding proteinJ Biol Chem, 294:16604–16619 Link

Schmalen I, Reischl S, Wallach T, Klemz R, Grudziecki A, Prabu JR, Benda C, Kramer A and Wolf E (2014) Interaction of circadian clock proteins CRY1 and PER2 is modulated by zinc binding and disulfide bond formationCell, 157:1203–1215 Link

Witosch J, Wolf E and Mizuno N (2014) Architecture and ssDNA interaction of the Timeless-Tipin-RPA complexNucleic Acids Res, 42:12912–12927 Link

Czarna A, Berndt A, Singh HR, Grudziecki A, Ladurner AG, Timinszky G, Kramer A and Wolf E (2013) Structures of Drosophila cryptochrome and mouse cryptochrome1 provide insight into circadian functionCell, 153:1394–1405 Link.

Kucera N, Schmalen I, Hennig S, Ollinger R, Strauss HM, Grudziecki A, Wieczorek C, Kramer A and Wolf E (2012) Unwinding the differences of the mammalian PERIOD clock proteins from crystal structure to cellular functionProc Natl Acad Sci USA, 109:3311–3316 Link