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Prof. Dr. rer.nat. Kürsad Turgay

Zuordnung zu Einrichtungen:

  • Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

Kürşad Turgay studied Chemistry at the TU Berlin and received his Dr. rer. nat. from the Philipps University Marburg, where he worked with Mohamed Marahiel on non-ribosomal peptide synthetases. For his postdoctoral research he went to David Dubnau's Laboratory at the Public Health Research Institute, where he worked on the control of competence development by regulated proteolysis in Bacillus subtilis. Next he joined the lab of Bernd Bukau - first at the University of Freiburg and then at the ZMBH in Heidelberg - to continue his studies on proteolysis. Kürşad Turgay has since been a Junior Professor and a Heisenberg Fellow of the DFG at the FU Berlin. Since 2011 he is a Professor of Microbiology at the Leibniz University in Hanover and since 2019 a research group leader at the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin.

Research interests

  • Bacillus subtilis
  • general and regulatory proteolysis
  • AAA+ protease complexes
  • function and mechanism of  ClpCP and its adaptor proteins 
  • function of the adaptor and protein arginine kinase McsB
  • chaperones and protein quality control
  • stress response and regulation
  • thermotolerance
  • stringent response
  • interplay of chaperone and protease systems
  • function of HSP90 (HtpG)



Pausch, P., Abdelshahid, M., Steinchen, W., Schäfer, H., Gratani, F.L., Freibert, S.-A., Wolz, C., Turgay, K., Wilson, D.N. & Bange, G. (2020) Structural basis for regulation of the opposing (p)ppGpp synthetase and hydrolase within the stringent response orchestrator Rel. Cell Rep 32:108157 doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108157

Schäfer, H., Beckert, B., Frese, C.K., Steinchen, W., Nuss, A., Beckstette, M., Hantke, I., Driller, K., Sudzinová, P., Krásný, L., Kaever, V., Dersch, P., Bange, G., Wilson, D.N. & Turgay, K. (2020) The alarmones (p)ppGpp are part of the heat shock response of Bacillus subtilis. PLoS Genet 16:e1008275 doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008275

Mulvenna, N., Hantke, I., Burchell, L, Nicod, S., Bell, D., Turgay, K. & Wigneshweraraj, S. (2019) Xenogeneic modulation of the ClpCP protease of Bacillus subtilis by a phage-encoded adaptor-like protein. J. Biol. Chem. 294:17501–17511 doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.010007 

Schäfer, H., Heinz, A., Sudzinová, P., Voß, M., Hantke, I., Krásný, L. & Turgay, K. (2019) Spx, the central regulator of the heat- and oxidative stress response in B. subtilis, can repress transcription of translation-related genes. Mol. Microbiol. 111:514-33. doi: 10.1111/mmi.14171

Hantke, I., Schäfer, H., Janczikowski, A., & Turgay, K. (2019) YocM a small heat shock protein can protect Bacillus subtilis cells during salt stress. Mol. Microbiol. 111:423-40. doi: 10.1111/mmi.14164

Diehl, A., Roske, Y., Ball, L., Chowdhury, A., Hiller, M., Molière, N., Kramer, R., Stöppler, D., Worth, C. L.,  Schlegel, B., Leidert, M., Cremer, N., Erdmann, N.,  Lopez, D., Stephanowitz, H., Krause, E., van Rossum, B.-J., Schmieder, P., Heinemann, U.,  Turgay, K., Akbey, Ü. & Oschkinat, H. (2018) Structural changes of TasA in biofilm formation of Bacillus subtilis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 115:3237-42. doi:10.1073/pnas.1718102115

Carroni, M., Franke, K.B., Maurer, M., Jäger, J., Hantke, I., Gloge, F., Linder, D., Gremer, S., Turgay, K., Bukau, B. & Mogk, A. (2017) Regulatory coiled-coil domains promote head-to-head assemblies of AAA+chaperones essential for tunable activity control. eLife 6:e30120. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.30120

Beckert, B., Abdelshahid, M., Schäfer, H., Steinchen, W., Arenz, S., Berninghausen, O., Beckmann, R., Bange, G., Turgay, K. & Wilson, D.N. (2017) Structure of the Bacillus subtilis hibernating 100S ribosome reveals the basis for 70S dimerization. EMBO J 36:2061-72. doi: 10.15252/embj.201696189

Molière, N., Hoßmann, J., Schäfer, H. & Turgay, K. (2016) Role of Hsp100/Clp protease complexes in controlling the regulation of motility in Bacillus subtilis. Front. Microbiol. 7:315. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00315

Runde, S., Molière, N., Heinz, A., Maisonneuve, E., Janczikowski, A., Elsholz, A.K.W., Gerth, U., Hecker, M. & Turgay, K. (2014) The role of thiol oxidative stress response in heat-induced protein aggregate formation during thermotolerance in Bacillus subtilis. Mol. Microbiol. 91:1036-52.

Elsholz, A., Turgay, K., Michalik, S., Hessling, B., Gronau, K., Oertel, D., Mäder, U., Bernhardt, J., Becher, D., Hecker, M. & Gerth, U. (2012) Global impact of protein arginine phosphorylation on the physiology of Bacillus subtilis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109: 7451-56.

Fuhrmann, J., Schmidt, A., Spiess, S., Lehner, A., Turgay, K., Mechtler, K., Charpentier, E. & Clausen, T. (2009) McsB Is a Protein Arginine Kinase That Phosphorylates and Inhibits the Heat-Shock Regulator CtsR. Science 324:1323-27.

Kirstein, J., Hoffmann, A., Lilie, H., Schmidt, R., Rübsamen-Waigmann, H., Brötz-Oesterhelt, H., Mogk, A. & Turgay, K. (2009) The antibiotic ADEP reprograms ClpP, switching it from a regulated to an uncontrolled protease. EMBO Mol Med 1:37-49

Kirstein, J., Strahl, H., Moliere, N., Hamoen, L.W. & Turgay, K. (2008) Localization of general and regulatory proteolysis in Bacillus subtilis cells. Mol. Microbiol. 70:682-694

Haslberger, T., Zdanowicz, A., Brand, I., Kirstein, J., Turgay, K., Mogk, A. & Bukau, B. (2008) Protein disaggregation by the AAA+ chaperone ClpB involves partial threading of looped polypeptide segments. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 15:641-50.

Erbse, A.H., Wagner, J.N., Truscott, K.N., Spall, S.K., Kirstein, J., Zeth, K., Turgay, K., Mogk, A., Bukau, B. & Dougan, D.A. (2008) Conserved residues in the N-domain of the AAA+ chaperone ClpA regulate substrate recognition and unfolding. FEBS J. 275:1400-10.

Kirstein, J., Dougan, D.A., Gerth, U., Hecker, M. & Turgay, K. (2007) The tyrosine kinase McsB is a regulated adaptor protein for ClpCP. EMBO J. 26:2061-70.

Kirstein, J., Schlothauer, T., Dougan, D.A., Lilie, H., Tischendorf, G., Mogk, A., Bukau, B. & Turgay, K. (2006) Adaptor protein controlled oligomerization activates the AAA+ protein ClpC. EMBO J. 25:1481-91.

Andersson, F.I., Blakytny, R., Kirstein, J., Turgay, K., Bukau, B., Mogk, A. & Clarke, A.K. (2006) Cyanobacterial ClpC/Hsp100 protein displays intrinsic chaperone activity. J. Biol. Chem. 281:5468-75.

Kirstein, J., Zühlke, D., Gerth, U., Turgay, K. & Hecker, M. (2005) A tyrosine kinase and its activator control the activity of the CtsR heat shock repressor in B. subtilis. EMBO J. 24: 3435-45.

Schlothauer, T., Mogk, A:, Dougan, D.A., Bukau, B. & Turgay, K. (2003) MecA, an adaptor protein necessary for ClpC chaperone activity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100:2306-11.

Turgay, K., Persuh, M., Hahn, J. & Dubnau, D. (2001) Roles of the two ClpC ATP binding sites in the regulation of competence and the stress response. Mol. Microbiol. 42: 717-727.

Persuh, M., Turgay, K., Mandic-Mulec, I. & Dubnau, D. (1999) The N- and the C-terminal domains of MecA recognize different partners in the competence molecular switch. Mol. Microbiol. 33: 886-94.

Turgay, K., Hahn, J., Burghoorn, J. & Dubnau, D. (1998) Competence in Bacillus subtilis is controlled by regulated proteolysis of a transcription factor. EMBO J. 17: 6730-38.

Chong, P.P., Podmore, S.M., Kieser, H.M., Redenbach, M., Turgay, K., Marahiel, M.A., Hopwood, D.A. & Smith, C.P. (1998) Physical identification of a chromosomal locus encoding biosynthetic genes for the lipopeptide calcium-dependent antibiotic (CDA) of Streptomyces coelicor A3(2). Microbiology 144: 193-199.

Turgay, K., Hamoen, L.W., Venema, G. & Dubnau, D. (1997) Biochemical characterization of a molecular switch involving the heat shock protein ClpC, which controls the activity of ComK, the competence transcription factor of Bacillus subtilis. Genes & Dev. 11: 119-128.

Turgay, K. & Marahiel, M.A. (1995) The gtcRS operon coding for two-component system regulatory proteins is located adjacent to the grs operon of Bacillus brevis. DNA Sequence 5: 283-290.

Turgay, K. & Marahiel, M.A. (1994) A general approach for identifying and cloning of peptide synthetase genes. Peptide Res. 7: 238-241.

Turgay, K., Krause, M. & Marahiel, M.A. (1992) Four homologous domains in the primary structure of GrsB are related to domains in a superfamily of adenylate forming enzymes. Mol. Microbiol. 6: 529-546.

Kohne, B., Marquardt, P., Praefcke, K., Psaras, P., Stephan, W. & Turgay, K. (1986) Monothioscyllitol ethers as discogens and double discogens. Chimia 40: 360-2

Commentary / Preview

Dougan, D.A., Alver, R. & Turgay, K. (2021) Exploring a potential Achilles heel of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: defining the ClpC1 interactome FEBSJ 288:95-99 doi:10.1111/febs.15335 

Dougan, D.A., Hantke, I. & Turgay, K. (2018) Dysregulating ClpP: From Antibiotics to Anticancer? Cell Chem. Biol. 25:929-30

Molière, N. & Turgay, K. (2014) The key to unlock the Hsp100/Clp protein degradation machines of Mycobacterium. Mol. Microbiol. 93: 583-86.

Meeting Report

Hengge, R., Häussler, S., Pruteanu, M., Stülke, J., Tschowri, N. & Turgay K. (2019) Recent Advances and Current Trends in Nucleotide Second Messenger Signaling in Bacteria, J Mol Biol. 431: 908–927 doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2019.01.014


Hengge, R. & Turgay, K. (2009) Proteolysis in prokaryotes - from molecular machines to a systems perspective. Res. Microbiol. 160: 615-617 (Editorial: Special issue on proteolysis in prokaryotes: protein quality control and regulatory principles. Edited by Regine Hengge and Kürsad Turgay)


Hantke, I., Schäfer, H., Kramer, R. & Turgay K. (2019). Das stressige Leben des Bacillus subtilis. Biospektrum (2019) 25:150, doi:10.1007/s12268-019-1023-0

Schäfer, H. & Turgay, K. (2019) Spx, a versatile regulator of the Bacillus subtilis stress response. Curr Genet. 65:871-76 doi:10.1007/s00294-019-00950-6

Elsholz AKW, Birk MS, Charpentier E, Turgay K. (2017) Functional Diversity of AAA+ Protease Complexes in Bacillus subtilis, Front Mol Biosci. 4:44. doi: 10.3389/fmolb.2017.00044

Mijakovic, I., Grangeasse, C. & Turgay, K. (2016) Exploring the diversity of protein modifications: special bacterial phosphorylation systems. FEMS Microbiol Rev 40: 398-417

Kirstein, J., Molière, N., Dougan, D.A. & Turgay K. (2009) Adapting the machine: Adaptor proteins for Hsp100/Clp and AAA+ proteases. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 7:589-99

Molière, N. & Turgay, K. (2009) Chaperone-Protease Systems in Regulation and Protein Quality Control in Bacillus subtilis. Res. Microbiol. 160: 637-644.

Kirstein, J. & Turgay, K. (2005) A new Tyrosine Phosphorylation Mechanism Involved in Signal Transduction in Bacillus subtilis. J. Mol. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 9:182-188.

Mogk, A., Dougan, D.A., Weibezahn, J., Schlieker, C., Turgay, K. & B. Bukau. (2004) Broad yet high substrate specificity: the challenge of AAA+ proteins, J. Struct. Biol. 146: 90-98.

Dougan, D.A., Mogk A., Zeth K., Turgay, K. & Bukau B. (2002) AAA+ proteins and substrate recognition, it all depends on their partner in crime. FEBS Lett. 529: 6-10.


Turgay, K. (2017) General and Regulatory Proteolysis in Bacillus subtilis; p 191-222 In: "Bacillus: Cellular and Molecular Biology (Third edition)”, P.L. Graumann (ed.) (Norfolk, UK: Caister Academic Press)

Molière, N. & Turgay, K. (2013) General and Regulatory Proteolysis in Bacillus subtilis; p 73-103 In: "Regulated Proteolysis in Microorganisms" Subcellular Biochemistry Volume 66, D.A. Dougan (ed.) (Springer Netherlands)

Turgay, K. (2012) General and Regulatory Proteolysis in Bacillus subtilis; p 187-214 In: "Bacillus: Cellular and Molecular Biology", 2nd ed., P.L. Graumann ed. (Norfolk, UK: Caister Academic Press)

Turgay K. (2011) Role of Proteolysis and Chaperones in Stress Response and Regulation p 75-90 In: Bacterial Stress Responses (Second Edition), G. Storz & R. Hengge, eds. (Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology).

Turgay, K. (2010) Regulatory proteolysis and signal transduction in bacteria, p 449-462 In: Bacterial Signaling. R. Krämer and K. Jung (eds.), (Weinheim: Wiley VCH Verlag).

Turgay, K. (2007) General and Regulatory Proteolysis in Bacillus subtilis; p 215-246 In: "Bacillus: Cellular and Molecular Biology", P.L. Graumann ed. (Norfolk, UK: Caister Academic Press)

Dubnau, D. & Turgay, K. (2000) The regulation of competence in Bacillus subtilis and its relation to stress response, p 249-260 In: Bacterial Stress Response, G. Storz & R. Hengge-Aronis, eds. (Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology).