Using a single-molecule microscopy, an international team of researchers has observed live for the first time G protein-coupled receptors that perform critical functions such as mediating the biological effects of hormones. Their findings, published in the science journal Nature, could help in the search for new drugs.
Biomedical research has long been way ahead of the textbooks, says Genentech Vice President Vishva Dixit. In his MDC Lecture, the researcher talked about his fascination with cell death and what it means for research into sepsis.
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
Prof. Thomas J. Jentsch knows: Results from basic research in biology sometimes can quickly become relevant for medicine. He tells us how this happened with one of his subjects of research.
Small “bubbles” frequently form on membranes of cells and are taken up into their interior. The process involves EHD proteins – a focus of research by Oliver Daumke of the MDC. He and his team have now shed light on how these proteins assemble on the surface of a cell and reshape its membrane.
Francesca Spagnoli’s team reprogrammed cells from the liver of mice to become precursor cells of the pancreas by altering a single gene. The results could help diabetics in the future.
Some anticancer agents intend to disturb the function of the p97 protein complex, which is essential for survival of cancer cells. A team of researchers of the MDC has now found a way to break up the p97 complex into its subunits.
Bound for the Luxemburg Institute of Health, Gunnar Dittmar took a few minutes to look back on eight years as head of the Proteomics Core Facility at the MDC and BIH, and to discuss the near future of one of molecular biology’s most important tools.
Proteins perform so many vital tasks that without them, our bodies wouldn’t function. In producing these molecules cells make a remarkable number of mistakes: about one third of all newly synthesized proteins are defective. A failure to recognize and eliminate them can lead to severe diseases. A team led by Prof. Thomas Sommer at the MDC has now gained new insights into the complex process of protein quality control in the cell.
A team led by MDC researcher Annika Weber has pinpointed the efficient mechanism used by cells to label faulty proteins. The findings, which provide important insights into the functioning of protein quality control in the cell, have now been published in the journal Molecular Cell.