Proteins

  • Constricting without a string: Bacteria gone to the worms divide differently

    The rod-shaped bacteria densely populating the surface of the worm belong to the Gammaproteobacteria. These comprise members of our gut microbiome but also some serious pathogens. Nikolaus Leisch

    A new study provides fascinating insights into how bacteria divide. This shows not only how little we know about bacteria outside of the lab, but might also bring us one step closer towards the development of new antibiotics.

  • DigiWest® multiplex protein profiling technology published in Nature Communications

    The NMI is a service provider for Micro Channel Systems. © NMI

    Reutlingen, Germany, September 26, 2016 – The Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tübingen (NMI), a private research foundation, and its contract research provider NMI TT Pharmaservices today announced the publication of their proprietary DigiWest® protein profiling method in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Communications.

  • Enough is enough - stem cell factor Nanog knows when to slow down

    STILT generates simulated protein expression of dividing cells based on measured data and a dynamic model. Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München

    The transcription factor Nanog plays a crucial role in the self-renewal of embryonic stem cells. Previously unclear was how its protein abundance is regulated in the cells. Researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich, working in collaboration with colleagues from ETH Zürich, now report in ‘Cell Systems’ that the more Nanog there is on hand, the less reproduction there is. Every stem cell researcher knows the protein Nanog* because it ensures that these all-rounders continue to renew. A controversial debate revolved around how the quantity of Nanog protein in the cell is regulated.

  • High-speed camera snaps bio-switch in action

    The riboswitch 'button' before, during and after coupling of the ligand (green), from left to right. Credit: Yun-Xing Wang and Jason Stagno, National Cancer Institute

    X-ray experiment opens new route to study biochemical reactions. With a powerful X-ray camera, scientists have watched a genetic switch at work for the first time. The study led by Yun-Xing Wang from the National Cancer Institute of the U.S. reveals the ultrafast dynamics of a riboswitch, a gene regulator that can switch individual genes on and off. The innovative technique used for this investigation opens up a completely new avenue for studying numerous fundamental biochemical reactions, as the team reports in a fast-track publication in the journal Nature.

  • How cells take out the trash: the “phospho-kiss of death” deciphered

    Phosphoarginine functions as a protein degradation tag in Gram-positive bacteria IMP

    Cells never forget to take out the trash. It has long been known that cells tag proteins for degradation by labelling them with ubiquitin, a signal described as “the molecular kiss of death”. In the current issue of Nature, Tim Clausen’s group at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna identifies an analogous system in gram-positive bacteria, where the role of a degradation tag is fulfilled by a little known post-translational modification: arginine phosphorylation. The discovery opens new avenues for designing antibacterial therapies.

  • IMI SAFE-T and C-Path PSTC Obtain Regulatory Support For New Liver Safety Biomarkers

    Micrograph of an intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (right of image) adjacent to benign hepatocytes (left of image). H&E stain.

    FDA and EMA Letters of Support Pave the Way for Clinical Qualification. The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) SAFE-T (Safer and Faster Evidence Based Translation) Consortium and The Critical Path Institute (C-Path) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) each issued a Biomarker Letter of Support for new liver safety biomarkers investigated by the SAFE-T Drug-Induced Liver Injury Work Package, and the Predictive Safety Testing Consortium’s (PSTC) Hepatotoxicity Working Group.

  • Makromoleküle: Mit Licht zu Präzisionspolymeren

    Lichtinduzierte Synthese ermöglicht ein maßgeschneidertes Moleküldesign. Vergleichbar einer bunten Perlenkette platzieren sich Bauteile an die gewünschte Stelle. Grafik: KIT

    Chemikern am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) ist es gelungen, den Aufbau von Präzisionspolymeren durch lichtgetriebene chemische Reaktionen gezielt zu steuern. Das Verfahren ermöglicht die genaue, geplante Platzierung der Kettengliedern, den Monomeren, entlang von Polymerketten einheitlicher Länge. Die präzise aufgebauten Makromoleküle bilden festgelegte Eigenschaften aus und eignen sich möglicherweise als Informationsspeicher oder synthetische Biomoleküle. Über die neuartige Synthesereaktion berichten die Wissenschaftler nun in der Open Access Publikation Nature Communications.

  • Manufacturing Live Tissue with a 3D Printer

    Among the 300 finalist teams this year there were twelve from Germany, including this joint team from TUM and LMU of Munich. (Photo: TUM/ A. Heddergott)

    At the international iGEM academic competition in the field of synthetic biology, the joint team of students from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) won the first rank (Grand Prize) in the “Overgraduate” category. The team from Munich developed an innovative process which allows intact tissue to be built with the use of a 3D printer.

  • New chemistry of life

    Lung tissue during legionellosis.

    FRANKFURT. The attachment of ubiquitin was long considered as giving the „kiss of death“, labelling superfluous proteins for disposal within a cell. However, by now it has been well established that ubiquitin fulfils numerous additional duties in cellular signal transduction. A team of scientists under the lead of Ivan Dikic, Director of the Institute of Biochemistry II at Goethe University Frankfurt, has now discovered a novel mechanism of ubiquitination, by which Legionella bacteria can seize control over their host cells. Legionella causes deadly pneumonia in immunocompromised patients. A novel ubiquitination mechanism explains pathogenic effects of Legionella infection. First results hint towards a broader role in regulating many life processes.

  • New treatment approach for leukemia renders cancer genes powerless

    Microscopic view of blast crisis of chronic myelogenous leukemia. © Public Health Image Library

    Cancer researcher from Mainz develops targeted epigenetic approach for the treatment of aggressive forms of leukemia

  • Newly discovered bacteria-binding protein in the intestine

    Joakim Bergström Photo: Cecilia Hedström

    Deficiency in a certain protein in the gastrointestinal tract has been shown to lead to both inflammation and abdominal fat accumulation in mice. The discovery provides yet another piece of the puzzle of how humans are affected — or not — by the large quantities of intestinal bacteria we carry with us. In the study from Sahlgrenska Academy, researchers have addressed the key role of the bacteria-binding protein ZG16 in protecting the body from intestinal bacteria. “The hope is that eventually, we’ll be able to administer this protein to improve protection against bacteria in patients with a defective barrier,” says Joakim Bergström, postdoctoral researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy. Joakim Bergström is in Professor Gunnar C. Hansson’s research group, which, eight years ago, was first to discover that there is a protective mucus layer in the intestine that separates intestinal bacteria from the intestinal surface.

  • Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod

    Dr. Christina J. Groß (links) and Dr. Ritu Mishra.

    Imiquimod is a medication successfully used in the treatment of skin diseases. In addition to its known mechanism of action, it also triggers other processes in the body. Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have succeeded in explaining the molecular fundamentals of these additional effects. The results also shine a new light on other known molecular processes which could indicate an approach to the treatment of inflammatory illnesses.

  • Novel method to benchmark and improve the performance of protein measurement techniques

    Analysis of a marine sample of photosynthetic picoplankton by flow cytometry showing three different populations (Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus, and picoeukaryotes)

    Quantum leap in the reliability of mass spectrometry-based proteomics. Modern mass spectrometry systems enable scientists to routinely determine the quantitative composition of cells or tissue samples. However, different analysis software packages often produce different results from the same raw data. An international team of researchers led by Professor Stefan Tenzer from the Mainz University Medical Center has now addressed this problem.

  • Peptides as tags in fluorescence microscopy

    Synapses of brain cells made visible using fluorescence tagging based on antibodies: pre-synapses (red) and post-synapses (green) appear out of focus; the synaptic cleft is not fully resolved. (Picture: Franziska Neubert & Sören Doose)

    Advance in biomedical imaging: The Biocenter of the University of Würzburg in close collaboration with the University of Copenhagen has developed an alternative approach to fluorescent tagging of proteins. The new probes are practicable and compatible with high-resolution microscopic procedures. Fluorescence microscopy visualizes the molecular elements of cells. Proteins of nerve cells, for instance, can be labelled using probes which are subsequently excited with light to fluoresce. In the end, the fluorescence signal is used to generate microscopic images of the real position, arrangement and number of proteins.

  • Protein with Multiple Duties

    molecular barrel structure serves various functions in the mitochondria.

    Freiburg researchers demonstrate how a molecular barrel structure serves various functions in the mitochondria

  • Proteins as an early warning system for type 1 diabetes?

    Please find the caption in the text.

    Certain proteins in the blood of children can predict incipient type 1 diabetes, even before the first symptoms appear. A team of scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, partners in the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), reported these findings in the ‘Diabetologia’ journal. The work was based on two large studies that are intended to explain the mechanisms behind the development of type 1 diabetes (BABYDIAB and BABYDIET*). The study participants are children who have a first-degree relative with type 1 diabetes and who consequently have an increased risk of developing the disease due to the familial predisposition.

  • Regulatory molecules: third RNA binding protein identified

    The bacterial RNA universe: The structures of the different regulatory RNA molecules are shown left, their preferred protein binding partners on the right. (Picture: Alexandre Smirnov)

    Pathogenic bacteria use small RNA molecules to adapt to their environment. Infection researchers from Würzburg have now pinpointed a protein involved in regulating the activity of these molecules.

  • Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”

    Gene expression level of individual ribosomal proteins (RP) in different types of cancer (blue: lower level; red: higher level compared to normal tissue). University of Basel, Biozentrum

    A research team at the University of Basel’s Biozentrum has investigated the expression of ribosomal proteins in a wide range of human tissues including tumors and discovered a cancer type specific signature. As the researchers report in “Genome Biology” this “cancer signature” could potentially be used to predict the progression of the disease. Proteins are the building blocks of life. They are produced by molecular machines, called ribosomes. A human ribosome contains some eighty ribosomal proteins. Prof. Mihaela Zavolan’s research group at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has now discovered that about a quarter of the ribosomal proteins have tissue-specific expression and that different cancer types have their own individual expression pattern of ribosomal proteins. In the future, these patterns may serve as a prognostic marker for cancer and may point towards new therapeutic opportunities.

  • Sweetening neurotransmitter receptors and other neuronal proteins

    Many neuronal proteins have atypical glycosylation profiles consistent with the virtual absence of an important organelle, the Golgi apparatus, in neuronal processes. Max Planck Institute for Brain Research

    Researchers discover a “sugar-code” for neuronal membrane proteins. To rapidly carry information throughout the body, neurons form intricate networks by sending long protrusions to physically contact other neurons, sometimes meters away from where their main body (hence called the cell body) is located. These tree-like protrusions are either called axons if they are used to send information or dendrites if they receive information from other neurons.

  • The good, the bad and the spliceosome!

    The protein RBM5 helps to bring the spliceosome to the mRNA by binding to a spliceosomal protein. Thereby, RBM5 decides which isoform of Fas is produced.  Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München

    The Fas protein can either inhibit or promote the controlled cell death (apoptosis), depending on the isoform in which it occurs. Together with international colleagues, researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich have elucidated how this decision is guided. These results provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms of tumor diseases and have now been published in 'eLife'. We know the problem: When assembling the parts and pieces of furniture purchased at a store, everyone uses the same blueprint. Nevertheless, the end product can differ greatly in the course of assembling the whole product over several intermediate steps.