Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Leading computational biologist joins IMB to investigate the role of genes and proteins in disease

02.04.2014

Miguel Andrade uses computational methods for studying gene and protein function with an emphasis on molecules related to human disease

With the vast amount of data generated in modern molecular biology research, powerful methods are needed to understand and make use of the results. For instance, new techniques let researchers model protein interactions, predict how the transcription of genes is regulated, and visualize how genes are expressed, both in health and disease.


©: Miguel Andrade

PolyQ modulation of protein-protein interactions. When the polyQ-containing protein (red) interacts with protein X (orange) via a coiled coil interaction, the polyQ adopts a coiled coil conformation, which extends the preceding coiled coil (blue). The polyP region (green) cannot adopt a coiled coil conformation, effectively capping the interaction-dependent conformational change of the polyQ region.

Professor Miguel Andrade's work spans all these areas, plus data and text mining of the biomedical literature. These strands of research are connected by the computational tools developed and applied by his group to make sense of large data sets from biological experiments.

One such tool is HIPPIE, a database that integrates protein-protein interaction data. Combining information from genomic, phylogenetic and functional sources, for example, Andrade has shown that stretches of polyglutamine (polyQ) in proteins modulate interactions with other proteins (see Figure).

Abnormal expansion of polyQ can result in pathological protein aggregation, which may contribute to the disease mechanism in various neurodegenerative conditions, such as Huntington’s disease or spinocerebellar ataxia.

One of the main goals of Andrade's work is the prediction of protein and gene function by integrating heterogeneous data. An example of this is his recent observation that microRNA targets and functions can be better predicted using data about the targets of transcriptional suppressor proteins. This finding has been applied to the neural repressor protein REST to identify candidate miRNAs that could act as suppressors of brain cancer.

Another aspect of Andrade's work concerns the development of methods for data and text mining of the biomedical literature, for example abstracts of scientific papers in the PubMed database. Fast prioritization of hundreds of thousands of PubMed records according to user-defined topics in a matter of seconds allows efficient exploration of the biomedical corpus, and can be used to sort genes and chemicals according to their relevance to a topic. Professor Miguel Andrade's group has also used PubMed to study economic, linguistic and scientific trends, and to find appropriate reviewers for manuscripts.

Professor Christof Niehrs, IMB's Founding Director, says the recruitment of Miguel Andrade is a boon for IMB as well as for the wider biology community in Mainz. "Miguel Andrade's computational work ideally complements the wet lab expertise we already have at IMB. As a leader in bioinformatics, Miguel is a pivotal asset for the life sciences in Mainz."

Professor Miguel Andrade is joining IMB from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, where he has headed the Computational Biology and Data Mining group since 2007. From 2003 to 2007, he was Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine of the University of Ottawa in Canada, and Scientist and Head of the Bioinformatics Group of the Ottawa Health Research Institute. In addition to being appointed professor in the Faculty of Biology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Professor Miguel Andrade will join IMB as the Institute's 14th Group Leader.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/17172_ENG_HTML.php - press release ;
https://www.imb-mainz.de/research/andrade/research/ - Computational Biology & Data Mining at IMB

Petra Giegerich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Biology Computational IMB Medicine biologist genes interactions polyQ proteins

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New Model of T Cell Activation
27.05.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Fungi – a promising source of chemical diversity
27.05.2016 | Leibniz-Institut für Naturstoff-Forschung und Infektionsbiologie - Hans-Knöll-Institut (HKI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Worldwide Success of Tyrolean Wastewater Treatment Technology

A biological and energy-efficient process, developed and patented by the University of Innsbruck, converts nitrogen compounds in wastewater treatment facilities into harmless atmospheric nitrogen gas. This innovative technology is now being refined and marketed jointly with the United States’ DC Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water). The largest DEMON®-system in a wastewater treatment plant is currently being built in Washington, DC.

The DEMON®-system was developed and patented by the University of Innsbruck 11 years ago. Today this successful technology has been implemented in about 70...

Im Focus: Computational high-throughput screening finds hard magnets containing less rare earth elements

Permanent magnets are very important for technologies of the future like electromobility and renewable energy, and rare earth elements (REE) are necessary for their manufacture. The Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, Germany, has now succeeded in identifying promising approaches and materials for new permanent magnets through use of an in-house simulation process based on high-throughput screening (HTS). The team was able to improve magnetic properties this way and at the same time replaced REE with elements that are less expensive and readily available. The results were published in the online technical journal “Scientific Reports”.

The starting point for IWM researchers Wolfgang Körner, Georg Krugel, and Christian Elsässer was a neodymium-iron-nitrogen compound based on a type of...

Im Focus: Atomic precision: technologies for the next-but-one generation of microchips

In the Beyond EUV project, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen and for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena are developing key technologies for the manufacture of a new generation of microchips using EUV radiation at a wavelength of 6.7 nm. The resulting structures are barely thicker than single atoms, and they make it possible to produce extremely integrated circuits for such items as wearables or mind-controlled prosthetic limbs.

In 1965 Gordon Moore formulated the law that came to be named after him, which states that the complexity of integrated circuits doubles every one to two...

Im Focus: Researchers demonstrate size quantization of Dirac fermions in graphene

Characterization of high-quality material reveals important details relevant to next generation nanoelectronic devices

Quantum mechanics is the field of physics governing the behavior of things on atomic scales, where things work very differently from our everyday world.

Im Focus: Graphene: A quantum of current

When current comes in discrete packages: Viennese scientists unravel the quantum properties of the carbon material graphene

In 2010 the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for the discovery of the exceptional material graphene, which consists of a single layer of carbon atoms...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Networking 4.0: International Laser Technology Congress AKL’16 Shows New Ways of Cooperations

24.05.2016 | Event News

Challenges of rural labor markets

20.05.2016 | Event News

International expert meeting “Health Business Connect” in France

19.05.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

11 million Euros for research into magnetic field sensors for medical diagnostics

27.05.2016 | Awards Funding

Fungi – a promising source of chemical diversity

27.05.2016 | Life Sciences

New Model of T Cell Activation

27.05.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>