Discovery may pave way for immunotherapies
Using a common chemotherapy agent, researchers at UCLAs Jonsson Cancer Center and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine found a way to move an important biomarker expressed in prostate cancer, shaking it loose from one location in a cell – where it could not be accessed by blood – to another, easier to target area. The discovery, outlined in the cover article of May 11 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, could have important implications for using immunotherapy to treat prostate cancer, said Ayyappan K. Rajasekaran, a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher and senior author of the article.
The method discovered by the research team places the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) in a location on the cell that would allow blood-borne immunotherapies to access the biomarker, transforming it from a hidden target into an exposed one. "In prostate cancer cells, PSMA is expressed in the apical region of the cell membrane, which blood cant reach, so injection of immunotherapy into the bloodstream is not effective," said Rajasekaran, also an associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine. "By using information from very basic studies about how the PSMA protein is targeted in these cells, we identified a way to redirect this protein within the cell. We found that if we disturbed hollow tubular structures called microtubules, part of the cells framework, we were able to relocate PSMA from its hidden location on the apical membrane to an accessible area in the basolateral surface."
Kim Irwin | EurekAlert!
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At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
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