Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers in Heidelberg Investigate Intracellular Transport

02.02.2012
Third funding period: over EUR 12 million from DFG for Collaborative Research Centre 638

After positive international evaluation, Heidelberg University’s Collaborative Research Centre 638 “Dynamics of Macromolecular Complexes in Biosynthetic Transport” will be continuing its work for another four years.


Model of a nuclear pore
Picture: SFB 638

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved funding to the tune of approx. EUR 12.4 million for this third and last funding period. The integrated research venture comprises 17 projects in which scientists from various disciplines investigate how and with what consequences large molecular complexes are transported within cells and localised to the right places.

Processes for which the operation of intracellular transport is of major significance are manifold. They include the control of an organisms’ “internal clock”. Likewise, they are crucial for the ability to produce correctly folded proteins at the right time and to make them available inside a cell or in an organism at the right location. Such mechanisms are exploited by viruses for their formation and for their transport out of infected cells. “There are many other examples of how this sector of basic research touches on medical issues,” says the coordinator of the Research Centre, Prof. Dr. Felix Wieland of Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center. “They include widespread neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, in which the correct folding of proteins plays a crucial part, or hyperlipidemia, where the transport of cell surface proteins may be dysfunctional.”

Prof. Wieland emphasises that Heidelberg is internationally up among the front runners in the molecular life sciences. “The scope of the issues we are working on here enables us to employ an interdisciplinary approach within the Research Centre that is highly unusual both methodologically and in terms of content,” says Prof. Wieland. The work done so far by SFB 638, which was set up in 2004, has produced “exciting results”. One example is the description of the formation and cell-exiting mechanism of AIDS viruses, another the definition of the cell-internal location of formation of so-called flavivirus particles. The scientists have also succeeded in deciphering a general mechanism of membrane scission. In addition, they have put together substructures of the nuclear pore in the test tube, which Wieland refers to as a major advance on the road to understanding one of the most complex structures in cells.

“One fascinating aspect of this integrated research venture is that in many cases findings from our basic research have a profound relevance for important medical issues,” Prof. Wieland adds. Alongside Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center (BZH), Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH) and Centre for Organismal Studies (COS), virological projects at the Medical Faculty Heidelberg and a research venture by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) are also involved in the Collaborative Research Centre “Dynamics of Macromolecular Complexes in Biosynthetic Transport”.

For more information, go to http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/zentral/bzh/sfb638.html.

Contact
Prof. Dr. Felix Wieland
Heidelberg University Biochemistry Centre
phone: +49 6221 54-4150
felix.wieland@bzh.uni-heidelberg.de

Communications and Marketing
Press Office, phone: +49 6221 54-2311
presse@rektorat.uni-heidelberg.de

Marietta Fuhrmann-Koch | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/zentral/bzh/sfb638.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>