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 What happens in the cell nucleus after fertilization
06.12.2016 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Simple processing technique could cut cost of organic PV and wearable electronics

06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

3-D printed kidney phantoms aid nuclear medicine dosing calibration

06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision

06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>