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.”
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