Press releases - News from the MPI of Biochemistry

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Disorder in the liver

October 22, 2018
Chronic excessive caloric intake leads to the deposition of fat droplets in the liver. This condition, known as fatty liver, can cause permanent damage to the organ. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) in Martinsried have now investigated the effects of this fat overflow on liver proteins. They showed that fatty liver is associated with changes in the location and activity of numerous cellular proteins. The study, which was published in the journal Developmental Cell, shows the effect of lipid deposition on fundamental cellular processes in the liver. [more]
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Working the switches for axon branching

September 24, 2018
Our brain is a complex network with innumerable connections between cells. Neuronal cells have long thin extensions, so-called axons, which are branched to increase the number of interactions. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have collaborated with researchers from Portugal and France to study cellular branching processes. They demonstrated a novel mechanism that induces branching of microtubules, an intracellular support system. The newly discovered dynamics of microtubules has a key role in neuronal development. The results were recently published in the journal Nature Cell Biology. [more]
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CT45 – A key to long-term survival in ovarian cancer

September 20, 2018
The diagnosis of ovarian cancer is still comparable to a death sentence. Only one in six patients survives more than 10 years after diagnosis. In a new study, an international research team from Germany, the USA, and Denmark, identified a molecular mechanism that is linked to patient long-term survival for those roughly 20% of the patients. By proteomic analysis, the protein CT45 was identified as a novel prognostic cancer cell marker. The authors further showed that the protein itself increases cancer cell death after platinum chemotherapy and activates the patient’s immune system. This work will be published in the renowned scientific journal Cell. [more]
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Zika virus proteins inhibit brain development

September 04, 2018
In healthy individuals, the Zika virus causes flu-like symptoms. If a pregnant woman becomes infected, the unborn child can suffer from severe brain abnormalities as a result of mechanisms that have not yet been explained. A study by the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) shows that Zika virus proteins bind to cellular proteins that are required for neural development. [more]
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Carsten Grashoff awarded the BINDER Innovation Prize 2018

September 03, 2018
The German Society for Cell Biology acknowledges each year outstanding cell biological research with the BINDER Innovation Prize. In 2018, the recognition goes to Carsten Grashoff from the MPI of Biochemistry for the development and application of methods allowing the quantitative analysis of mechanical forces in cells. The technique permits the investigation of mechanical processes under physiological conditions and has become a valuable tool to study the mechanobiology of cells and tissues. The prize giving ceremony will be held at the International Meeting of the German Society for Cell Biology in Leipzig on September 17, 2018. [more]
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Getting even closer to the limit

August 20, 2018
Ralf Jungmann, Research Group Leader at the MPI of Biochemistry and Professor at the LMU in Munich, demonstrates in a pioneering study together with his team, the potential of modified aptamers in super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. Their results were published in the journal Nature Methods. [more]
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The “TRiC” to folding actin

August 09, 2018
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell. [more]
 
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