One Signal Elicits Thousands of Answers - Max Planck scientists establish valuable database for analysing
Cell signaling mechanisms often transmit information via protein modifications, most importantly the reversible attachment of phosphate, the so-called protein phosphorylation. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried have now developed a technology to identify and quantify the specific sites in proteins that get phosphorylated in answer to certain stimuli in living cells. Under the lead of Matthias Mann, the scientists found 6,600 phosphorylation sites - 90 percent of which were unknown - in 2,244 proteins and observed their temporal dynamics. All these phosphorylation sites are now listed in the newly created Phosida database to make them available for efficient use by scientists working in different areas, among them tumour researchers: Defects in cellular signaling often occur in many types of cancer. (Cell, November 2, 2006) More ...
Brain on chip - Nerve tissue interfaced with a computer chip
For the first time, scientists at the Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried near Munich coupled living brain tissue to a chip equivalent to the chips that run computers. The researchers under Peter Fromherz have reported this news in the online edition of the Journal of Neurophysiology (May 10, 2006). More ...
Basic Research Leads to a Novel Cancer Therapy - SUTENT®, a new cancer drug from Pfizer, is developed out of research at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
For the first time, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a medication to treat two kinds of advanced cancers, if standard therapies fail. The cancers are renal cell carcinoma (RCC; kidney cancer) and gastro-intestinal stromal tumours (GIST, a rare form of gastrointestinal cancer). SUTENT® has been developed on the basis of discoveries of Max Planck scientists. Cancer researcher Professor Axel Ullrich, a director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany, already showed at the beginning of the 1990s that blocking blood vessel development in a tumour slows down its growth, and shrinks its tissue. This fundamental principle led to the development of SUTENT®, whose active ingredient is Sunitinib. SUTENT® was recently approved for clinical use in the United States, and it is expected to be brought onto the German market this year. More ...