2010

Proteins are the cell’s molecular building material and machineries, and they are involved in nearly every biological process. For his development of techniques to analyze proteins with the aid of mass spectrometry, Matthias Mann, director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, will be awarded the Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling Prize of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities 2010. more

Precise regulation of tissue architecture is critical for organ function. Single cells build up a tissue by communicating with their environment and with other cells, thereby receiving instructions on whether to divide, change shape or migrate. A failure to interpret these instructions can lead to diseases such as cancer. An interdisciplinary group of researchers from several Max Planck Institutes have now identified a mechanism by which skin cells organize their interior architecture as a response to signals from their surroundings. “Cells react to changes in their environment very rapidly. To do this, cells need to have their signaling machinery at the right place at the right time” says Sara Wickström, a researcher from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried (MPIB) near Munich, Germany. (Developmental Cell) more

protein folding

October 18, 2010

Proteins are chain-like molecules. In order to function properly, they must fold into complex three-dimensional shapes. The failure of proteins to fold properly has been linked to various diseases, including cancer, Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Understanding protein folding will aid the development of therapies that remove or prevent the formation of misfolded protein clumps. more

The Max Planck Institute (MPI) of Biochemistry in Martinsried and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), have signed a research collaboration agreement on the development of novel medicines for the treatment of type II diabetes. The option-based, risk sharing agreement, negotiated with the help of technology transfer organisation Max Planck Innovation, involves payments to MPI worth up to several million Euros over a three-year period. more

Due to cell-biological research, it is already known which components of the cell are responsible for the production of proteins. But so far it has not been explored in detail how these protein factories (ribosomes) are organized inside the cell. Recently, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) in Martinsried near Munich, Germany, succeeded in mapping the inner life of an intact human cell three-dimensionally via cryo-electron tomography. In this way they were able to show where the ribosomes are located in the cell and how they are arranged. In the past, this was only possible with bacterial cells. The results have now been published in Molecular Cell. more

Various processes in our body are controlled by subsequent changes of proteins. Therefore, the identification of such modifications is essential for the further exploration of our organism. Now, scientists of the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany, have made a crucial contribution to this: Using a new method, they have been able to identify more than 6,000 glycosylated protein sites in different tissues and have thus established an important basis for the better understanding of all life processes (Cell, May 28, 2010). more

Go for Zucker

May 27, 2010

Scientists develop new method to identify glycosylated proteins more

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