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Rudolf Virchow Center for Integrative and Translational Bioimaging

Press Archive

Press Archiv

mRNA plays a key role in the conversion of genetic information from DNA to proteins. Their production is a delicate process. A research team at the University of Würzburg has now identified a crucial factor.

 

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Dr. Tamara Girbl in her laboratory at the Rudolf Virchow Center.

Dr. Tamara Girbl started her new research group at the Rudolf Virchow Center of the University of Würzburg in April. She focuses on the interaction of immune cells and blood vessels, which plays an important role in many inflammatory diseases or even strokes.

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Dr. Hans Maric has received one of the German Research Foundation's highly prestigious Emmy Noether awards, worth around 1.7 million euros. He will use his biochip technology to study a so far unexplored group of brain proteins and determine their potential to cure so far untreatable mental diseases.

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An undesirable effect can occur in super-resolution fluorescence microscopy: photoblueing. A new publication in „Nature Methods“ shows how it can be prevented or made useful for research.

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Protein interactions can now be analysed more effectively: A phenomenon called Temperature Related Intensity Change (TRIC) makes it possible to achieve high binding signal intensity even with lowest amounts of sample. Our Maric research group established the method, which can be used to study protein complexes in highly regulated networks such as DNA transcription.

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Artemisinins are pharmaceutical compounds used against the pathogen that causes malaria. However, these substances also have multiple targets in humans which may either be pharmacologically exploited or result in undesirable side effects. Recently, scientists from Würzburg have been able to elucidate one of the underlying molecular mechanisms by showing how these drugs inhibit the vitamin B6 generating enzyme in humans. The results were published in the scientific journal PNAS.

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For the first time ever, expansion microscopy allows the imaging of even the finest details of cell membranes. This offers new insights into bacterial and viral infection processes.

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The protein complex TFIIH is responsible for essential cellular functions such as transcription or DNA repair. These processes must be carried out with extreme precision in order to prevent serious diseases, such as cancer. The enzyme XPB is part of the TFIIH complex and is indispensable for both processes. How XPB is simultaneously activated and repressed by its interaction partners p8/p52 within the TFIIH complex has now been demonstrated by a Würzburg research group. The results improve the functional understanding of this intricate complex and were published in the journal Nucleic Acids Research.

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New complex for damage detection in DNA identified.

 

Our body can repair damage to our DNA that can lead to the development of cancer by means of repair complexes. But how does the repair machinery recognize the damage? Scientists from the University of Würzburg and the University of Kent have now identified a complex that plays an important role in damage recognition in nucleotide excision repair. Due to its key position, the complex represents a starting point for research on cancer drugs. The results were published in the renowned journal Nucleic Acids Research.

 

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In stress situations, bacteria use special ion channels for defense. Understanding how they function provides the basis for combating harmful bacteria. A Würzburg research group in cooperation with ETH Zurich and the University of Oxford has now been able to decipher how two of these channels are structured and how they open up. The results were published in the renowned journal PNAS.

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Collaborative work of research groups at the University of Würzburg and the TU Dresden has provided important new insights for cancer research. During cell division specific target proteins have to be turned over in a precisely regulated manner. To this end specialized enzymes label the target proteins with signaling molecules. However, the enzymes involved in this process can also label themselves, thus initiating their own degradation. In a multidisciplinary approach, the researchers identified a mechanism of how enzymes can protect themselves from such self-destruction and maintain sufficient concentrations in the cell. These results have been published in the latest issue of Science Signaling.

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A research group from Würzburg has now been able to clarify the long-standing question of how the protein complex CDK-activating kinase (CAK), which controls the central processes of cell division and transcription, is activated. The group analyzed the active form of the protein/CAK complex and was able to decipher its function on a molecular level. These new findings provide the basis for further research on cancer drugs and were published in the renowned scientific journal PNAS.

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A cancer shredder

09/29/2020

Researchers at the universities of Würzburg and Frankfurt have developed a new compound for treating cancer. It destroys a protein that triggers its development.

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The previously largely unknown molecule bridging integrator 2 (BIN2) plays a central role in platelet activation, as researchers from Würzburg have now shown in a joint project of the DFG Collaborative Research Centre / Transregio 240. This finding provides indications of starting points for drug development against thrombosis, heart attack and stroke and was published in the renowned journal The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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