A New Role for Autophagosomes in Neurodegeneration
04/24/2017 · FMP Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie
Autophagosomes are at the center of attention, at least since the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded for research on autophagy in 2016. The much talked about autophagosomes are small membrane vesicles in charge of waste disposal to promote recycling of its components. Scientists of the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Berlin and the CECAD Research Center in Cologne who work on degradation and recycling processes in cells, recently made a striking discovery: They found that autophagosomes transport growth signals such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) along axons (long slender nerve cell projections) to the cell body. This signaling process enables survival of nerve cells and stimulates the formation of new branched neurites that allow neurons to interconnect. Nerve cells in the brain will die if the autophagosomal taxis cease to operate. The new discovery shows autophagosomes in a completely new light and fuels hope for new treatments for Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. The results of this research were just published in the renowned science journal Nature Communications.
Researchers Find Gene WT1 to Impact Women’s Fertility
03/29/2017 · FLI Leibniz Institute on Aging - Fritz Lipmann Institute
It has been estimated that more than 80 million people in the world have an unfulfilled desire to have children. But for every 10th couple, the reasons therefor remain unclear. Now, researchers from the Leibniz Institute on Aging (FLI) in Jena/Germany have, together with clinical partners, found a new gene mutation that obviously leads to infertility in women. The mutated gene WT1 plays an important role in the early embryonic development controlling proteins (especially proteases) that are needed for the successful nidation in mother’s womb. The astonishing results were recently published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.
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