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Groundbreaking event for the Center for Systems Biology Dresden (CSBD)

The Center for Systems Biology Dresden (CSBD) is an interdisciplinary institute which was built on the joint research program between the MPI-CBG and the MPI-PKS. c53d19f707The mission of the Center is “to study integrated biological systems and processes using computational and theoretical approaches in close collaboration with experimentalists.” To achieve this mission, the CSBD needs a dedicated space! Construction of a new building to house the Center will begin this fall, and the official groundbreaking event took place last Thursday, August 28. CSBD Director Gene Myers was joined by Stanislaw Tillich, Minister-President of the Free State of Saxony, and Prof. Dr. Martin Stratmann, President of the Max Planck Society, in breaking the ground for the new building, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016. Click here to see the news piece that aired on the MDR TV station.

Congratulations to Oliver on his paper in Molecular Biology of the Cell

The pericentriolar material (PCM) is created through an extensively interacting network of proteins including SPD-5, SPD-2, and PLK-1. Previously, it was not known whether these proteins formed smaller complexes in the cytoplasm before entering the PCM, or if the interactions only occur as the proteins are incorporated into the PCM matrix. This work, led by graduate student Oliver Wueseke and just published in Molecular Biology of the Cell, shows that these PCM components interact only in the context of PCM assembly, and not in the cytoplasm.

Wuekese O, Bunkenborg J, Hein MY, Zinke A, Viscardi V, Woodruff JB, Oegema K, Mann M, Andersen JS, Hyman AA. The C. elegans pericentriolar material components SPD-2 and SPD-5 are monomeric in the cytoplasm prior to incorporation into the PCM matrix. Mol Biol Cell. 2014 Aug 7. pii: mbc.E13-09-0514. [Epub ahead of print] [PubMed]

More press for the Parkinson’s paper

Our story on Parkinson’s and the glycolytic pathway has been picked up by several newspapers, radio and TV stations in Germany. It’s safe to say the word is out! See the stories by clicking on the links and images below.

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Congratulations to Yusuke for his paper in Open Biology

The newest paper from our lab (a collaboration with the Kurzchalia group) is out this month in the open access journal Biology Open.

Toyoda Y, Erkut C, Pan-Montojo F, Boland S, Stewart MP, Müller DJ, Wurst W, Hyman AA, Kurzchalia T. Products of the Parkinson’s disease-related glyoxalase DJ-1, D-lactate and glycolate, support mitochondrial membrane potential and neuronal survivalBiol Open. 2014 Jul 25. pii: BIO20149399.

[MPI-CBG Press Release. Article in the Sächsische Zeitung newspaper.]

DJ-1 figThis work links the metabolic products of the glyoxalase DJ-1 with mitochondrial health during cellular stress. DJ-1 has previously been linked to the onset of Parkinson’s disease, which is associated with mitochondrial decline in dopaminergic neurons. In this paper, we show that the products of DJ-1 enhance the survival of cultured dopaminergic neurons, indicating that they are a potential therapeutic route for treatment or prevention of Parkinson’s disease.

New Two Minute Talk! Elisabeth explains mitotic cell rounding

In the latest addition to our “Two Minute Talk” series, postdoc Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich explains the biophysics of why and how cells become round during mitosis.

Written & narrated by Elisabeth; produced & directed by Lisa Dennison.

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