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- The mitofusin 2 in mitochondrial energization
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After four years of postdoctoral fellowship at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory under the supervision of Carol Greider, the disciple of Margarita Salas, Maria Blasco returning to Spain in 1997 to join the National Center for Biotechnology, CSIC. There, Blasco intended to continue his research work that had enabled him to clone one of the telomerase genes and generated the first knockout mouse for this gene. Now in our country, it happened several works of broad impact on the development of animal models for studying the involvement of telomerase in cancer development and aging processes. Read the rest of this entry »
Chemotaxis is the movement which carried out certain cells in response to a
chemical stimulus. In multicellular organisms, key cells are capable chemotactic
leukocytes. This ability is essential for immune system function and homeostasis
and its deregulation is associated with chronic inflammatory processes.
The movement of leukocytes is the result of an asymmetric
reorganization of their cytoskeleton: At the anterior end, the leading edge
expands due to polymerization of actin-F, while in the uropod retracts back
because of the contraction of actomyosin filaments. This reorganization is
asymmetric, in turn, result in the polarization of different molecules and the
complex signaling cascades that occur in response to chemical stimulation.
Santos Manes’s team at the National Center of Biotechnology, CSIC has conducted
various studies on the molecular mechanisms that cause this cell polarity. On
this occasion, have investigated the role of the enzyme phosphatidylinositol
4-phosphate 5-kinase type I isoform β (PIPKIβ) in HL60 neutrophil migration.
In polarized neutrophils by treatment with chemoattractant, the PIPKIβ
concentrates on uropods. To produce this distribution, PIPKIβ requires its
C-terminal domain specific to the β isoform. Overexpression of a modified form
of PIPKIβ which was deleted domain alters the chemotactic capacity of
neutrophils. This anomaly is associated with a failure in the polarization of
RhoA, monomeric G protein that in the normal chemotactic response, focuses on
the uropods which controls the contraction of actomyosin. A similar phenotype is
obtained by reducing the role of PIPKIβ by RNAi. In conclusion, Manes and
colleagues propose to PIPKIβ as a new element in the complex signaling network
that the identity of uropod in leukocytes.
The group of Roberto Solano, Department of Plant Molecular Genetics at the National Center for Biotechnology, made the study of signaling pathway of the phytohormone jasmonate (JA) in Arabidopsis thaliana and the molecular mechanisms underlying the activation, plant defenses against pathogens.
It is known that in the perception of JA requires two proteins, both protein coronatina insensitive 1 (COI1) and the JAZ repressor proteins (jasmonate ZIM domain). In a first step regulator, the precursor of JA enzyme binds to molecules such as L-Ile jasmonoil producing the active ligand-isoleucine(JA-Ile). The formation of JA-Ile complex with these proteins leads to ubiquitination and degradation of JAZ proteins allowing, then, the transcription of genes involved in plant development and defense against pathogens. Read the rest of this entry »
An online atlas and database of the Drosophilia Nervous System. Implementation of the pilot version of Flybrain, from the University of Arizona, supported by an SGR Grant from the National Science Foundation and a postgraduate studentship to Douglas Armstrong from the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.
A database on Drosophila brain and neural mutants developed by Prof. Karl Fischbach at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Current funds supporting the Flybrain database are from the US National Science Foundation and a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft