An international research team, among them Markus Sauer and his team from the University of Würzburg, makes it possible to image the dynamics of human histone H2B protein in living cells at ~20 nm resolution. The spatiotemporal resolution of subdiffraction fluorescence imaging has been limited by the difficulty of labeling proteins in cells with suitable fluorophores. Nature Methods reports of a chemical tag that allows proteins to be labeled with an organic fluorophore with high photon flux and fast photoswitching performance in live cells. This label allows to image the dynamics of human histone H2B protein in living cells at ~20 nm resolution.
Picture: Magnificent Difference -on the left a common fluorescense-image of 2B-histones in the nucleus, on the right the high-resolution image made out of 10.000 single images with the dSTORM method (direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy). Source: Team Markus Sauer, Biozentrum University of Würzburg
Shortcut to manipulating specific genes in the mammalian genome
A research team around Wolfgang Wurst, Professor for Developmental Genetics at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), has succeeded in manipulating selected genes in mouse zygotes in a single step. Using zinc-finger nucleases, they generated mutations without taking a detour via mouse embryonic stem cells. Over the long term, these findings concerning targeted gene manipulation will save valuable research time and will be universally applicable to other mammalian cells to investigate gene functions. The results of this study have now been published in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Research from the TUM (Technical University Munich): Ultra-strong interaction between light and matter realized by researchers
Researchers form DZNE and LMU (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich) identify key target molecule
Research from the Bavarian Universities: A research team at LMU (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich) has shown that clot formation within small blood vessels helps in the fight against pathogenic microbes. At the molecular level, clot formation turns out to be intimately connected with the innate immune system, a finding that may open up new therapeutic possibilities.
The adaptive immune system can recognize and respond specifically to particular infectious agents. But the first line of defence against pathogens is the so-called innate immune system. This system reacts to invaders by initiating unspecific inflammatory responses which attract various types of specialized cells such as neutrophils to the site of the incursion. “Neutrophils secrete proteins that inactivate bacteria and other microbes”, says LMU researcher Professor Bernd Engelmann, “but they also play a role in blood coagulation.” A research team led by Engelmann has now shown that the processes of blood coagulation and antimicrobial defence are functionally coupled -- and that neutrophils provide an important link between them. “During systemic infections neutrophils induce the formation of harmless clots in small blood vessels, which inhibits the dissemination of pathogens”, says Engelmann. “Taken together, our results suggest that clot formation inside blood vessels is a part of the normal physiological response to pathogens. Hence there is also a physiological form of thrombosis. However, when clot formation is erroneously induced, in the absence of pathogens and within the larger blood vessels, then there is a high risk of heart attack or stroke. Our findings may provide new insights into the mechanisms responsible for pathological thrombosis, and suggest new ways of preventing them.” (Nature Medicine online, 2 August 2010)