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A variant of the FUT1 gene has been shown to be able to protect pigs' intestines against E. coli. This knowledge may be used proactively in the efforts to cut back on antibiotics. Photo: Janne Hansen.

2016.08.18 | Research

Gene variant in pigs may open up for less use of antibiotics

A variant of the FUT1 gene has been shown to be able to protect pigs' intestines against E. coli. This knowledge may be used proactively in the efforts to cut back on antibiotics.

1) Gene promoters that are far away from other genes typically produce transcripts on both strands. The PROMoter uPstream Transcript (PROMPT) is short and rapidly degraded due to special DNA sequence patterns around the PROMPT and which are not present at the gene start site. Thus, the gene product is typically a stable mRNA.   2) If two gene start sites share a common promoter, no PROMPTs are produced. Both genes start sites produce stable RNAs.  3) If two gene promoters are closely positioned, PROMPTs are produced, but are stabilized because the DNA signals necessary for their degradation cannot form because the gene promoters are too close. Instead, the PROMPTs grow longer and are stable, which in effect creates longer mRNA variants from the two gene start sites.  4) If gene promoters are sufficiently separated, their DNA patterns do not influence their neighboring PROMPTs, which remain short and unstable, much like in the first case above.

2016.08.15 | Research

Generation of complex gene architectures in the human genome

Intense investigations during the past 10-15 years have revealed that the human genome is transcribed in a manner that is much more complicated than previously appreciated. A collaboration between researchers from Aarhus and Copenhagen now reveals some underlying principles leading to such promiscuous genome activity.

A research team based in Denmark has obtained results that may be a step towards the fight against protease-related diseases such as influenza, skin diseases and cancer by taking advantage of a naturally occurring protease inhibitor. Figure: Jan K. Jensen

2016.07.14 | Research

Study of a naturally occurring inhibitor of essential enzymes with latent disease-causing properties

A research team based in Denmark has obtained results that may be a step towards the fight against protease-related diseases such as influenza, skin diseases and cancer by taking advantage of a naturally occurring protease inhibitor.

2016.06.22 | Grant

Large grants to researchers from MBG

The Danish Council for Independent Research ("Det Frie Forskningsråd") ("DFF") has given six grants amounting to DKK 18 million to researchers at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics.

The figure depicts one of the X-ray crystal structures solved by the research team. Shown is the serine protease urokinase-type plasminogen activator (green) in complex with a Camelid antibody fragment (orange). The Camelid antibody fragment display an unusual inhibitory mechanism by binding to the active site region (highlighted in blue) of the serine protease where it mimics the binding of substrate. Figure: Tobias Kromann-Hansen

2016.06.15 | Research

The use of Camelid antibodies for structural biology

The use of Camelid antibodies has important implications for future development of reagents for diagnosis and therapeutics in diseases involving a group of enzymes called serine proteases.

Incorrectly folded proteins can cause a variety of diseases. Danish researchers have found a solution for preventing this misfolding. Figure: Jan K. Jensen.

2016.06.09 | Research

A new way for prevention of pathogenic protein misfolding

Incorrectly folded proteins can cause a variety of diseases. Danish researchers have found a solution for preventing this misfolding.

The atomic structure of C5 (blue) bound to the C5-binding part of eculizumab (yellow) shows how eculizumab blocks the cleavage of C5 in blood circulation. This rescues the red blood cells (red disks) from disruption. In real life the proteins are 500 times smaller than the red blood cells. Figure: Janus Asbjørn Schatz-Jakobsen.

2016.06.03 | Research

The therapeutic antibody eculizumab caught in action

In collaboration with Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., scientists from Aarhus University have used X-rays to understand how the therapeutic antibody eculizumab prevents our immune system from destroying red blood cells and damaging kidney tissue.

Results show that there is basis for improving the selection criteria for reproductive performande in dairy cows. Photo: Linda S. Sørensen

2016.05.29 | Research

Improved breeding value assessment for reproductive performance in dairy cows

The routine breeding value assessment for reproductive performance in Denmark and Sweden may be improved by means of activity-based fertility traits. This is demonstrated by results from a recently finished PhD project. In addition, it has been demonstrated that the genetic variation in reproductive performance changes in relation to calving…

The bacterial transporter whose molecular structure has been solved uses the same transport mechanism as the neurotransmitter transporters but instead transports amino acids, such as leucine (Leu). In the outward-oriented state (left) Leu (yellow spheres) binds to two sodium ions (green spheres) in a central binding pocket whereas the rotating unit, designated L25 (beige spheres), is located next to the binding pocket of the  transported substance. In the new empty state (right) which the Aarhus researchers have now identified, L25 rotates into the binding pocket where it mimics and compensates for the lacking substance and sodium ions, enabling the transporter to return to an outward-oriented state from which it can start a new transport cycle.  Figure: Lina Malinauskaite.

2016.05.26 | Research

New discovery from the molecular machinery for depression and addiction

Researchers at Aarhus University have described how a group of the brain’s transport proteins with important roles in depression and dependence overcome the step which limits their effectiveness. The discovery makes it possible to describe the full function of the transport protein and can provide better opportunities for counteracting the effect…

Schematic represention of agotron biogenesis and function. Agotrons are derived from short introns produced during RNA splicing. Upon association with Ago proteins, agotrons target and destabilize mRNAs in a miRNA like manner. Figure: Thomas Birkballe Hansen.

2016.05.18 | Research

Agotrons – a new class of small regulatory molecules

Danish and American researchers have found a novel subclass of small RNA molecules involved in the regulation of gene expression.

Researchers from Aarhus University participate in a new national project to ensure that protein researchers will have access to the latest advanced equipment. The goal is to maintain Denmark’s leading position in protein research and to strengthen infrastructure and technological development. Photo: Colourbox

2016.05.13 | Grant

40 million Danish kroner for protein research

Researchers from Aarhus University participate in a new national project to ensure that protein researchers will have access to the latest advanced equipment. The goal is to maintain Denmark’s leading position in protein research and to strengthen infrastructure and technological development.

Jørgen Kjems was awarded DKK 6.1 million to develop a new method that can "translate" the total content of food to digitized information in the form of DNA sequences. Photo: Lars Kruse, AU Foto.

2016.05.12 | Grant

Jørgen Kjems awarded Semper Ardens grant from the Carlsberg Foundation

The Carlsberg Foundation has awarded Jørgen Kjems DKK 6.1 million to develop a new method that can "translate" the total content in a specific food to digitized information in the form of DNA sequences.

Schematic drawing of the active site of the calcium pump that completes the ATP cleavage reaction. The outline of this region of the protein (which is a long chain of 994 amino acid residues and approximately 15,000 atoms in total) is shown as white and yellow features and includes detailed representations of two catalytically important amino acid residues as red and white sticks (oxygen and carbon atoms). The red spheres represent bound water molecules, and the magenta sphere a magnesium ion that coordinates the phosphorylated amino acid side chain (an aspartic acid, lower) and the vanadate mimic of the phosphate “caught in the act” of cleavage (middle) by a water molecule positioned on top. The water is activated for the reaction by another catalytically active amino acid side chain (a glutamatic acid). This active site architecture is nearly identical in all ion pumps and responsible for approximately 1/3 of the ATP energy consumption in the human body. (Figure: Dr. Johannes Clausen).

2016.05.09 | Research

A calcium pump caught in the act

Researchers at Aarhus University have described one of the cell’s key enzymes, the calcium pump, in its decisive moment – a so-called transition state where a catalyzed activity makes the turning point from bound substrate to product. These findings provide a very detailed picture of how one of the most energy-consuming processes in the body takes…

At a ceremony at the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Malene Runge Jepsen received a postdoctoral grant to carry out research at Monash University in Australia for three years, followed by a one-year research period at MBG. Malene is seen in the middle with a striped blouse (Photo: Novo Nordisk Foundation).
Malene Runge Jepsen (Photo: Novo Nordisk Foundation)

2016.05.02 | Grant

Young researcher receives major grant to conduct research at Australian university

At a ceremony at the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Malene Runge Jepsen from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG) received a postdoctoral grant to carry out research at Monash University in Australia for three years, followed by a one-year research period at MBG.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded the prestigious Hallas-Møller Scholarship to Thomas Birkballe Hansen to study which role so-called circular RNAs play in cells and their potential impact on neurological disorders. The project will be carried out at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics/iNANO, Aarhus University. (photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)

2016.04.26 | Grant

Prestigious grant of DKK 11 million to Thomas Birkballe Hansen

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded the prestigious Hallas-Møller Scholarship valued at DKK 11 million to Thomas Birkballe Hansen to study which role so-called circular RNAs play in cells and their potential impact on neurological disorders. The project will be carried out at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics/iNANO, Aarhus…

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