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Schematic illustration of the MhsT transporter, which consists of many thousands of atoms shown here in a surface representation. Red and blue areas are negatively and positively charged, respectively, and grey areas are neutral. The black lines indicate where the protein is located in the cell membrane, and IN and OUT indicate the inside and outside of the cell. The enlarged panel shows the MhsT surface in a semi-transparent version, so you are viewing a centrally located Na+ ion that, in a crystallised state, achieves entry to the inside of the cell through a narrow tunnel, which opens when the transporter slams completely into the outside. The Na+ ion can now escape and, because the intracellular environment has a very low content of Na+, this drives the transporter to transport into the cell – in this case with amino acids and, for the closely related neurotransmitter transporter, with neurotransmitters from the synaptic cleft. (Figure produced by Lina Malinauskaite)

2014.10.28 | Research

New knowledge about neurotransmitter pathways in the brain

Insight into transport mechanisms in brain cells is extremely important in connection with disorders such as schizophrenia, epilepsy and depression, as well as in connection with producing the right medicine. Defects in proteins responsible for the transport of neurotransmitters are actually related to psychological and neurological disorders, and…

Brian F.C. Clark (photo: Lisbeth Heilesen, Aarhus University)

2014.10.07 | People

Brian Clark has died – marking the end of an era

Professor Brian Frederic Carl Clark, founder of structural biology research at Aarhus University, died on Monday 6 October 2014 aged 78 years.

The Danish Council for Independent Research has just awarded a grant of almost DKK 6.5 million to Associate Professor Lisbeth Schmidt Laursen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, to study the molecular mechanisms that help ensure protection of the brain’s nerve cells. Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen

2014.10.06 | Grant

Large grant for brain research

The Danish Council for Independent Research has just awarded a grant of almost DKK 6.5 million to Associate Professor Lisbeth Schmidt Laursen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, to study the molecular mechanisms that help ensure protection of the brain’s nerve cells. In the long term, she hopes that her results will make it possible to…