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As the first in the world, a group of researchers at Aarhus University has made a comprehensive description of the proteins in the venom. Photo: Simon Bomholt – gilamonsters.dk.

2015.02.24 | Research

Mapping lizard venom facilitates drug development

Lizards and other reptiles are not normally considered venomous, but a number of lizard species actually do produce and use venom. The most classic venomous lizard is no doubt the gila monster – a heavy-bodied lizard. As the first in the world, a group of researchers at Aarhus University has made a comprehensive description of the proteins in the…

The mouse to the left produces a high level of the protein stanniocalcin-2 and is therefore much smaller than the normal-sized mouse to the right (Photo: Malene Rune Jepsen).
Pictured at right is a transgenic mouse, which artificially produces a high level of stanniocalcin-2 and therefore demonstrates strongly reduced growth compared with the normal mouse at left – from the same litter. Growth factors called IGF signal cells that they should divide by binding to receptors on the surface of the cell. The signalling is precisely controlled by IGF inhibitors, which can prevent the IGF from binding with its receptor. However, the signalling can take place at the cellular surface, where the PAPP-A enzyme is present. PAPP-A cleaves the IGF inhibitor, thus actively releasing IGF, which triggers the signalling inside the cell. The presence of stanniocalcin-2 (right half of the figure) causes inactivation of PAPP-A – and thereby prevents indirect signalling, cell division and growth (Photo: Malene Rune Jepsen).

2015.02.20 | Research

Protein found to be the cause of small growth

The stanniocalcin-2 protein is very important for cellular growth, and a team of researchers has now discovered how it works. This could be significant for understanding growth in tissue such as cancer cells.

Hanne Poulsen has been awarded a Lundbeck Foundation Fellowship valued at DKK 10 million for a five-year research project (Photo: Lundbeckfonden)
It is necessary for all cells in the human body that the sodium-potassium pump works as it should. The pump is a complex and fascinating machine that works from its position in the cell membrane to ensure the right balance between sodium and potassium ions in the intracellular and extracellular environments (Figure: Hanne Poulsen)

2015.02.05 | Grant

Ion pumps in cells and their importance for nervous disorders

More knowledge about cellular ion pumps will pave the way for improved treatment of neurological disorders. Molecular Biologist Hanne Poulsen has just been awarded a Lundbeck Foundation Fellowship valued at DKK 10 million for a five-year research project.