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In collaboration with French scientists, PhD student Thomas B. Kallehauge (right) and Professor Torben Heick Jensen shed light on a phenomenon where the export of mRNA is corrupted. The study shows that mRNA retained in nuclear dots is translationally active and that such dots may function as nuclear storage sites for immature mRNA (Photo: Estelle Marchal).

2012.08.24 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

mRNA quality control mechanism prevents contamination of cells

Researchers from Aarhus University have just disclosed a new quality control mechanism that prevents contamination of cells with aberrant mRNA. This helps us to understand how mRNA quality control can act in a precautionary way to avoid the cellular spreading of toxic molecules.

Figure 1. The researchers have used the carnivorous plant the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) for their research which has resulted in the so far most comprehensive analysis of the protein composition in the digestive juice of a carnivorous plant, which contribute significantly to the understanding of prey digestion in these plants (Photo: Jan J. Enghild).
Figure 2: Workflow of the Venus flytrap digestive fluid analysis (Figure: Kristian Wejse Sanggard)

2012.08.17 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Prey digestion by the carnivorous Venus flytrap

A newly published study by researchers from Aarhus University provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the protein composition in the digestive juice of a carnivorous plant, and this contributes significantly to the understanding of prey digestion in these plants. The identified, unique digestive enzymes identified by the researchers…

Professor Peter Andreasen (left) with Professor Ming Dong Huang, Director of the State Key Laboratory of Structural Chemistry at the Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Fuzhou, where Peter Andreasen was awarded a visiting professorship.

2012.08.10 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Peter Andreasen awarded visiting professorship in China

Professor Peter Andreasen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, is awarded a "Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2012".

The research group behind the identification of new unique cornea proteins. Back row from left: Ebbe Toftgaard Poulsen, Thomas F. Dyrlund, Jan J. Enghild. Front road: Camilla Lund Nikolajsen, Ida B Thøgersen and Carsten Scavenius. Henrik Vorum also participated in the studies. (Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen).
Figure left: Number of overlapping proteins identified in the three layers of the human cornea. A total of 3250 unique proteins were identified, 2737 in the epithelial, 1679 in the stromal and 880 in the endothelial layer. Right: Number of overlapping proteins quantified in the three layers of the human cornea. A total of 771 proteins were quantified, 634 in the epithelial, 342 in the stromal and 140 in the endothelial layer.
Diseased cornea with protein deposits.

2012.06.29 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Identification of new unique cornea proteins

With the identification and quantification of a large number of cornea proteins, a research group at Aarhus University has taken a big step closer to characterising the protein profile required to maintain corneal homeostasis (balance). This information may be used for exploring the basic molecular mechanisms involved in corneal health and…

Figure. Structural analysis of 12ADT=Asp binding to SERCA pump. (a) 12ADT=Asp bound to SERCA pump (blue) demonstrating predominant binding of TG pharmacophore (yellow space filling) to the transmembrane domain with extension of the Asp moiety (green) into the space between the ?-helices making up the transmembrane domain. (b) the ?-amine group of the Asp moiety forms a hydrogen bond with Gln 250 of the SERCA pump (residue shown in stick representation) and potential interaction with phospholipid. (c) the Asp moiety of 12ADT=Asp (yellow) occupies a similar site in the SERCA as the known SERCA pump inhibitor CPA (aquamarine). b,c Colour code: Transmembrane (TM) 1-2 purple, TM3-4 green, TM5-6 orange, TM7-10 wheat, P-domain blue, A-domain yellow, Asp-ADT yellow, phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) aquamarine, electron density 2Fo-Fc grey (contour level 1 sigma), hydrogen bond grey, CPA aquamarine (figures: Ingrid Dach)

2012.06.28 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

New cancer drug shows great promise

Danish researchers have developed a new drug against prostate cancer in collaboration with researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the biotech company Genspera in the USA.

Manfred Schmid (left) and Torben Heick Jensen have revealed a function in gene expression regulation for a protein connected with the proper function of neurons. Further analysis of this unexpected function of protein binding may ultimately lead to the understanding of how neurological defects occur with abnormalities in this protein. Click figure for enlargement  (Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)
Figure: Poly(A) tails (a stretch of adenosine ‘A’ residues) are added at the end of the RNA (black line) by an enzyme called Pap1 (dark green oval symbol) and the tails are bound by the proteins Pab1 (light-green diamond symbol) and/or Nab2 (red circle symbol). In normal ‘wild-type’ cells (wt, left panel), the poly(A) tail is bound by Pab1, whereas Nab2-binding is prevented by Rrp6 (orange PacMan symbol). In addition, Rrp6 counteracts the action of the TRAMP complex (dark blue oval), which can extend tails beyond normal length. Both functions are revealed in mutant yeast cells lacking Rrp6 (rrp6?, right panel), where Nab2 does bind poly(A) tails and TRAMP extends poly(A) tails beyond their normal length (hyperadenylation). Click figure for enlargement (Figure: Manfred Schmid).

2012.06.08 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Surprising new mechanism for gene expression regulation

New research results reveal a function in gene expression regulation for a protein connected with the proper function of neurons. Further analysis of this unexpected function of protein binding may ultimately lead to the understanding of how neurological defects may result from abnormalities in this protein.

Professor Torben Heick Jensen. Click photo for enlargement. Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen

2012.05.09 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Great international recognition of Torben Heick Jensen

Professor Torben Heick Jensen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, has achieved great international recognition with his nomination as a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). The election to EMBO is in recognition of Professor Jensen’s outstanding research within gene expression.

Michael Jakob Voldsgaard Clausen

2012.05.01 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Unique pump in sperm cells makes a difficult journey possible

In his PhD work, Michael Jakob Voldsgaard Clausen made a detailed study of a molecular pump that is essential for sperm cells and is not found in other types of cells.

10 piglets, born using frozen boar semen, will reduce inbreeding in the Danish Landrace 1970, and thus contribute significantly to perpetuating the breed for the future. Photo: Anne Møller Christensen

2012.04.18 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Renaissance of the Danish ‘Bacon Pig’

The Danish Landrace 1970 – also known as the ‘Bacon Pig’ – has received a genetic boost. By using frozen semen, “old” genes have successfully been re-introduced to the breed. This has huge impact on the preservation of the breed.

Lasse Bohl Jenner was awarded the prestigious grant of DKK 11 million to study how regulation and localisation of the ribosome – and thereby protein synthesis – is used by the organism to control areas such as the establishment of long-term memory, general cell development and tissue differentiation. Click photo for enlargement. Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen

2012.04.12 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Prestigious grant of DKK 11 million to molecular biologist

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded the prestigious Hallas-Møller Scholarship valued at DKK 11 million to Lasse Bohl Jenner (41) to study how regulation and localisation of the ribosome – and thereby protein synthesis – is used by the organism to control areas such as the establishment of long-term memory, general cell development and tissue…

Epithelial cell on a homogeneous E-cadherin surface. Figure: Stine Kristensen
The researchers behind the article about the body's cell bindings (from left): Lene Niemann Nejsum, Duncan Stewart Sutherland, Stine H Kristensen, Gitte Albinus Pedersen. Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen
The top panel shows the 100 nm and 800nm nanostructures and a schematic drawing of the protein coupling. The bottom panel shows epithelial cells at 100 nm and  800 nm patterns and a homogeneous surface of E-cadherin. The histogram shows the quantification of the number of cells that can bind to surfaces with nanostructures of various sizes, and we see a limit for cell adhesion of 200nm.  Figure: Stine Kristensen and Gitte Albinus Pedersen. Click photos for larger versions.

2012.03.30 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

New approach to investigate the body’s binding between cells

The discovery of a new approach for the investigation of binding between cells allows for, in the longer-term, development of methods to identify and prevent the factors involved in the formation of cancer metastases.

The high piglet mortality in Denmark is falling due to target-oriented breeding measures. Photo: Janne Hansen

2012.02.10 | Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Public / media

Lower piglet mortality ahead

Genetics research at Aarhus University can lead to breeding objectives in pig production that also focus on welfare. A drop in piglet mortality has already been achieved.

The Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics had large attendance at their workshop on the study environment. Photo: Christian Haaber Andersen and Palle Nowack. Click photo for larger version.

2012.01.31 | Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Public / media

Large attendance at workshop on the study environment

On Friday 27 January 2012, the Mathematics Canteen was buzzing with lively discussions when – despite the excitement of Denmark playing in the handball semi-finals – more than 100 students and lecturers at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics met to discuss how the study environment at the department can be improved.   The…

Associate Professor Ken Howard (left) and Professor Jørgen Kjems are awarded a grant of DKK 9,8 million for a project that focuses on the development of new drugs for cystic fibrosis and inflammatory bowel disease. Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen

2012.01.04 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Large grant for development of new drugs

Jørgen Kjems and Ken Howard are awarded a three-year grant of DKK 9,8 million from The Danish Council for Strategic Research for a project that focuses on the development of new drugs for cystic fibrosis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Associate Professor Ditlev E. Brodersen was awarded a grant of DKK 5 million (approximately EUR 670,000) to start a pilot centre for research into giant enzymes. The research could form the basis for developing new pharmaceuticals. Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen

2011.12.22 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Large grant awarded for research into giant enzymes

AU Ideas has awarded a grant of DKK 5 million (approximately EUR 670,000) to Ditlev E. Brodersen to start a pilot centre for research into giant enzymes. The research could form the basis for developing new pharmaceuticals.

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