Danish researchers have found that a unit in the sodium-potassium pump, which is mainly located in the cerebellum, has special properties.
A prerequisite for the sperm cell's difficult journey from the testicle to the fallopian tube is its unique sodium-potassium pump. New studies of the unique pump show how it differs from the sodium-potassium pumps in the rest of the body, and gives hints on why sperm cells have developed their own pump.
Jens Chr. Skou was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the sodium-potassium pump. Now, a team of researchers from Aarhus has completed the description of its structure. A result which is of vital importance for our understanding of the body's functions and essential for our understanding of illness and for the development of new medicines.
In collaboration with a Cambridge research group, Danish researchers from the PUMPkin research centre at Aarhus University have revealed why up to 10 per cent of the population has high blood pressure.
The sodium-potassium pump is essential for all animal life and is the target of some of the oldest known drugs. However, although the pump has been known and studied for more than 50 years, a group of Danish scientists has just discovered a new aspect of its very basic mechanism. Perturbations of the mechanism can cause the neurological diseases migraine and dystonic parkinsonism. These results open up for new research in one of the most fundamental cellular mechanisms, and they provide novel insight that may prove valuable for long-term attempts in understanding and combating neurological diseases.
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.
On 26 January 2011, three highly promising Danish researchers were awarded a L'Oréal scholarship of DKK 100,000, and Hanne Poulsen from the Department of Molecular Biology is one of them. It is the fourth time L'Oréal has awarded scholarships with the support of the Danish National Commission for UNESCO and the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.