Institute for Molecular Infection Biology

Würzburg, Germany

Institute for Molecular Infection Biology

Würzburg, Germany
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Ramirez-Zavala B.,Institute for Molecular Infection Biology | Mottola A.,Institute for Molecular Infection Biology | Haubenreisser J.,Institute for Molecular Infection Biology | Schneider S.,Institute for Molecular Infection Biology | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Microbiology | Year: 2017

The metabolic flexibility of the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans is important for colonisation and infection of different host niches. Complex regulatory networks, in which protein kinases play central roles, link metabolism and other virulence-associated traits, such as filamentous growth and stress resistance, and thereby control commensalism and pathogenicity. By screening a protein kinase deletion mutant library that was generated in the present work using an improved SAT1 flipper cassette, we found that the previously uncharacterised kinase Sak1 is a key upstream activator of the protein kinase Snf1, a highly conserved regulator of nutrient stress responses that is essential for viability in C. albicans. The sak1Δ mutants failed to grow on many alternative carbon sources and were hypersensitive to cell wall/membrane stress. These phenotypes were mirrored in mutants lacking other subunits of the SNF1 complex and partially compensated by a hyperactive form of Snf1. Transcriptional profiling of sak1Δ mutants showed that Sak1 ensures basal expression of glyoxylate cycle and gluconeogenesis genes even in glucose-rich media and thereby contributes to the metabolic plasticity of C. albicans. In a mouse model of gastrointestinal colonisation, sak1Δ mutants were rapidly outcompeted by wild-type cells, demonstrating that Sak1 is essential for the in vivo fitness of C. albicans. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

News Article | December 14, 2016

The latest recipients of Germany's most prestigious research funding prize have been announced. In Bonn today, the Joint Committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) chose ten researchers, three women and seven men, to receive the 2017 Leibniz Prize. The recipients of the prize were selected by the Nominations Committee from 134 nominees. Of the ten new prizewinners, three are from the natural sciences, three from the humanities and social sciences, two from the life sciences and two from the engineering sciences. Each of the ten winners will receive €2.5 million in prize money. They can use these funds for their research work in any way they wish, without bureaucratic obstacles, for up to seven years. The awards ceremony for the 2017 Leibniz Prizes will be held on 15 March in Berlin. The following researchers will receive the 2017 "Funding Prize in the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Programme" awarded by the DFG: The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize has been awarded by the DFG annually since 1986. Each year a maximum of ten prizes can be awarded, each with prize money of €2.5 million. With the ten prizes for 2017, a total of 348 Leibniz Prizes have been awarded to date. Of these, 115 were bestowed on researchers in the natural sciences, 101 in the life sciences, 79 in the humanities and social sciences, and 53 in the engineering sciences. The number of award recipients is higher than the number of awarded prizes because, in exceptional cases, the prizes and money can be shared. Accordingly, a total of 374 nominees have received the prize, including 326 men and 48 women. The Leibniz Prize is the most significant research prize in Germany. Seven past prizewinners have subsequently received the Nobel Prize: 1988 Professor Dr. Hartmut Michel (Chemistry), 1991 Professor Dr. Erwin Neher and Professor Dr. Bert Sakmann (Medicine), 1995 Professor Dr. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (Medicine), 2005 Professor Dr. Theodor W. Hänsch (Physics), 2007 Professor Dr. Gerhard Ertl (Chemistry) and most recently in 2014 Professor Dr. Stefan W. Hell (Chemistry). Professor Dr. Lutz Ackermann (43), Organic Molecular Chemistry, Institute of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, University of Göttingen Lutz Ackermann has been selected for the 2017 Leibniz Prize for his outstanding work in the field of organic chemistry. His international reputation is based especially on his research into the catalytic activation of carbon-hydrogen bonds. These bonds, which occur in all organic substances, are usually extremely inert and permit only very poor and frequently non-selective transformation. The methods developed by Ackermann and his colleagues have paved the way for fundamentally new and low-impact manufacturing methods for important chemical products including active substances, agrochemicals and fine chemicals. Through his other work, Ackermann has also created new concepts for environmentally friendly chemical synthesis. Lutz Ackermann studied chemistry in Kiel, and, after further studies in Rennes and Mülheim an der Ruhr, he obtained his doctorate from the University of Dortmund. He did postdoctoral research at Berkeley before going to Munich in 2003 to work as the leader of a DFG-funded Emmy Noether independent junior research group. Ackermann has held his current chair in Göttingen since 2007 and has headed the Institute of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry there since 2015. He is one of the most frequently cited researchers in his field in the world. Professor Dr. Beatrice Gründler (52), Arabic Studies, Seminar for Semitic and Arabic Studies, Free University of Berlin Beatrice Gründler will receive the Leibniz Prize for her studies on the diversity of voices in Arabic poetry and culture. She has been interested in the medium of script and its fundamental importance to Arabic traditions since an early stage in her career, as evidenced for example by her book "The Development of the Arabic Script" (1993). Through her research she has developed a complex media history of the Arab world, from the introduction of paper to book printing and beyond - indeed, she refers to an 'Arabic book revolution'. In a pilot project for a critical, annotated digital edition of the "Kalila wa-Dimna", begun in 2015, Gründler has unravelled the history of the text, development and impact of this collection of fables, considered one of the earliest Arabic prose works and a central text of Arabic wisdom literature. Gründler's own approach puts into practice in an exemplary way the encounters between Arabic and European knowledge traditions that she investigates in her work - another reason for the importance of her research. Beatrice Gründler studied at Strasbourg, Tübingen and Harvard, where she received her doctorate in 1995. After a period at Dartmouth College, she began teaching at Yale University in 1996, first as an assistant professor and from 2002 as Professor of Arabic Literature. In 2014 she returned to Germany, and has since been undertaking research at the Free University of Berlin. Ralph Hertwig will be recognised with the 2017 Leibniz Prize for his pioneering work in the psychology of human judgement and decision-making. His research has expanded our understanding of the possibilities and limitations of human rationality. Hertwig investigates the strategies which humans use, faced with limited knowledge, limited cognitive resources and often limited time, to nonetheless make good decisions and organise their actions. Central to his work is the question why a limitation also constitutes a strength, in other words how adaptive heuristics, as simple rules of thumb for problem-solving, can be as effective as complex optimisation models. Another of Hertwig's important contributions to decision research is the distinction between experience-based and description-based assessment of risk. This explains why the dramatic consequences of climate change, for example, are systematically underestimated by society, because although there is plenty of information available to describe the problem, there is little everyday experience - the main thing that people base their decisions on. Ralph Hertwig has been the director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development since 2012 and heads the Center for Adaptive Rationality. Hertwig began his scientific career in 1995 at the Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research in Munich. In 1997 he moved to the Max Planck Institute in Berlin. Between 2000 and 2002 he was a Research Fellow at Columbia University. In 2003 he obtained his habilitation from the Free University of Berlin. In 2005 he was appointed Professor of Cognitive Science and Decision Psychology at the University of Basel, and moved from there to his current position. Karl-Peter Hopfner will receive the Leibniz Prize for his outstanding work in structural molecular biology and genome biology, with which he has made pioneering contributions to the field of DNA repair and the cellular detection of foreign nucleic acids. Hopfner's research focused on the molecular mechanisms of multiprotein complexes, which play an important role in the detection of damaged or viral nucleic acids. These detection processes are crucial to the protection of the genome; errors in detection and repair are among the main reasons for the development of cancer. Building on that work, Hopfner has carried out essential work on DNA double-strand break repair and in recent years has decoded the mechanism of the central MRN complex Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1, a DNA damage sensor. He also contributed substantially to answering the question of how cellular sensors of the innate immune system recognise viral or bacterial nucleic acids in the case of infection. Here, the sensors must distinguish between the body's own RNA and foreign RNA. Karl-Peter Hopfner studied biology in Regensburg and in St. Louis, USA. He completed his doctorate at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried as part of the Division led by Nobel Prize winner Robert Huber. Between 1999 and 2001 he carried out postdoctoral research at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, before accepting a tenure track professorship at the Gene Center at LMU Munich. He has been a full professor at LMU since 2007. Professor Dr. Frank Jülicher (51), Theory of Biological Physics, Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden The award of the Leibniz Prize to Frank Jülicher recognises a world-leading researcher in biophysics with the ability to identify universal physical principles in the complex world of living matter. He had already attracted attention with his early work on the physics of hearing and cell mechanics. Through his investigation of active matter - the components of which exhibit autonomous activity, such as molecular motors, which play a key role in cell movement and division - Jülicher has established a new field of research. This raises many fundamental questions in non-equilibrium physics and has also inspired numerous new applications as well as biomimetic design. In collaboration with French researchers, the biophysicist laid the foundations for the dynamics of active matter by formulating a general hydrodynamic theory of active matter. Most recently, Jülicher has turned his attention to the control and organisation of cells in tissue. His seminal work is contributing to our understanding of cell self-organisation in tissue. This phenomenon, as yet poorly understood, is of enormous importance to developmental biology and medical applications. Frank Jülicher studied physics in Stuttgart and Aachen, received his doctorate in Cologne in 1994 and then spent two years researching in the USA and Canada. He subsequently worked with leading researchers in Paris in the field of soft matter and biophysics, before obtaining his habilitation in 2000 at Paris Diderot University (Paris 7). Since 2002, Jülicher has been the director of the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden and Professor of Biophysics at the Technical University of Dresden. Professor Dr. Lutz Mädler (45), Mechanical Process Engineering, Stiftung Institut für Werkstofftechnik (IWT) and Department of Production Engineering, University of Bremen Lutz Mädler will receive the Leibniz Prize in recognition of his pioneering work in the targeted reactive formation of nanoparticles in the gas phase and their effect on living matter. He has developed an improved variant of flame spray pyrolysis for the cost-effective synthesis of nanoparticles, involving the thermochemical splitting of organic compounds. His work has made flame spray pyrolysis available for industrial applications. Mädler subsequently refined this pyrolysis technique when he discovered the droplet explosion phenomenon in flame sprays and its effects on material synthesis. However, as well as looking at the tailored synthesis of nanoparticles, Mädler has also investigated how toxic these particles are to the human body. This is important because many applications, for example paints, textiles and dental fillings, have direct impacts on humans. Mädler was able to demonstrate that interactions between synthetic nanoparticles and biological tissue produce reactive oxygen species which can trigger undesirable reactions. Lutz Mädler studied physics at the Technical University of Zwickau and then process engineering at Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, where he obtained his doctorate in 1999. He completed his habilitation at ETH Zurich and then, with the support of a DFG fellowship, became a Senior Researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2008 he was appointed professor at the University of Bremen. Britta Nestler has been selected to receive the 2017 Leibniz Prize for her significant, internationally recognised research in computer-assisted materials research and the development of new material models with multiscale and multiphysical approaches. Nestler has developed extremely flexible and high-performing simulation environments to simulate the microstructure of materials for use on supercomputers. These are based on her own quantitative models for the description of multicomponent systems. She has thus achieved a new quality of microstructure representation in the thermomechanical simulation of materials and the simulation of solidification processes and thus depicted these processes through realistic 3D simulation for the first time. Through her creative application and further development of the phase field method, Nestler has achieved outstanding fundamental insights which are also of enormous practical relevance. For example, her simulation calculations are used to predict the spread of cracks in design materials such as brake discs and therefore help to extend their lifetime. Britta Nestler studied physics and mathematics in Aachen, where she also received her doctorate. Research visits took her to Southampton, UK and Paris. In 2001 Nestler accepted a professorship in the Faculty of Computer Science at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences and in 2009 her current chair at KIT. Professor Dr. Joachim P. Spatz (47), Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, and Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Heidelberg Joachim Spatz will be recognised with the Leibniz Prize for his outstanding research at the boundaries of materials sciences and cell biophysics. His research is concerned with cell adhesion, that is, the adhesion and bonding of cells to one another and to surfaces. His exemplary experimental approach has garnered precise insights into the control of cell adhesion and indeed physiological processes. To achieve this, Spatz used artificial, molecularly structured boundary surfaces to reduce possible interactions to a minimum of molecular components. Joachim Spatz' scientific achievement lies in the fact that he can study the communication mechanisms between cells in a new way with the help of concepts from materials science and physics. Using these resources, he was able to explain how the molecular mechanism of collective cell migration works in wound healing. Joachim Spatz studied physics in Ulm and at Colorado State University. He obtained his doctorate in macromolecular chemistry in Ulm, and it was also there that he completed his habilitation with a topic on cell mechanics. Since 2000 he has been a professor of biophysical chemistry in Heidelberg. In 2004 he was appointed director of the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, now the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, in Stuttgart. Since 2008 he has also held a visiting professorship in molecular cell biology at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel. Professor Dr. Anne Storch (48), African Studies, Institute for African Studies and Egyptology, University of Cologne In awarding the 2017 Leibniz Prize to Anne Storch, the DFG is honouring an extremely innovative and world-renowned researcher in African Studies who has contributed to a far-reaching reorientation of her field through her pioneering work. Drawing on questions and methods from cultural anthropology and the social sciences, Storch has introduced new thematic and methodological dimensions, both theoretical and practical, to African Studies. Her exemplary studies have also shown how linguistically based analyses can be used in an interdisciplinary approach to develop a cultural-anthropological understanding of contemporary Africa. Of particular significance was her study of taboos and secret languages in central Africa, published in 2011, which describes linguistic observations in such a way that they lead to complex sociological descriptions of power practices and political mechanisms of effect. Storch's case studies, rooted in, yet transcending, linguistic speech description, have become internationally significant model studies for a modern, self-critical approach to African Studies. Anne Storch has been Professor of African Studies in Cologne since 2004. She trained in anthropology, African Studies, Oriental Studies and archaeology in Frankfurt am Main and Mainz. Between 2006 and 2009 she served as president of the Fachverband Afrikanistik, the specialist society for Africa-related scholarship in Germany. Since 2014 she has been the president of the International Association for Colonial and Postcolonial Linguistics. Awarding the Leibniz Prize to Jörg Vogel recognises one of the world's leading researchers in the field of ribonucleic acid biology. He was selected for his pioneering contributions to our understanding of regulatory RNA molecules in infection biology. Vogel recognised the importance of RNA biochemistry in prokaryotes very early on and has done pioneering work in the application and development of high-throughput sequencing for RNA analysis. Using this method, he has studied the influence of pathogens on the host cell. Vogel has also discovered how small regulatory RNA molecules control protein synthesis and the breakdown of RNA. This in turn has contributed to the development of new methods which can be used in gene therapy. Together with Emmanuelle Charpentier, who won the Leibniz Prize in 2016, Vogel was able to understand tracrRNA (trans-activating RNA) and its function, which made the application of the CRISPR/Cas9 system possible. Vogel thus uncovered general biological principles which play a major role in our understanding of pathogenic microorganisms and are resulting in new treatment approaches. Jörg Vogel studied biochemistry at the Humboldt University of Berlin, where he also obtained his doctorate on RNA splicing in plants. After doing postdoctoral research in Uppsala and Jerusalem, in 2004 he was appointed Head of Division at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin. Since 2009 he has been a professor at the University of Würzburg, where he heads the Institute for Molecular Infection Biology. The Leibniz Prizes will be awarded on 15 March 2017 at 3.00 pm at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Berlin. A separate invitation will be sent to members of the media. Additional information about the 2017 prizewinners can be requested at the start of the new year by contacting the DFG Press and Public Relations Office or at http://www. . Detailed information about the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Programme is available at: http://www.

News Article | December 12, 2016

The news caught him by surprise: Jörg Vogel was busy preparing an urgent grant proposal he wants to submit with Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Just at this moment, an e-mail from the DFG arrived in his inbox, informing him that he would receive one of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prizes 2017 worth 2.5 million euros. "I was flabbergasted," recalls the Würzburg professor for infection biology who was in Greifswald when he learned about the good news. On Thursday afternoon he held two lectures there: one at the university and the other at the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg. So there where probably enough people present to congratulate him after the news of his top-notch recognition had made the rounds. Since 2009, Professor Vogel has been the director of the Institute for Molecular Infection Biology (IMIB) of the Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany, and spokesman of the Research Center for Infectious Diseases (ZINF). Moreover, he is the founding director of the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI) which the Helmholtz Association will establish at the JMU. The Leibniz laureate studies small regulatory RNA molecules of bacterial pathogens such as salmonella. He and his team are determined to get to the bottom of how these molecules work and act. His work could show new ways to fight pathogens. "With Jörg Vogel, the award recognizes one of the world's leading researchers in the field of RNA biology," as a DFG press release puts it, stating further that he is given the prize for his seminal contribution to understanding regulatory RNA molecules in infection biology. According to the DFG, Vogel detected the importance of RNA biochemistry very early on. Moreover, he has done pioneering work in the field of RNA analysis with the application and development of high-throughput sequencing methods. Jörg Vogel was born in Cottbus in 1967. He studied biochemistry at the Humboldt University in Berlin and at the Imperial College in London where he received his PhD in 1999. Following time in Sweden and Israel as a postdoc, he returned to Berlin in 2004 to lead a research group at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology. In 2009, he relocated to the University of Würzburg to become a Professor for Molecular Infection Biology. Vogel has already received numerous awards for his research activities. Among others, he is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization EMBO, the National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) and both the American and European Academy of Microbiology. The Leibniz Prize will be handed to Vogel during a festive ceremony in Berlin on 15 March 2017. He can use the prize money for his research as he sees fit. In the 2017 awarding process, the DFG picked 10 scientists out of 134 proposed candidates. Vogel is one of two winners from Bavaria. Since 1986, the DFG has awarded the Leibniz Prize to scientists who, at an early stage of their careers, have demonstrated superior achievements in their research areas and who show exceptional promise for future top-level accomplishments that will have a sustainable impact on the German research landscape. The Würzburg winners of the Leibniz Prize So far, eleven scientists from the University of Würzburg have won one of the coveted Leibniz Prizes: Otto Ludwig Lange and Ulrich Heber (ecology/biochemistry/1986), Hans-Peter Zenner (ear, nose and throat medicine and cell biology/1987), Ingrid Grummt and Bert Hölldobler (molecular biology/zoology/1990), Martin Lohse (pharmacology/1999), Ulrich Konrad (musical sciences/2001), Thomas Mussweiler (psychology/2006), Holger Braunschweig (chemistry/2009), Laurens Molenkamp (physics/2014) and Dag Nikolaus Hasse (Philosophy/2016).

Hill P.J.,Genelux Corporation | Hill P.J.,University of Leicester | Stritzker J.,Genelux Corporation | Stritzker J.,Institute of Biochemistry | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: Recent studies have shown that human ferritin can be used as a reporter of gene expression for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Bacteria also encode three classes of ferritin-type molecules with iron accumulation properties. Methods and Findings: Here, we investigated whether these bacterial ferritins can also be used as MRI reporter genes and which of the bacterial ferritins is the most suitable reporter. Bacterial ferritins were overexpressed in probiotic E. coli Nissle 1917. Cultures of these bacteria were analyzed and those generating highest MRI contrast were further investigated in tumor bearing mice. Among members of three classes of bacterial ferritin tested, bacterioferritin showed the most promise as a reporter gene. Although all three proteins accumulated similar amounts of iron when overexpressed individually, bacterioferritin showed the highest contrast change. By site-directed mutagenesis we also show that the heme iron, a unique part of the bacterioferritin molecule, is not critical for MRI contrast change. Tumor-specific induction of bacterioferritin-expression in colonized tumors resulted in contrast changes within the bacteria-colonized tumors. Conclusions: Our data suggest that colonization and gene expression by live vectors expressing bacterioferritin can be monitored by MRI due to contrast changes. © 2011 Hill et al.

Bringmann G.,University of Würzburg | Zhang G.,University of Würzburg | Olschlager T.,Institute for Molecular Infection Biology | Stich A.,Medical Mission Institute | And 4 more authors.
Phytochemistry | Year: 2013

Naphthylisoquinoline alkaloids, named ancistectorine A1, N-methylancistectorine A1, ancistectorine A2, 5-epi-ancistectorine A2, ancistectorine A3, ancistectorine B1, and ancistectorine C1, have been isolated from twigs of the Chinese plant Ancistrocladus tectorius. The structural elucidation succeeded by chemical, spectroscopic, and chiroptical methods. Three of these compounds exhibited excellent, and specific, antiplasmodial activities, comparable with that of the as yet most active representative, dioncophylline C. Moreover, the antitumoral activities of two of the main alkaloids in this species was tested. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Balk A.,University of Würzburg | Widmer T.,University of Würzburg | Widmer T.,Novartis | Wiest J.,University of Würzburg | And 10 more authors.
Pharmaceutical Research | Year: 2015

Purpose: A poorly water soluble acidic active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) was transformed into an ionic liquid (IL) aiming at faster and higher oral availability in comparison to a prodrug. Methods: API preparations were characterized in solid state by single crystal and powder diffraction, NMR, DSC, IR and in solution by NMR and ESI-MS. Dissolution and precipitation kinetics were detailed as was the role of the counterion on API supersaturation. Transepithelial API transport through Caco-2 monolayers and counterion cytotoxicity were assessed. Results: The mechanism leading to a 700 fold faster dissolution rate and longer duration of API supersaturation of the ionic liquid in comparison to the free acid was deciphered. Transepithelial transport was about three times higher for the IL in comparison to the prodrug when substances were applied as suspensions with the higher solubility of the IL outpacing the higher permeability of the prodrug. The counterion was nontoxic with IC50 values in the upper μM / lower mM range in cell lines of hepatic and renal origin as well as in macrophages. Conclusion: The IL approach was instrumental for tuning physico-chemical API properties, while avoiding the inherent need for structural changes as required for prodrugs. [Figure not available: see fulltext.] © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Martini C.,University of Caen Lower Normandy | Martini C.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Michaux C.,University of Caen Lower Normandy | Michaux C.,Institute for Molecular Infection Biology | And 10 more authors.
Infection and Immunity | Year: 2015

We previously showed that the mutant strain of Enterococcus faecalis lacking the transcriptional regulator SlyA is more virulent than the parental strain. We hypothesized that this phenotype was due to overexpression of the second gene of the slyA operon, ef_3001, renamed pmvE (for polyamine metabolism and virulence of E. faecalis). PmvE shares strong homologies with N1-spermidine/ spermine acetyltransferase enzymes involved in the metabolism of polyamines. In this study, we used an E. faecalis strain carrying the recombinant plasmid pMSP3535-pmvE (V19/p3535-pmvE), which allows the induction of pmvE by addition of nisin. Thereby, we showed that the overexpression of PmvE increased the virulence of E. faecalis in the Galleria mellonella infection model, as well as the persistence within peritoneal macrophages. We were also able to show a direct interaction between the His-tagged recombinant PmvE (rPmvE) protein and putrescine by the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) technique on a Biacore instrument. Moreover, biochemical assays showed that PmvE possesses an N-acetyltransferase activity toward polyamine substrates. Our results suggest that PmvE contributes to the virulence of E. faecalis, likely through its involvement in the polyamine metabolism. © 2015, American Society for Microbiology.

Nagel N.C.,Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology | Masic A.,Institute for Molecular Infection Biology | Schurigt U.,Institute for Molecular Infection Biology | Boland W.,Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry | Year: 2015

A flexible synthetic route to (R)-harmonine ((R)-1), the toxic principle of the Asian lady beetle Harmonia axyridis (H. axyridis), via reductive olefination of the macrocyclic lactone (S)-5, is reported. High enantiomeric purity is achieved by enantioselective saponification of the lactone rac-5 with horse liver esterase. Minor modifications in the synthetic route give access to racemic and chiral harmonine (1), analogs and putative biosynthetic precursors. In addition, the antimicrobial activity of harmonine against Leishmania major (L. major) is demonstrated and provides the rationale for harmonine-based drug development against parasitic diseases. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.2015.

Hartmann T.,Institute for Molecular Infection Biology | Dumig M.,Institute for Molecular Infection Biology | Jaber B.M.,University of Jordan | Szewczyk E.,Institute for Molecular Infection Biology | And 3 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2010

Recyclable markers based on site-specific recombination allow repetitive gene targeting in filamentous fungi. Here we describe for the first time functionality of the bacterial recombination system employing ß serine recombinase acting on six recognition sequences (β-rec/six) in a fungal host, the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, and its use in establishing a self-excising resistance marker cassette for serial gene replacement. Copyright © 2020, American Society tor Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Bohm A.,Institute for Molecular Infection Biology | Papenfort K.,Institute for Molecular Infection Biology | Lopez D.,University of Würzburg | Vogel J.,Institute for Molecular Infection Biology
Molecular Microbiology | Year: 2011

Founded on ground-breaking discoveries such as the operon model by Jacob and Monod more than 50 years ago, molecular microbiology is now one of the most vibrant disciplines of the life sciences. The first Mol Micro Meeting Würzburg ('M3W') hosted more than 160 scientists from 14 countries to exchange their latest ideas in this field of research. Divided into the four main sessions Gene Regulation, Pathogenesis, Microbial Cell Biology and Signalling, the conference provided insight into current advances and future goals and challenges. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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