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Busch A.,University of California at Irvine | Busch A.,Institute of Molecular Biology IMB | Hertel K.J.,University of California at Irvine
RNA | Year: 2015

Alternative splicing is a key player in the creation of complex mammalian transcriptomes and its misregulation is associated with many human diseases. Multiple mRNA isoforms are generated from most human genes, a process mediated by the interplay of various RNA signature elements and trans-acting factors that guide spliceosomal assembly and intron removal. Here, we introduce a splicing predictor that evaluates hundreds of RNA features simultaneously to successfully differentiate between exons that are constitutively spliced, exons that undergo alternative 5′ or 3′ splice-site selection, and alternative cassette-type exons. Surprisingly, the splicing predictor did not feature strong discriminatory contributions from binding sites for known splicing regulators. Rather, the ability of an exon to be involved in one or multiple types of alternative splicing is dictated by its immediate sequence context, mainly driven by the identity of the exon's splice sites, the conservation around them, and its exon/intron architecture. Thus, the splicing behavior of human exons can be reliably predicted based on basic RNA sequence elements. © 2015 Busch and Hertel. Source

Niehrs C.,German Cancer Research Center | Niehrs C.,Institute of Molecular Biology IMB | Acebron S.P.,German Cancer Research Center
Cell | Year: 2010

Two key events in Wnt signal transduction, receptor endocytosis and inactivation of Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 (GSK3), remain incompletely understood. Taelman et al. (2010) discover that Wnt signaling inactivates GSK3 by sequestering the enzyme in multivesicular bodies, thus linking these two events and providing a new framework for understanding Wnt signaling. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. Source

Cremer C.,Institute of Molecular Biology IMB | Cremer C.,Kirchhoff Institute for Physics | Masters B.R.,Harvard University | Masters B.R.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
European Physical Journal H | Year: 2013

We survey the history of resolution enhancement techniques in microscopy and their impact on current research in biomedicine. Often these techniques are labeled superresolution, or enhanced resolution microscopy, or light-optical nanoscopy. First, we introduce the development of diffraction theory in its relation to enhanced resolution; then we explore the foundations of resolution as expounded by the astronomers and the physicists and describe the conditions for which they apply. Then we elucidate Ernst Abbe's theory of optical formation in the microscope, and its experimental verification and dissemination to the world wide microscope communities. Second, we describe and compare the early techniques that can enhance the resolution of the microscope. Third, we present the historical development of various techniques that substantially enhance the optical resolution of the light microscope. These enhanced resolution techniques in their modern form constitute an active area of research with seminal applications in biology and medicine. Our historical survey of the field of resolution enhancement uncovers many examples of reinvention, rediscovery, and independent invention and development of similar proposals, concepts, techniques, and instruments. Attribution of credit is therefore confounded by the fact that for understandable reasons authors stress the achievements from their own research groups and sometimes obfuscate their contributions and the prior art of others. In some cases, attribution of credit is also made more complex by the fact that long term developments are difficult to allocate to a specific individual because of the many mutual connections often existing between sometimes fiercely competing, sometimes strongly collaborating groups. Since applications in biology and medicine have been a major driving force in the development of resolution enhancing approaches, we focus on the contribution of enhanced resolution to these fields. © 2013 The Author(s). Source

Ohkawara B.,German Cancer Research Center | Glinka A.,German Cancer Research Center | Niehrs C.,German Cancer Research Center | Niehrs C.,Institute of Molecular Biology IMB
Developmental Cell | Year: 2011

The R-Spondin (Rspo) family of secreted Wnt modulators is involved in development and disease and holds therapeutic promise as stem cell growth factors. Despite growing biological importance, their mechanism of action is poorly understood. Here, we show that Rspo3 binds syndecan 4 (Sdc4) and that together they activate Wnt/PCP signaling. In Xenopus embryos, Sdc4 and Rspo3 are essential for two Wnt/PCP-driven processes-gastrulation movements and head cartilage morphogenesis. Rspo3/PCP signaling during gastrulation requires Wnt5a and is transduced via Fz7, Dvl, and JNK. Rspo3 functions by inducing Sdc4-dependent, clathrin-mediated endocytosis. We show that this internalization is essential for PCP signal transduction, suggesting that endocytosis of Wnt-receptor complexes is a key mechanism by which R-spondins promote Wnt signaling. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source

Rippe K.,German Cancer Research Center | Luke B.,Institute of Molecular Biology IMB
Nature Structural and Molecular Biology | Year: 2015

Long noncoding telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) has been implicated in telomere maintenance in a telomerase-dependent and a telomerase-independent manner during replicative senescence and cancer. TERRA's proposed activities are diverse, thus making it difficult to pinpoint the critical roles that TERRA may have. We propose that TERRA orchestrates different activities at chromosome ends in a manner that depends on the state of the telomere. © 2015 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved. Source

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