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Gottingen, Germany

The Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen is a research institute of the Max Planck Society. Currently, 850 people work at the institute, about half of them are scientists. The Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry is the only one of the institutes within the Max Planck Society which combines the three classical scientific disciplines – biology, physics and chemistry. Founded in 1971, its initial focus was set on physical and chemical problems. It has since undergone a continuous evolution manifested by an expanding range of core subjects and work areas such as neurobiology, biochemistry and molecular biology. Wikipedia.


Kuhnlein R.P.,Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
Progress in Lipid Research | Year: 2011

Intracellular lipid droplets have long been misconceived as evolutionarily conserved but functionally frugal components of cellular metabolism. An ever-growing repertoire of functions has elevated lipid droplets to fully-fledged cellular organelles. Insights into the multifariousness of these organelles have been obtained from a range of model systems now employed for lipid droplet research including the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. This review summarizes the progress in fly lipid droplet research along four main avenues: the role of lipid droplets in fat storage homeostasis, the control of lipid droplet structure, the lipid droplet surface as a dynamic protein-association platform, and lipid droplets as mobile organelles. Moreover, the research potential of the fruit fly model is discussed with respect to the prevailing general questions in lipid droplet biology. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Kuhnlein R.P.,Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
Journal of Lipid Research | Year: 2012

The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is an emerging model system in lipid metabolism research. Lipid droplets are omnipresent and dynamically regulated organelles found in various cell types throughout the complex life cycle of this insect. The vital importance of lipid droplets as energy resources and storage compartments for lipoanabolic components has recently attracted research attention to the basic enzymatic machinery, which controls the delicate balance between triacylglycerol deposition and mobilization in flies. This review aims to present current insights in experimentally supported and inferred biological functions of lipogenic and lipolytic enzymes as well as regulatory proteins, which control the lipid droplet-based storage fat turnover in Drosophila. Copyright © 2012 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. Source


Hatje K.,Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
Nucleic acids research | Year: 2013

Accurate exon-intron structures are essential prerequisites in genomics, proteomics and for many protein family and single gene studies. We originally developed Scipio and the corresponding web service WebScipio for the reconstruction of gene structures based on protein sequences and available genome assemblies. WebScipio also allows predicting mutually exclusive spliced exons and tandemly arrayed gene duplicates. The obtained gene structures are illustrated in graphical schemes and can be analysed down to the nucleotide level. The set of eukaryotic genomes available at the WebScipio server is updated on a daily basis. The current version of the web server provides access to ∼3400 genome assembly files of >1100 sequenced eukaryotic species. Here, we have also extended the functionality by adding a module with which expressed sequence tag (EST) and cDNA data can be mapped to the reconstructed gene structure for the identification of all types of alternative splice variants. WebScipio has a user-friendly web interface, and we believe that the improved web server will provide better service to biologists interested in the gene structure corresponding to their protein of interest, including all types of alternative splice forms and tandem gene duplicates. WebScipio is freely available at http://www.webscipio.org. Source


Schmitt H.D.,Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
Trends in Cell Biology | Year: 2010

Fusion of Golgi-derived COP (coat protein)-I vesicles with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is initiated by specific tethering complexes: the Dsl1 (depends on SLY1-20) complex in yeast and the syntaxin 18 complex in mammalian cells. Both tethering complexes are firmly associated with soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) at the ER. The structure of the Dsl1 tethering complex has been determined recently. The complex seems to be designed to expose an unstructured domain of Dsl1p at its top, which is required to capture vesicles. The subunit composition and the interactions within the equivalent mammalian complex are similar. Interestingly, some of the mammalian counterparts have additional functions during mitosis in animal cells. Zw10, the metazoan homolog of Dsl1p, is an important component of a complex that monitors the correct tethering of microtubules to kinetochores during cell division. This review brings together evidence to suggest that there could be common mechanisms behind these different activities, giving clues as to how they might have evolved. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Wahl M.C.,Free University of Berlin | Luhrmann R.,Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
Cell | Year: 2015

Spliceosomes are multi-megadalton RNA-protein molecular machines that carry out pre-mRNA splicing, that is, the removal of non-coding intervening sequences (introns) from eukaryotic pre-mRNAs and the ligation of neighboring coding regions (exons) to produce mature mRNA for protein biosynthesis on the ribosome. They are the prototypes of dynamic molecular machines, assembling de novo for each splicing event by the stepwise recruitment of subunits on a substrate. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

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