Berlin, Germany

The Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics is a research institute for molecular genetics based in Berlin, Germany. It is part of the Max Planck Institute network of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science. Wikipedia.

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Richard H.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
Nucleic acids research | Year: 2010

Alternative splicing, polyadenylation of pre-messenger RNA molecules and differential promoter usage can produce a variety of transcript isoforms whose respective expression levels are regulated in time and space, thus contributing specific biological functions. However, the repertoire of mammalian alternative transcripts and their regulation are still poorly understood. Second-generation sequencing is now opening unprecedented routes to address the analysis of entire transcriptomes. Here, we developed methods that allow the prediction and quantification of alternative isoforms derived solely from exon expression levels in RNA-Seq data. These are based on an explicit statistical model and enable the prediction of alternative isoforms within or between conditions using any known gene annotation, as well as the relative quantification of known transcript structures. Applying these methods to a human RNA-Seq dataset, we validated a significant fraction of the predictions by RT-PCR. Data further showed that these predictions correlated well with information originating from junction reads. A direct comparison with exon arrays indicated improved performances of RNA-Seq over microarrays in the prediction of skipped exons. Altogether, the set of methods presented here comprehensively addresses multiple aspects of alternative isoform analysis. The software is available as an open-source R-package called Solas at

Sauer S.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics | Kliem M.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
Nature Reviews Microbiology | Year: 2010

Mass spectrometry has become an important analytical tool in biology in the past two decades. In principle, mass spectrometry offers high-throughput, sensitive and specific analysis for many applications in microbiology, including clinical diagnostics and environmental research. Recently, several mass spectrometry methods for the classification and identification of bacteria and other microorganisms, as well as new software analysis tools, have been developed. In this Review we discuss the application range of these mass spectrometry procedures and their potential for successful transfer into microbiology laboratories. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Bertram L.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports | Year: 2011

After a decade of intensive investigation but only few replicable results, Alzheimer's disease (AD) genetics research is slowly picking up pace. This is mostly owing to the completion of several genome-wide association studies (GWAS), which have suggested the existence of over three dozen potential new AD susceptibility genes. Although only a handful of these could be confirmed in subsequent independent replication efforts to date, this success rate is still much higher than in the pre-GWAS era. This review provides a brief summary of the principal methodologic advances in genetics research of the past decade, followed by a description of the most compelling findings that these advances have unearthed in AD. The paper closes with a discussion of the persistent methodologic difficulties and challenges and an outlook on what we can expect to gain from the next 10 years of AD genetics research. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men worldwide. Alterations in the DNA methylation pattern can be one of the leading causes for prostate cancer formation. This study is the first high-throughput sequencing study investigating genome-wide DNA methylation patterns in a large cohort of 51 tumor and 53 benign prostate samples using methylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing. Comparative analyses identified more than 147,000 cancer-associated epigenetic alterations. In addition, global methylation patterns show significant differences based on the TMPRSS2-ERG rearrangement status. We propose the hypermethylation of miR-26a as an alternative pathway of ERG rearrangement-independent EZH2 activation. The observed increase in differential methylation events in fusion-negative tumors can explain the tumorigenic process in the absence of genomic rearrangements. In contrast to TMPRSS2-ERG -rearranged tumors, the pathomechanism for gene fusion-negative tumors is completely unclear. Using a sequencing-based approach, our work uncovers significant global epigenetic alterations in TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion-negative tumors and provides a mechanistic explanation for the tumor formation process. ©2012 AACR.

Ropers H.H.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics | Year: 2010

Intellectual disability (ID) is the leading socio-economic problem of health care, but compared to autism and schizophrenia, it has received very little public attention. Important risk factors for ID are malnutrition, cultural deprivation, poor health care, and parental consanguinity. In the Western world, fetal alcohol exposure is the most common preventable cause. Most severe forms of ID have genetic causes. Cytogenetically detectable and submicroscopic chromosomal rearrangements account for approximately 25% of all cases. X-linked gene defects are responsible in 10-12% of males with ID; to date, 91 of these defects have been identified. In contrast, autosomal gene defects have been largely disregarded, but due to coordinated efforts and the advent of next-generation DNA sequencing, this is about to change. As shown for Fra(X) syndrome, this renewed focus on autosomal gene defects will pave the way for molecular diagnosis and prevention, shed more light on the pathogenesis of ID, and reveal new opportunities for therapy. © 2010 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Carrillo Oesterreich F.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics | Preibisch S.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics | Neugebauer K.M.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
Molecular Cell | Year: 2010

Pre-mRNA splicing is catalyzed by the spliceosome, which can assemble on pre-mRNA cotranscriptionally. However, whether splicing generally occurs during transcription has not been addressed. Indeed, splicing catalysis is expected to occur posttranscriptionally in yeast, where the shortness of terminal exons should leave insufficient time for splicing. Here, we isolate endogenous S. cerevisiae nascent RNA and determine gene-specific splicing efficiencies and transcription profiles, using high-density tiling microarrays. Surprisingly, we find that splicing occurs cotranscriptionally for the majority of intron-containing genes. Analysis of transcription profiles reveals Pol II pausing within the terminal exons of these genes. Intronless and inefficiently spliced genes lack this pause. In silico simulations of transcription and splicing kinetics confirm that this pausing event provides sufficient time for splicing before termination. The discovery of terminal exon pausing demonstrates functional coupling of transcription and splicing near gene ends. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Woodsmith J.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics | Stelzl U.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
Current Opinion in Structural Biology | Year: 2014

At least 46 interactome studies, broad at proteome scale or biologically more focused, have together mapped about 75,000 human protein-protein interactions (PPIs). Many of the studies addressed local interactome data paucity analyzing specific homeostatic and regulatory systems, with recent focus demonstrating the involvement of post-translational protein modification (PTM) enzyme families in a wide range of cellular functions. These datasets provided insight into binding mechanisms, the dynamic modularity of complexes or delineated combinatorial enzymatic cascades. Furthermore, the combined study of PPI and PTM dynamics has begun to reveal conditional rewiring of molecular networks through PTM-mediated recognition events. Taken together these studies highlight the utility of local and global interaction networks to functionally prioritize the many changing PTMs mapped in human cells. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Demetrius L.A.,Harvard University | Demetrius L.A.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
Physics Reports | Year: 2013

Boltzmann's statistical thermodynamics is a mathematical theory which relates the macroscopic properties of aggregates of interacting molecules with the laws of their interaction. The theory is based on the concept thermodynamic entropy, a statistical measure of the extent to which energy is spread throughout macroscopic matter. Macroscopic evolution of material aggregates is quantitatively explained in terms of the principle: Thermodynamic entropy increases as the composition of the aggregate changes under molecular collision.Darwin's theory of evolution is a qualitative theory of the origin of species and the adaptation of populations to their environment. A central concept in the theory is fitness, a qualitative measure of the capacity of an organism to contribute to the ancestry of future generations. Macroscopic evolution of populations of living organisms can be qualitatively explained in terms of a neo-Darwinian principle: Fitness increases as the composition of the population changes under variation and natural selection.Directionality theory is a quantitative model of the Darwinian argument of evolution by variation and selection. This mathematical theory is based on the concept evolutionary entropy, a statistical measure which describes the rate at which an organism appropriates energy from the environment and reinvests this energy into survivorship and reproduction. According to directionality theory, microevolutionary dynamics, that is evolution by mutation and natural selection, can be quantitatively explained in terms of a directionality principle: Evolutionary entropy increases when the resources are diverse and of constant abundance; but decreases when the resource is singular and of variable abundance.This report reviews the analytical and empirical support for directionality theory, and invokes the microevolutionary dynamics of variation and selection to delineate the principles which govern macroevolutionary dynamics of speciation and extinction. We also elucidate the relation between thermodynamic entropy, which pertains to the extent of energy spreading and sharing within inanimate matter, and evolutionary entropy, which refers to the rate of energy appropriation from the environment and allocation within living systems. We show that the entropic principle of thermodynamics is the limit as R→. 0, M→. ∞, (where R denote the resource production rate, and M denote population size) of the entropic principle of evolution.We exploit this relation between the thermodynamic and evolutionary tenets to propose a physico-chemical model of the transition from inanimate matter which is under thermodynamic selection, to living systems which are subject to evolutionary selection. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Musante L.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics | Ropers H.H.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
Trends in Genetics | Year: 2014

Most severe forms of intellectual disability (ID) have specific genetic causes. Numerous X chromosome gene defects and disease-causing copy-number variants have been linked to ID and related disorders, and recent studies have revealed that sporadic cases are often due to dominant de novo mutations with low recurrence risk. For autosomal recessive ID (ARID) the recurrence risk is high and, in populations with frequent parental consanguinity, ARID is the most common form of ID. Even so, its elucidation has lagged behind. Here we review recent progress in this field, show that ARID is not rare even in outbred Western populations, and discuss the prospects for improving its diagnosis and prevention. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Orom U.A.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics | Shiekhattar R.,Wistar Institute
Cell | Year: 2013

Enhancer-associated long noncoding RNAs act over long distances and across chromosomes to activate transcription at distal promoters. Here, we address the latest advances made toward understanding the role of long noncoding RNA expression and the involvement of these RNAs in enhancer function through association with protein factors and modulation of chromatin structure. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

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