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Zurich, Switzerland

The University of Zurich , located in the city of Zürich, is the largest university in Switzerland, with over 26,000 students. It was founded in 1833 from the existing colleges of theology, law, medicine and a new faculty of philosophy.Currently, the university has 7 faculties: Philosophy, Human Medicine, Economic science, Law, Mathematics and Natural science, Theology and Veterinary Medicine. The university offers the widest range of subjects and courses at any Swiss higher education institution. Wikipedia.

Akdis C.A.,University of Zurich
Nature Medicine | Year: 2012

Current therapies for asthma and allergy are relatively safe and effective at controlling symptoms but do not change the chronic course of disease. There is no established method to prevent asthma and allergy, and major unmet needs in this area include the better control of the severe forms of these diseases and the developments of curative therapies. Two major therapeutic strategies for asthma and allergy are currently being developed, and I here discuss the advances and challenges for future therapeutic development in these two areas. The first approach, allergen-specific immunotherapy, aims to induce specific immune tolerance and has a long-term disease-modifying effect. The second approach is the use of biological immune response modifiers to decrease pathological immune responses. Combination strategies using both of these approaches may also provide a route for addressing the unmet clinical needs in allergic diseases. © 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hottiger M.O.,University of Zurich
Annual Review of Biochemistry | Year: 2015

Protein ADP-ribosylation is an ancient posttranslational modification with high biochemical complexity. It alters the function of modified proteins or provides a scaffold for the recruitment of other proteins and thus regulates several cellular processes. ADP-ribosylation is governed by ADP-ribosyltransferases and a subclass of sirtuins (writers), is sensed by proteins that contain binding modules (readers) that recognize specific parts of the ADP-ribosyl posttranslational modification, and is removed by ADP-ribosylhydrolases (erasers). The large amount of experimental data generated and technical progress made in the last decade have significantly advanced our knowledge of the function of ADP-ribosylation at the molecular level. This review summarizes the current knowledge of nuclear ADP-ribosylation reactions and their role in chromatin plasticity, cell differentiation, and epigenetics and discusses current progress and future perspectives. Copyright © 2015 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Pelkmans L.,University of Zurich
Science | Year: 2012

Studying the phenotypic differences between genetically identical cells rather than their general features can reveal novel regulatory mechanisms for diverse cellular processes.

Pluckthun A.,University of Zurich
Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology | Year: 2015

Designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins) can recognize targets with specificities and affinities that equal or surpass those of antibodies, but because of their robustness and extreme stability, they allow a multitude of more advanced formats and applications. This review highlights recent advances in DARPin design, illustrates their properties, and gives some examples of their use. In research, they have been established as intracellular, real-time sensors of protein conformations and as crystallization chaperones. For future therapies, DARPins have been developed by advanced, structure-based protein engineering to selectively induce apoptosis in tumors by uncoupling surface receptors from their signaling cascades. They have also been used successfully for retargeting viruses. In ongoing clinical trials, DARPins have shown good safety and efficacy in macular degeneration diseases. These developments all ultimately exploit the high stability, solubility, and aggregation resistance of these molecules, permitting a wide range of conjugates and fusions to be produced and purified. ©2015 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Functional differences between human dendritic cell (DC) subsets and the potential benefits of targeting them with vaccines remain poorly defined. Here we describe that mice with reconstituted human immune system components (huNSG mice) develop all human conventional and plasmacytoid DC compartments in lymphoid organs. Testing different Toll-like receptor agonists for DC maturation in vivo, we found that IL-12p70 and interferon (IFN)-α production correlated with the maturation of CD141+ (BDCA3+) conventional DCs in huNSG mice. Furthermore, depletion of CD141+ DCs before stimulation significantly reduced IFN-α levels in vivo. This DC subset produced similar total amounts but different subtypes of IFN-α in response to synthetic double-stranded RNA compared with plasmacytoid DCs in response to a single-stranded RNA equivalent. Moreover, synthetic double-stranded RNA as adjuvant and antigen targeting to the endocytic receptor DEC-205, a combination that focuses antigen presentation for T-cell priming on CD141+ DCs, stimulated antigen-specific human CD4+ T-cell responses. Thus, the human CD141+ DC subset is a prominent source of IFN-α and interleukin-12 production and should be further evaluated for vaccine development.

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