Category Archives: Molecular and structural bases of living organisms

Intelligent bacteria for detecting disease

Another step forward has just been taken in the area of synthetic biology. Research teams from Inserm and CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) Montpellier, in association with Montpellier Regional University Hospital and Stanford University, have transformed bacteria into “secret agents” that can give warning of a disease based solely on the presence of characteristic molecules in the urine or blood.

Detailed structure of human ribosome revealed

A team at the Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire has evidenced, at the atomic scale, the threedimensional structure of the complete human ribosome and the detailed interactions that occur within it.

Osteoporosis : balancing bone formation and degradation

Researchers from the CNRS, Inserm and the Université de Montpellier and Université Jean Monnet – Saint-Étienne have developed a new approach for preventing the destructive activity of osteoclasts without affecting their viability.

Huntington’s disease: therapeutic potential of triheptanoin confirmed

A team of researchers from Inserm led by Fanny Mochel and located at the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute (Inserm/CNRS/UPMC/AP-HP) has just demonstrated the therapeutic potential of triheptanoin in ten patients with Huntington’s disease.

A mechanism for eliminating proteins accidentally localised to the cell nucleus

An international collaboration coordinated by the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) (University of Heidelberg), including French researchers from the Institute of Genetics and Development of Rennes (IGDR) (CNRS/University of Rennes 1) under the leadership of Gwenaël Rabut, Inserm Researcher, and teams from Sweden and Canada, has just demonstrated a new molecular mechanism that may allow cells to destroy proteins accidentally localised to the nucleus.

Pirate viruses caught in their own trap ?

A group of scientists in Strasbourg has demonstrated that one of the 80 components of each ribosome is essential for infection by certain viruses without being necessary for normal cell functioning.

Key step in allergic reactions revealed

By studying the mode of action of the interleukin-33 protein, an alarmin for white blood cells, a team at the Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale (IPBS – CNRS/Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier) has been able to evidence truncated forms of the protein that act as potent activators of the cells responsible for triggering allergic reactions.

Lipids serving the brain

Membrane plasmique en vert, transferrine en rouge

Consuming oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially ‘omega 3’, is good for our health. But the mechanisms explaining these effects are poorly understood. Researchers from the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (CNRS/Nice Sophia Antipolis University), the Compartmentation and Cellular Dynamics Unit (CNRS/Curie Institute/UPMC) of Inserm and Poitiers University1 were interested in the effect of lipids carrying polyunsaturated chains when they are taken into cell membranes.

Cancer du col de l’utérus : première résolution 3D d’une oncoprotéine du virus à papillome humain

cancer du col de l'utérus

Des chercheurs strasbourgeois du laboratoire Biotechnologie et signalisation cellulaire de l’École Supérieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg (CNRS/Université de Strasbourg) et de l’Institut de génétique et de biologie moléculaire et cellulaire (CNRS/Université de Strasbourg/Inserm) ont résolu, pour la première fois, la structure tridimensionnelle d’une oncoprotéine majeure, impliquée dans la prolifération cellulaire et à l’origine du développement du papillomavirus humain. Celui-ci, de type 16 (HPV 16), est le plus dangereux de ces virus, responsable des cancers du col de l’utérus. Ces travaux, publiés le 8 février 2013 dans Science, devraient permettre l’identification et l’amélioration de médicaments bloquant les activités tumorigènes de la protéine.

The skin aging regulator

Despite progress in regenerative medicine, with age, the skin loses its properties in an irreversible manner. The ATIP-Avenir team “Epidermal homeostasis and tumorigenesis” directed by Chloé Féral, an Inserm researcher at the French Cancer and Aging Research Institute (Inserm/CNRS/Université Sophia Antipolis), has just defined the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in maintaining skin cells and skin healing in advanced years. These mechanisms, described in vivo in mice, engage molecule CD98hc, which is involved in epidermis renewal and could be an indicator of the skin’s capacity for regeneration.

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