IMB-Mainz/news https://www.imb.de/ News en IMB-Mainz/news https://www.imb.de/typo3conf/ext/tt_news/ext_icon.gif https://www.imb.de/ 18 16 News TYPO3 - get.content.right http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Mon, 04 May 2020 09:00:48 +0200 Claudia Keller Valsecchi joins IMB as a junior group leader https://www.imb.de//about-imb/news/detail/claudia-keller-valsecchi-joins-imb-as-a-junior-group-leader For more information click here

PRESS RELEASE

Mainz, 4 May 2020 - The Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) is delighted to welcome Dr Claudia Keller Valsecchi as a new Junior Group Leader. Claudia joins IMB from the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology & Epigenetics in Freiburg, where she worked as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research focuses on understanding gene copy number and its relevance for cell function, disease, and evolution.

All sexually reproducing organisms inherit two copies of the genome – one from the father and one from the mother. Having two copies of the genome is thought to provide a “fail-safe” mechanism, so that if one copy of a gene is mutated the other copy can act as a back-up. However, recent studies show that mutations in even one gene copy frequently have adverse effects. Moreover, having more than the normal number of genomes also results in developmental failure or severe disorders, as seen in Down’s Syndrome or cancer. This suggests that inheriting exactly one gene copy from both the mother and father is important for proper function. On the other hand, gene and chromosome duplications are also an important driver for evolution of novel traits, suggesting that increases in gene copy number can sometimes be beneficial.

Claudia’s research focuses on investigating how cells keep gene copy number in check to prevent disease while still allowing gene copy number to change for evolutionary flexibility. As Claudia puts it, “How do cells juggle the good (evolving novel genes), the bad (expression imbalance) and the ugly (developmental delay and malignancies)?” To look for answers to this question, she plans to study the cellular mechanisms that shut off or activate expression of genes that are naturally imbalanced. The most famous example is the X chromosome: males have only one copy (XY), while females have two (XX) and must equalise expression of X chromosome genes for normal function. Nature has invented multiple ways to correct expression of genes on the X chromosome: in humans, females inactivate one of their X chromosomes through epigenetic mechanisms such as histone modifications and DNA methylation. By studying such mechanisms, Claudia wants to gain insights into how cells more generally control gene dosage in development and evolution, and eventually unravel some of the mysteries surrounding diseases caused by gene dosage alterations.

For a PDF version of this press release, click here.


Further information

Claudia Keller Valsecchi is a Junior Group Leader at IMB. Further information about research in the Keller Valsecchi lab can be found here.

About the Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH

The Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB) is a centre of excellence in the life sciences that was established in 2011 on the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Research at IMB focuses on three cutting-edge areas: epigenetics, developmental biology, and genome stability. The institute is a prime example of successful collaboration between a private foundation and government: The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation has committed 154 million euros to be disbursed from 2009 until 2027 to cover the operating costs of research at IMB. The State of Rhineland-Palatinate has provided approximately 50 million euros for the construction of a state-of-the-art building and is giving a further 52 million in core funding from 2020 until 2027. For more information about IMB, please visit: www.imb.de.

Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization committed to the promotion of the medical, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences. It was established in 1977 by Hubertus Liebrecht (1931–1991), a member of the shareholder family of the company Boehringer Ingelheim. With the Perspectives Programme “Plus 3” and the Exploration Grants, the foundation supports independent junior group leaders. It also endows the internationally renowned Heinrich Wieland Prize as well as awards for up-and-coming scientists. In addition, the Foundation is donating a total of 154 million euros from 2009 to 2027 to the University of Mainz for the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB). Since 2013, the Foundation has been providing a further 50 million euros for the development of the life sciences at the University of Mainz. www.bistiftung.de

Press contact for further information

Dr Ralf Dahm, Director of Scientific Management, Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB), Ackermannweg 4, 55128 Mainz, Germany. Phone: +49 (0) 6131 39 21455, Fax: +49 (0) 6131 39 21421, Email: press@imb.de

]]>
Mon, 04 May 2020 09:00:48 +0200
IMB scientists develop a new method to map DNA single-strand breaks https://www.imb.de//about-imb/news/detail/imb-scientists-develop-a-new-method-to-map-dna-single-strand-breaks For more information click here

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT

by Cheryl Li

Mainz, 22 April 2020 – A team of researchers led by Prof. Helle Ulrich at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) has developed a new technique and matching computational pipeline for mapping DNA single-strand breaks throughout the genome. The study was published today in Molecular Cell.

DNA, the carrier of our genetic information, is a fragile molecule. Exposure to damaging agents such as radiation or mutagenic chemicals causes a wide range of damage, or lesions. Among such lesions, breaks in one of the two strands of the DNA, so-called single-strand breaks (SSBs), are by far the most frequent. They occur more than 100,000 times per cell per day, both spontaneously in the natural milieu of the cell and as intermediates of DNA replication. If such breaks are not repaired, they can disrupt cell function or even cause mutations that may eventually lead to cancer.

To understand how cells repair SSBs and other types of DNA damage, it is important to be able to detect and map these lesions in an unbiased way across the genome. However, while several methods have been invented for genome-wide mapping of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and lesions affecting individual bases, mapping SSBs has remained problematic.

To meet this need, Helle and her team developed a new technique based on next-generation sequencing, which they named Genome-wide Ligation of 3’-OH Ends followed by Sequencing (GLOE-Seq). The key to this technique lies in capturing SSBs by ligation to a biotin-labelled DNA adaptor before fragmenting the DNA for further processing. When analysing mammalian DNA (which is longer than microbial DNA), they also extracted the DNA from cells embedded in an agarose jelly to further prevent any unwanted breakage. In this way, DNA ends in samples of purified DNA can be captured for next-generation sequencing with minimal background noise.

Initial testing revealed that GLOE-Seq successfully detects more than 90% of predicted SSBs in a DNA sample digested with a nicking enzyme, with high sensitivity and single-nucleotide resolution. Helle and her team then used GLOE-Seq to map SSBs in colon cancer cells. They found that SSBs are underrepresented around the transcription start sites of genes, unlike DSBs (which are enriched at these locations), suggesting that SSBs and DSBs are formed by distinct mechanisms. Furthermore, they demonstrated that GLOE-Seq can be used to map other types of DNA damage by enzymatically converting them to SSBs. Finally, they asked whether GLOE-Seq would be suitable to detect the SSBs between Okazaki fragments on the lagging strand during DNA replication. They found that GLOE-Seq greatly simplifies analysis of Okazaki fragments and discovered a systematic pattern of SSBs on the leading strand that suggests the repair of misincorporated ribonucleotides is a major source of spontaneous SSBs in yeast and mammalian genomes.

As Helle says, “GLOE-Seq is a versatile tool that opens new ways for scientists to study DNA repair and replication. It allows us to simultaneously monitor DNA damage and important repair events over time, and it will enable us to address how DNA-damaging agents impact DNA replication patterns.” Helle and her team now plan to continue refining GLOE-Seq to further expand its range of applications. In future, GLOE-Seq could also be used to assess the effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs that inhibit DNA repair, or to determine the accuracy of DNA breaks produced by new genome-editing technologies.

For a PDF version of this research highlight, please click here


Further details

Further information can be found at https://www.cell.com/molecular-cell/fulltext/S1097-2765(20)30195-7

Prof. Helle Ulrich is a Scientific Director at IMB and Professor of Biology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Further information about research in Ulrich lab can be found at www.imb.de/research/ulrich.

Dr Cheryl Li is a Science writer at IMB (email: press@imb.de).

About the Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH

The Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB) is a centre of excellence in the life sciences that was established in 2011 on the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Research at IMB focuses on three cutting-edge areas: epigenetics, developmental biology, and genome stability. The institute is a prime example of successful collaboration between a private foundation and government: The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation has committed 154 million euros to be disbursed from 2009 until 2027 to cover the operating costs of research at IMB. The State of Rhineland-Palatinate has provided approximately 50 million euros for the construction of a state-of-the-art building and is giving a further 52 million in core funding from 2020 until 2027. For more information about IMB, please visit: www.imb.de.

Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization committed to the promotion of the medical, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences. It was established in 1977 by Hubertus Liebrecht (1931–1991), a member of the shareholder family of the company Boehringer Ingelheim. With the Perspectives Programme “Plus 3” and the Exploration Grants, the foundation supports independent junior group leaders. It also endows the internationally renowned Heinrich Wieland Prize as well as awards for up-and-coming scientists. In addition, the Foundation is donating a total of 154 million euros from 2009 to 2027 to the University of Mainz for the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB). Since 2013, the Foundation has been providing a further 50 million euros for the development of the life sciences at the University of Mainz. www.bistiftung.de

Press contact for further information

Dr Ralf Dahm, Director of Scientific Management, Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB), Ackermannweg 4, 55128 Mainz, Germany. Phone: +49 (0) 6131 39 21455, Fax: +49 (0) 6131 39 21421, Email: press@imb.de

]]>
Publication (Show in newsticker) Tue, 21 Apr 2020 14:36:29 +0200
Edward Lemke awarded an ERC Advanced Grant https://www.imb.de//about-imb/news/detail/edward-lemke-awarded-an-erc-advanced-grant For more information click here

PRESS RELEASE

Mainz, 31 March 2020 - Professor Edward Lemke at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) has been awarded a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant from the European Research Council for his research in engineering designer organelles in cells.

ERC Advanced Grants are awarded to top researchers in Europe who are recognised leaders in their field. These grants allow them to pursue outstanding ideas that can eventually lead to new breakthroughs and major scientific advances. This year, the ERC awarded Advanced Grants to 185 researchers across 20 countries from all fields of research, out of 1,881 applications. As an ERC Advanced grant holder, Edward will receive approximately €2.5 million in funding to support his research.

Edward Lemke joined IMB in 2018 as an Adjunct Director and is a leading expert in deciphering the structure and function of proteins with flexible, dynamic structures, called intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). These proteins constitute up to 50% of the human proteome and play key roles in many diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative disease. The disordered nature of IDPs allows them to have greater versatility and adaptability than rigid proteins, but also makes them particularly difficult to study.

Prof. Lemke’s group develops innovative techniques using synthetic and chemical biology to study the biological dynamics of IDPs at high temporal and spatial resolution. His group recently engineered designer organelles in cells with effectively two genetic codes that translate only specific RNAs to build proteins from natural and synthetic amino acids (Science 2019, 363:eaaw2644). This allowed them to incorporate fluorescent groups at specific locations in proteins. The technique opens the possibility of engineering cells to label proteins at multiple specific sites, which enables Prof. Lemke and his group to visualise and study their conformational changes at unprecedented resolution without altering the host physiology of the cell. In addition, the technology could be used to produce entire synthetic artificial proteins for new therapies in the future.


Further details

Further information can be found at https://erc.europa.eu/news/erc-2019-advanced-grants-results

Edward Lemke is an Adjunct Director at IMB and a Professor of Synthetic Biophysics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Further information about research in the Lemke lab can be found at www.imb.de/research/lemke.

About the Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH

The Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB) is a centre of excellence in the life sciences that was established in 2011 on the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Research at IMB focuses on three cutting-edge areas: epigenetics, developmental biology, and genome stability. The institute is a prime example of successful collaboration between a private foundation and government: The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation has committed 154 million euros to be disbursed from 2009 until 2027 to cover the operating costs of research at IMB. The State of Rhineland-Palatinate has provided approximately 50 million euros for the construction of a state-of-the-art building and is giving a further 52 million in core funding from 2020 until 2027. For more information about IMB, please visit: www.imb.de.

About Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is a globally recognized research-driven university with around 31,500 students. Its main core research areas are in particle and hadron physics, the materials sciences, and translational medicine, while its most outstanding research achievements in the humanities have been attained in the fields of American Studies and Historical Cultural Studies. JGU's academic excellence is reflected in its success in the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments: In 2012, the university's Precision Physics, Fundamental Interactions and Structure of Matter (PRISMA) Cluster of Excellence was approved and the funding of its Materials Science in Mainz (MAINZ) Graduate School of Excellence was extended. Moreover, excellent placings in national and international rankings, as well as numerous other honors and awards, demonstrate just how successful Mainz-based researchers and academics are. Further information at www.uni-mainz.de/eng.

Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization committed to the promotion of the medical, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences. It was established in 1977 by Hubertus Liebrecht (1931–1991), a member of the shareholder family of the company Boehringer Ingelheim. With the Perspectives Programme “Plus 3” and the Exploration Grants, the foundation supports independent junior group leaders. It also endows the internationally renowned Heinrich Wieland Prize as well as awards for up-and-coming scientists. In addition, the Foundation is donating a total of 154 million euros from 2009 to 2027 to the University of Mainz for the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB). Since 2013, the Foundation has been providing a further 50 million euros for the development of the life sciences at the University of Mainz. www.bistiftung.de

Press contact for further information

Dr Ralf Dahm, Director of Scientific Management, Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB), Ackermannweg 4, 55128 Mainz, Germany, Phone: +49 (0) 6131 39 21455, Fax: +49 (0) 6131 39 21421, Email: press@imb.de

]]>
Tue, 31 Mar 2020 10:25:10 +0200
Adenine methylation may not be an epigenetic mark in mammalian DNA https://www.imb.de//about-imb/news/detail/adenine-methylation-may-not-be-an-epigenetic-mark-in-mammalian-dna For more information click here

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT

by Cheryl Li

Mainz, 24 March 2020 - The team of Christof Niehrs at the Institute of Molecular Biology reported today in Nature Chemical Biology that adenine methylation—a chemical modification of DNA—may not act as a heritable epigenetic mark in mammals, unlike cytosine methylation.

Epigenetics is a key mechanism of gene regulation in eukaryotes. As such, it is essential for cell differentiation and embryonic development. Epigenetic modifications occur on histones (the proteins that package DNA) and on the DNA itself. In the latter, the methylation of cytosines is the most widespread epigenetic modification. Methylation can also occur on adenines in DNA. However, while cytosine methylation has a well-defined role in epigenetic gene regulation in mammals, little is known about DNA adenine methylation, which is found primarily in bacteria. After the discovery of DNA adenine methylation in embryonic stem cells in 2016, there has been great interest in whether it could also function as an epigenetic mark.

In their study, Christof Niehrs and his team investigated this possibility by feeding human cell lines methionine (an amino acid used by cells to methylate DNA) that had been labelled with heavy isotopes. When cells add methyl groups to adenines using this ‘heavy methionine’, the resulting methyl-adenosine is also heavier than usual. The researchers then measured the occurrence of heavy methylated adenosines in the cells’ DNA by mass spectrometry. The rate at which heavy methyl-adenosines were introduced into DNA was extremely slow – much slower than would be expected of a heritable DNA modification that is actively added to the DNA with each cell division.

If the cell does not actively add methyl groups to adenines in DNA, how does it get there? Unlike DNA, RNA has high levels of adenine methylation. The researchers hypothesised that DNA adenine methylation might originate from the misincorporation of free methyl-adenosines made by recycling methylated RNA nucleotides into DNA nucleotides. To test this, Michael Musheev, the first author of the study, fed the cells an adenosine precursor and methionine, both labelled with heavy isotopes. This allowed him to distinguish between methyl-adenosines produced by directly adding methyl groups to DNA, which would be heavier than methyl-adenosines produced by recycling RNA. Michael found that the vast majority of methyl-adenosines in DNA corresponded to the weight expected from recycling RNA, with virtually none corresponding to the weight expected from direct DNA methylation.

This suggests that DNA adenine methylation does not act as an epigenetic mark that is heritably and actively added to DNA, as is the case for cytosine methylation. As Christof says, “Mammalian DNA contains at least 5 different nucleic acid modifications, and we are only just beginning to understand their roles in the genome. However, this finding shows that not every modification necessarily has an epigenetic function – some may just be errors in DNA, and findings should always be interpreted with caution.”

For a PDF version of this press release, please click here


Further details

Dr Cheryl Li is a Science writer for IMB (email: press[at]imb.de). 

Further information can be found at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41589-020-0504-2

Christof Niehrs is the Executive Director of IMB and a Professor of Biology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Further information about research in Niehrs lab can be found at www.imb.de/research/niehrs.

About the Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH

The Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB) is a centre of excellence in the life sciences that was established in 2011 on the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Research at IMB focuses on three cutting-edge areas: epigenetics, developmental biology, and genome stability. The institute is a prime example of successful collaboration between a private foundation and government: The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation has committed 154 million euros to be disbursed from 2009 until 2027 to cover the operating costs of research at IMB. The State of Rhineland-Palatinate has provided approximately 50 million euros for the construction of a state-of-the-art building and is giving a further 52 million in core funding from 2020 until 2027. For more information about IMB, please visit: www.imb.de.

About Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is a globally recognized research-driven university with around 31,500 students. Its main core research areas are in particle and hadron physics, the materials sciences, and translational medicine, while its most outstanding research achievements in the humanities have been attained in the fields of American Studies and Historical Cultural Studies. JGU's academic excellence is reflected in its success in the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments: In 2012, the university's Precision Physics, Fundamental Interactions and Structure of Matter (PRISMA) Cluster of Excellence was approved and the funding of its Materials Science in Mainz (MAINZ) Graduate School of Excellence was extended. Moreover, excellent placings in national and international rankings, as well as numerous other honors and awards, demonstrate just how successful Mainz-based researchers and academics are. Further information at www.uni-mainz.de/eng.

Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization committed to the promotion of the medical, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences. It was established in 1977 by Hubertus Liebrecht (1931–1991), a member of the shareholder family of the company Boehringer Ingelheim. With the Perspectives Programme “Plus 3” and the Exploration Grants, the foundation supports independent junior group leaders. It also endows the internationally renowned Heinrich Wieland Prize as well as awards for up-and-coming scientists. In addition, the Foundation is donating a total of 154 million euros from 2009 to 2027 to the University of Mainz for the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB). Since 2013, the Foundation has been providing a further 50 million euros for the development of the life sciences at the University of Mainz. www.bistiftung.de

Press contact for further information

Dr Ralf Dahm, Director of Scientific Management, Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB), Ackermannweg 4, 55128 Mainz, Germany. Phone: +49 (0) 6131 39 21455, Fax: +49 (0) 6131 39 21421, Email: press@imb.de

 

]]>
Publication (Show in newsticker) Tue, 24 Mar 2020 09:23:18 +0100
A proof-reading mechanism for mRNA splicing https://www.imb.de//about-imb/news/detail/a-proof-reading-mechanism-for-mrna-splicing For more information click here

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT

by Cheryl Li

Mainz, 19 March 2020 – The research teams of Julian König at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Michael Sattler at the Institute of Structural Biology in Munich have discovered the molecular basis for how the splicing factor U2AF2 ensures that mRNAs are correctly spliced.

Splicing is a crucial step in the maturation of pre-mRNAs into mature mRNAs. It is also important for generating diversity in mRNAs (and hence proteins) from individual genes. For splicing to occur, the cell must be able to recognise the splice sites that flank exons, so that the spliceosome can be recruited to the correct place. Failure to recognise a splicing site or recruiting spliceosomes to the wrong place can lead to intron inclusion, exon skipping, or splicing in the middle of an exon/intron, which can in turn lead to disease.

U2AF2 is an essential splicing factor that plays a crucial role in splice site recognition. It binds to poly-pyrimidine tracts (Py-tracts), which are located immediately upstream of exons, and serves as the key point for spliceosome assembly. However, Py-tract sequences have widely varying sequences – some bind to U2AF2 strongly while others bind weakly. This diversity allows some exons to be constitutively and others to be alternatively spliced, such that different protein isoforms can be produced for specific tissues and functions. But with so many different binding sites, how does U2AF2 ensure correct and reliable splicing?

In their joint study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS), Julian, Michael and their colleagues investigated this question by studying the 3D structure of U2AF2 using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). U2AF2 has two canonical RNA recognition motif domains, RRM1 and RRM2, which are connected by an intervening linker region. Surprisingly, they noticed that this linker region is actively involved in determining U2AF2’s RNA binding specificity. When the linker region was replaced, RRM1 and RRM2 binding increased more than four-fold at a weak Py-tract. This led them to speculate that the linker acts as a competitor that reduces RRM2 binding affinity at weak Py-tracts.

To test this, Julian’s team used a specialised technique called iCLIP to quantify RRM1 and RRM2 binding at hundreds of splice sites. When the linker region was present, RRM1/RRM2 bound strongly to strong Py-tracts, with decreased binding at medium and weak Py-tracts. In contrast, when they replaced the linker region with glycine and serine repeats, RRM1/RRM2 binding increased at both weak and strong Py-tracts. The mutant RRM1/RRM2 also erroneously bound to new sites, creating a dispersed binding pattern, and caused skipping of constitutive exons when overexpressed in human cell lines.

These results show that the linker region plays a vital role in allowing U2AF2 to discriminate between weak and strong Py-tracts, and offer a first insight into how splicing factors can maintain splicing fidelity despite binding to so many different sites. The first author of the study, Hyun-Seo Kang, says: “The linker region serves as a proof-reading mechanism that increases the binding specificity of U2AF2. This prevents U2AF2 from binding at cryptic splice sites and ensures that alternative and constitutive exons are correctly spliced to produce the right mRNA isoform.”


Further details Further information can be found at https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1913483117. Julian König is a Group Leader at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Mainz. Further information about research in the König lab can be found at www.imb.de/research/koenig

About the Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH  The Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB) is a centre of excellence in the life sciences that was established in 2011 on the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Research at IMB focuses on three cutting-edge areas: epigenetics, developmental biology, and genome stability. The institute is a prime example of successful collaboration between a private foundation and government: The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation has committed 154 million euros to be disbursed from 2009 until 2027 to cover the operating costs of research at IMB. The State of Rhineland-Palatinate has provided approximately 50 million euros for the construction of a state-of-the-art building and is giving a further 52 million in core funding from 2020 until 2027. For more information about IMB, please visit: www.imb.de.

Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization committed to the promotion of the medical, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences. It was established in 1977 by Hubertus Liebrecht (1931–1991), a member of the shareholder family of the company Boehringer Ingelheim. With the Perspectives Programme “Plus 3” and the Exploration Grants, the foundation supports independent junior group leaders. It also endows the internationally renowned Heinrich Wieland Prize as well as awards for up-and-coming scientists. In addition, the Foundation is donating a total of 154 million euros from 2009 to 2027 to the University of Mainz for the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB). Since 2013, the Foundation has been providing a further 50 million euros for the development of the life sciences at the University of Mainz. www.bistiftung.de

Press contact for further information :Dr Ralf Dahm, Director of Scientific Management, Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB), Ackermannweg 4, 55128 Mainz, Germany. Phone: +49 (0) 6131 39 21455, Fax: +49 (0) 6131 39 21421, Email: press@imb.de

]]>
Publication (Show in newsticker) Thu, 19 Mar 2020 09:48:19 +0100
The IPP Summer Call is now OPEN! https://www.imb.de//students-postdocs/international-phd-programme To apply and for more information click here! Tue, 17 Mar 2020 14:57:55 +0100 ISS Call 2020 is cancelled https://www.imb.de//students-postdocs/international-summer-school To apply and for more information click here! Mon, 02 Mar 2020 15:13:41 +0100 Save the date for the 2020 IMB conference! https://www.imb.de//seminars-meetings/meetings/2020-imb-conference-epigenetics-of-ageing-responses-to-adversity-across-scales For more information click here Thu, 23 Jan 2020 11:17:19 +0100 IPPro Winter Call 2019/2020 is now OPEN! https://www.imb.de/ To apply and for more information click here! Mon, 09 Dec 2019 12:22:46 +0100 Dance of the RNases: coordinating the removal of RNA-DNA hybrids https://www.imb.de//about-imb/news/detail/dance-of-the-rnases-coordinating-the-removal-of-rna-dna-hybrids For more information click here Two research teams led by Professors Brian Luke and Helle Ulrich at the Institute of Molecular Biology have deciphered how two enzymes, RNase H2 and RNase H1, are coordinated to remove RNA-DNA hybrid structures from chromosomes. In their article, which was published today in Cell Reports, Brian and Helle show that RNase H2 removes RNA-DNA hybrids after DNA replication, and then any remaining RNA-DNA structures are removed by RNase H1, which acts independently of cell cycling.

DNA sometimes interacts with RNA to form RNA-DNA hybrid structures called R-loops that regulate gene expression and DNA repair. However, having too many is also a risk for DNA damage and can lead to neurodegenerative disease and cancer. R-loop removal is catalysed by the enzymes RNase H1 and RNase H2. However, it was never fully understood how these important enzymes are coordinated. In their study, the Luke lab dissected the distinct roles of RNase H1 and H2 by engineering yeast to express either RNase H1 or H2 only during specific phases of the cell cycle and then testing their ability to remove R-loops.

With support from the Ulrich lab, they show that RNase H2 primarily acts to process R-loops during G2, while RNase H1 is able to remove R-loops in either G2 or S phase. Surprisingly, RNase H2 actually induced more DNA damage in S phase, which required a special type of DNA repair called homologous recombination to fix. This pathway was not previously known to act during S phase. Therefore, this study may have revealed an unexplored repair pathway which counters damage caused by RNase H2 activity during DNA replication.

For the full press release, please click here. This press release is also available in German.

]]>
Publication (Show in newsticker) Wed, 27 Nov 2019 09:33:26 +0100