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27.10.2008 By: Presse

Clever architecture - structure of a cellular fuel pipeline decoded


Structure of a cellular fuel pipelineGöttingen, October 27, 2008. An interdisciplinary team of scientists from the Max Planck Institutes of Biophysical Chemistry (Göttingen), Biochemistry (Martinsried), Developmental Biology (Tübingen) and Biological Cybernetics (Tübingen) has described the structure of an essential transport channel in the power stations of our cells - the mitochondria. This channel is not only used to transport engergy and metabolites into the cells, but also to issue a suizide order. The results obtained in this study allow new insights into the functionality of these protein channels. This channel could be an important target point for new drugs that may cure autoimmune diseases as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer or cancer. (PNAS, 7. Oktober 2008)

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The Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology conducts basic research in the areas of biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, genomics and cell and evolutionary biology. It currently has a staff of 325 and is located on the Max Planck campus in Tübingen. The institute is one of the 80 institutes of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science.


Structure of an essential transport channel in the power stations of our cells - the mitochondria. Picture: Structure: Zweckstetter, MPIbpc, Mitochondria: Linder Biologie, 22. Auflage; with the friendly allowance of the Schroedel-Verlages.

Structure of an essential transport channel in the power stations of our cells - the mitochondria. Picture: Structure: Zweckstetter, MPIbpc, Mitochondria: Linder Biologie, 22. Auflage; with the friendly allowance of the Schroedel-Verlages.