Awardees' Articles

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Gabriel Rosenblum and colleagues

Tuesday 17th April 2012

Site-specific labeling of ribosomes and tRNAs allows mechanistic investigation of translation using single-molecule approaches. However, quality control of labeled components can be a laborious and cumbersome process. Here we develop a novel assay that allows straightforward determination of the activity of fluorescently labeled translational components. This assay follows translation in real-time, using cell-free expression of a GFP variant. The activity of fluorescently labeled ribosomes and tRNAs...

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Shimon Bershtein and colleagues

Thursday 12th April 2012

Most random mutations are destabilizing, and they affect fitness by compromising structural integrity of proteins that results in decreased activity and toxicity due to aggregation. Surprisingly, destabilizing mutations can also induce oligomerization, thus preserving proteins' solubility and function.

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellows Ralph Neumüller and Frederik Wirtz-Peitz and colleagues

Thursday 12th April 2012

Protein trap lines in various organisms have mainly been used to study the expression pattern of the tagged gene products. In addition to this approach we show that protein trap lines can effectively be used to perform high stringency loss of function experiments and to probe the interactome of the tagged protein, significantly expanding the experimental versatility of existing protein trap lines.

 

HFSP Program Grant holders Daniel Wolpert and Michael Shadlen and colleagues

Thursday 22nd March 2012

Introspection leads us to believe that we make decisions and then act upon them, but a recent study shows that the human motor system begins to prepare for action during decision-making as the brain deliberates over the evidence.

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellows Gidi Shemer and Bob Goldstein and colleagues

Monday 19th March 2012

Apical constriction is a major mechanism in driving cell shape changes during key developmental events, including gastrulation, formation of the basic germ layers, as well as neural tube closure in vertebrates. Apical constriction is thought to be triggered by contraction of a cytoskeletal network, composed of actin filaments and myosin motor proteins (actomyosin). Here, we show that actomyosin contraction takes place even before cell shape changes are initiated, and that cell shape changes are...

 

HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Julie Plastino and Laurent Kreplak and colleagues

Monday 19th March 2012

The actin cytoskeleton is the cellular scaffolding that primarily determines the shape and mechanical properties of cell protrusions. We examined the combined effect of two key actin-binding proteins, fascin and VASP, on the mechanical properties of actin comets, test-tube mimics of cell protrusions. We find that the effect of the two molecules together is more than the sum of the individual effects, indicating synergy between the two proteins for increased actin network rigidity.

 

HFSP Career Development Award holder Tatsuya Nishino and Young Investigator Grant holder Iain Cheeseman and colleagues

Friday 16th March 2012

At the eukaryotic centromere, more than 100 proteins participate to build a kinetochore: microtubule-capturing machinery. How the kinetochore is built at the centromere remained elusive. Here, we identified a novel kinetochore complex consisting of CENP-T, -W, -S, -X that form a histone-like heterotetramer and wrap DNA similar to canonical histones. Our results extend the current 'histone-code' hypothesis utilizing histone modifications and histone variants to 'chromatin-code'...

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Chieh Hsu and colleagues

Thursday 15th March 2012

GAL genes enhance their own transcription via the transcription factor Gal4p. With synthetic circuits and stochastic simulation, we show that the evolution of the feedback system does not rely on tuning the strength of the Gal4p – promoter interaction to change its activation rate but on the adjustment of bursting kinetics in stochastic gene expression.

 

HFSP Program Grant award holders Ingo Roeder and Tilo Pompe and colleagues

Monday 12th March 2012

The analysis of stem cell fate is key to a better understanding of tissue development and ultimately to develop regenerative therapies. In particular, the impact of the microenvironment on stem cell growth, division, and differentiation is far from being understood. One method to quantitatively study stem cell – microenvironment interactions under controlled conditions is automatic single cell tracking in biomimetic culture systems using time-lapse video microscopy.

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Naoki Oshimori and colleagues

Friday 9th March 2012

Regeneration of adult tissue relies on the activation of quiescent stem cells regulated through multiple signals in specialized microenvironments, called stem cell niches. Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) signaling in the hair follicle niche induces specific gene expressions in the stem cells to counteract quiescent signals and drives them into a tissue regenerative state.