2021

Press Release

16 Feb 2021

Cells decide their fate collectively

It is one of the great mysteries in biology - from apparently uniform stem cells, a plethora of diverse, specialized cell types arise through so called differentiation processes. Although we know that the special functions of the cells are founded in the genes, one central question still remains open: How is this differentiation process controlled? What ensures that the vital proportions of cell types are present within the population?

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Press Release

22 Jan 2021

Cannibal worms spare their own brood - New caesar research group investigates self-recognition systems in nature

New caesar research group "Self-recognition and cannibalism" investigates self-recognition systems in nature, headed by neurobiologist Dr. James Lightfoot.

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Press Release

7 Jan 2021

Keeping Sperm Cells on Track - Researchers point to a new mechanism underlying male infertility

One essential component of each eukaryotic cell is the cytoskeleton. Microtubules, tiny tubes consisting of a protein called tubulin, are part of this skeleton of cells. Cilia and flagella, which are antenna-like structures that protrude from most of the cells in our body, contain many microtubules. An example of flagell is the sperm tail, which is essential for male fertility and thus for sexual reproduction. The flagellum has to beat in a very precise and coordinated manner to allow progressive swimming of the sperm. Failure to do so can lead to male infertility. Researchers at the Institut Curie in Paris, the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) in Dresden, the research center caesar in Bonn together with the University of Bonn, the Institut Cochin in Paris and the Human Technopole in Milan now show that one particular enzymatic modification of the protein tubulin, called glycylation, is essential to keep sperm swimming in a straight line. These findings imply that a perturbation of this modification could underlie some forms of male infertility in humans.

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