Molecular and Functional Characterization of Selective Autophagy
Autophagy is a highly conserved catabolic process that serves as a quality control mechanism in cells by selectively removing damaged and superfluous organelles or other harmful cytosolic material, such as aggregated proteins or invaded bacteria. Under stress or energy restriction autophagy provides recycled building blocks for the synthesis of new cellular components. Three different types of autophagy can be distinguished: macroautophagy, microautophagy and chaperone-mediated autophagy. This SFB focuses on macroautophagy (hereafter referred to as autophagy), a multi-step cellular process by which cytosolic material is engulfed by a double-membrane, termed autophagosome after closure, which eventually fuses with a lysosome in order to eliminate its content.
Autophagy plays a vital role in protecting against disease, but in recent years it became clear that the effect of autophagy is highly contextual. While it acts for instance as an anti-tumorigenic mechanism in healthy cells, cancer cells exploit the cytoprotective effect of autophagy to overcome stress conditions and nutrient limitation caused by rapid tumor growth.
SFB 1177 aims at gaining a more detailed insight into the mechanistic details of autophagic pathways to better understand its role in disease development and eventually exploit this knowledge therapeutically.
Funded by DFG
Interested in Alzheimer’s - register here: "Beyond Amyloid - Widening the View on Alzheimer's Disease“
Herrenhausen Symposium, October 10 & 11 in Hanover, Germany.
Hosted as a Herrenhausen Symposium by the Volkswagen Foundation the meeting aims at bringing together current knowledge on molecular and cellular processes that contribute to AD pathogenesis beyond the so far dominating amyloid hypothesis and at fostering discussion on future perspectives in AD research. Topics to be covered include inflammation, vascular dysfunction, mitochondrial integrity, cell cycle events, lipid metabolism, tau biochemistry, protein misfolding and autophagy. There are no fees to attend the symposium but registration is required.
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2016 for autophagy researcher: Congratulations to Yoshinori Ohsumi
3rd October 2016
The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet decided today that the 2016 Prize is awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy. The Japanese scientist is considered as the founding father of autophagy research: He identified the first autophagy genes in yeast, elucidated the underlying mechanisms and showed that a similar sophisticated machinery exists in human cells. Ohsumi holds a professorship at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan. He is the only Laureate receiving the prize this year, underlining the significance and breakthrough character of his discoveries. The announcement came as fantastic news for the entire field of autophagy research, and the SFB 1177 consortium sends sincerest congratulations to Yoshinori Ohsumi.
Link to the Nobel Academy Press Release
Link to ZDF heute journal report including statement from SFB 1177 member Simone Fulda
SFB 1177 practical course on autophagy
The practical course on autophagy, organized by SFB 1177 group leaders Christian Behrends and Christian Pohl, conveyed hands-on experience in autophagy research. In five days, the participants employed biochemical and cell biological assays to study the autophagy pathway and expanded their knowledge on model organisms such as C. elegans as well as on technologies like mass spectrometry and gene editing with CRISPR/Cas9. Daily lectures by senior scientists and group leaders complemented the practical focus of the workshop. By presenting their own preliminary data, both PhD students and Postdocs gained valuable insights into the currently running projects within SFB 1177, sowing the seeds for new collaborations amongst the members of the SFB graduate school. Thanks to all participants for creating a highly supportive and interactive atmosphere fostering the exchange of many experiences and advices!