Are tumor cells glutamine addicts?
Many tumors are thought to depend on glutamine, suggesting glutamine deprivation as therapeutic approach, but a new study shows that this effect might have been overestimated
Heidelberg, 13 April 2017 − Most cancers require large amounts of glutamine for rapid growth and there are numerous studies indicating that they cannot survive without it, a phenomenon termed “glutamine addiction”. This has fueled the idea that preventing tumors from glutamine uptake could be a potential therapeutic strategy. A study by researchers from Berlin and Würzburg, Germany, now concludes that while glutamine deprivation will halt the proliferation of certain tumor cells, most of them will not be killed, raising questions of whether such a therapeutic intervention will lead to remission in cancers. The study is published today in The EMBO Journal.
Effects of gut flora revisited
Changes in gut microbiota after unhealthy diet may protect from metabolic disease
Heidelberg, 16 March 2017 - An unhealthy diet changes the composition of the gut flora and it is generally assumed that this maladaptation called “dysbiosis” triggers disease. A study by Matteo Serino and his colleagues at the Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France, now challenges this view. Using mice as a model organism, the researchers show that dysbiosis may have beneficial effects on liver metabolism and may protect against metabolic disease. The study is published today in Molecular Systems Biology.
Targeting a tumor trigger
Researchers explore a potential therapeutic approach against cancer stem cells
Heidelberg, 15 March 2017 - Many cancer patients that receive chemotherapy go into remission at first, but relapse after treatment is discontinued. There is increasing evidence that this is due to the presence of cancer stem cells – cells that reproduce indefinitely and may seed new tumors. A research group from Milan, Italy, now devised a strategy to specifically target cancer stem cells in some cancers and reduce their tumor-generating potential. The results are published today in EMBO Molecular Medicine.
A closer look at brain organoid development
Life scientists move into the mechanisms of self-organization in small brain-like structures
Heidelberg, 10 March 2017 - How close to reality are brain organoids, and which molecular mechanisms underlie the remarkable self-organizing capacities of tissues? Researchers already have succeeded in growing so-called “cerebral organoids” in a dish - clusters of cells that self-organize into small brain-like structures. Juergen Knoblich and colleagues have now further characterized these organoids and publish their results today in The EMBO Journal. They demonstrate that, like in the human brain, so-called forebrain organizing centers orchestrate developmental processes in the organoid, and that organoids recapitulate the timing of neuronal differentiation events found in human brains.
The genetics behind being Not Like Daddy
Researchers unravel one of the secrets behind haploid inducers, a powerful tool in maize breeding
Heidelberg, 22 February 2017 - A common strategy to create high-yielding plants is hybrid breeding – crossing two different inbred lines to obtain characteristics superior to each parent. However, getting the inbred lines in the first place can be a hassle. Inbred lines consist of genetically uniform individuals and are created through numerous generations of self-crossing. In maize, the use of so-called “haploid inducers” provides a short cut to this cumbersome procedure, allowing to produce inbred lines in just one generation. A study by Laurine Gilles and colleagues, published today in The EMBO Journal, sheds light on the genetics behind haploid induction. “Knowing the molecular identity of haploid induction represents an important breakthrough to fully understand the fertilization process in plants, and hopefully will allow to translate this breeding tool to other species,” said the study’s senior author Dr. Thomas Widiez, an INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) researcher at the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon, France.
EMBO Molecular Medicine appoints Philippe Sansonetti as new Chief Editor
Heidelberg, 1 February 2017 – EMBO is pleased to announce the appointment of microbiologist Philippe Sansonetti as new Chief Editor of EMBO Molecular Medicine. Dr Sansonetti, who is the Director of the Molecular Microbial Pathogenesis Laboratory at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, takes up the post with immediate effect.
Lithuania joins the EMBO Installation Grants scheme
Heidelberg, 23 January 2017 – EMBO welcomes Lithuania as a member of the EMBO Installation Grants scheme. Early-career scientists looking to move to Lithuania to establish their own, independent research group can apply to the scheme for financial support for their first three to five years.
Remembering where to get high
Heidelberg, 11 January 2017 - Addiction-related memories are exceptionally strong and stable, suggesting that addictive drugs remodel the brain’s circuitry in a prominent and lasting way. In the past decade, researchers have used mouse models to unravel how cellular changes in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain structure involved in action selection associated with arousal and reward, may contribute to addiction-related behavior. Whereas neuronal remodeling in the NAc explains a wide range of addictive behaviors, it is not required for all of them, according to a study published today in The EMBO Journal.
Ottoline Leyser honoured with the 2017 FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award
Heidelberg, 9 January 2017 – EMBO and FEBS announce plant biologist Ottoline Leyser as the recipient of the tenth FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award.
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