Imprinted genes are expressed from either the paternal or maternal allele. Reporting in Nature Communications, scientists led by Martin Leeb have now discovered 71 previously unrecognized imprinted genes in preimplantation blastocysts. The study found that imprinting created by differential histone marks plays a more prominent role in the preimplantation blastocyst than canonical DNA methylation mechanisms.
The Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) has awarded four DOC fellowships to Max Perutz Labs PhD students Dana Abdeen, Aleksandra Anisimova, Daria Filipczak, and Helena Bragulat Teixidor. The DOC program offers funding for highly qualified doctoral candidates in all areas of research. The fellowships amount to 38,000 Euros each and will support the young researchers’ work, spanning from meiosis, lamins, inter-organelle communication, and protein quality control.
Meiosis is a specialized cell division process required to generate gametes, the reproductive cells of an organism. During meiosis, paternal and maternal chromosomes duplicate, pair, and exchange parts of their DNA in a process called meiotic recombination. In order to mediate this exchange of genetic material, cells introduce double strand breaks (DSBs) into their chromosomal DNA. Scientists from the lab of Franz Klein from the Department of Chromosome Biology at the Max Perutz Labs, a joint venture of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna, have now discovered that cells sometimes liberate DNA fragments at sites of paired, or double, DSBs. Whilst this presents an obvious risk of germline mutations as a consequence of erroneous repair or of integration of fragments from elsewhere at break sites, it may also be a source of evolutionary diversity. The study is published as a research article in Nature.
Every year EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) selects distinguished scientists who have made outstanding contributions in the field of the life sciences. New members are elected by peers based on individual recommendations by renowned researchers in their respective field. Kristin Tessmar-Raible and Alwin Köhler have joined the EMBO community.
The lab of Kristina Djinovic-Carugo and their collaborators report the first structure of FATZ-1 in complex with a-actinin, two important proteins found in the Z-disc of muscle fibers. The Z-disc is a supramolecular structure that anchors actin filaments in skeletal muscle. Intriguingly, FATZ-1, which is an intrinsically disordered protein implicated in the biogenesis of the Z-disc, also shows a propensity to form biomolecular condensates. The work raises interesting questions about the role of liquid-liquid phase separation in the formation of these structures. The study is published in Science Advances.
Jörg Menche was born in Würzburg and studied physics in Germany and Brazil. In his PhD at the Max-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces he focused on network theory. After postdoctoral work in the USA, he moved to Vienna in 2015 to start his own group at the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine. Since 2020, he holds a joint professorship at the Max Perutz Labs and the Faculty of Mathematics of the University of Vienna. In our interview he talks about why he lives and breathes science and why he is excited about the future of virtual reality technology.
The Max Perutz Labs are embedded in the Vienna BioCenter, providing access to outstanding core facilities shared by all members of the campus in addition to facilities unique to our institute.
With a strong molecular focus and a diversity of model organisms, we aim to bridge basic research with biomedicine.
To honour an extraordinary teacher and scientist, the Max Perutz Labs were named after Max Ferdinand Perutz, who, together with John C. Kendrew, was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies on the structure of globular proteins ...
The Max Perutz Labs seek to educate students to think critically and analytically, challenge them to set ambitious goals, and instill in them both broad horizons and deep understanding. In doing so, we aspire to furnish them with the necessary knowledge and skills to push forward the frontiers of 21st century biomedical science.