KI 200 anniversary review out in BBRC

Honoring the 200 anniversary of the Karolinska Institute, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (BBRC) has published a special issue with a series of mini-reviews from KI scientists illustrating recent developments within some areas of biomedical research at the molecular level that have been actively pursued at KI. Our contribution, entitled “Beyond the cell surface: New mechanisms of receptor function“, discusses novel aspects of receptor signaling based on some of our recent investigations of the GDNF/GFRa1 signaling system.

Former postdoc fellow Svend Kjaer gets first glimpse at the structure of the Ret ECD

After quite some perseverance and few years of work, the 3D structure of the N-terminal portion of the extracellular domain (ECD) of the RET receptor has been determined by former postdoc fellow Svend Kjaer working at the lab of Nel McDonald in CRUK, London. The paper has appeared online in Nature Structure and Molecular Biology. During his tenure at our lab in 1998-2004, Svend studied RET intensively and published several papers on its biosynthesis, oligomerization and structure-function relationships. He spent several years producing fragments of the RET extracellular domain for structural characterization. Although sufficient for biochemical analyses, the yield was never enough for crystallization. The breakthrough at CRUK came after introduction of a few mutations, including two that knocked-off a couple of unpaired cysteines. The new structure gives tantalizing insights into how RET interacts with the GDNF ligand and co-receptor GFRa1 and how its mutation causes disease.

Upcoming event: ENDOCYTE kick-out conference in Porto Carras, Greece

The ENDOCYTE Research and Training network finishes off with a mini-conference in Porto Carras, Northern Greece, on August 22-25, organized by postdoc fellow Anastasia Simi. The preliminary program includes talks from Philippe Bastiaens, Isabel Guerrero, Ivan Dikic, Harald Stenmark, Anastasia Simi, Ioannis Charalampopoulos, Casper Hoogenraad, Marta Miaczynska, Blagoy Blagoev, Leif Dehmelt, Eleanor Coffey, Carsten Schultz and fellows from the ENDOCYTE network. More to come!