The c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) are involved in many biological processes such as proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and inflammation and occur in highly similar isoforms in eukaryotic cells. Isoform-specific functions and diseases have been reported for individual JNK isoforms mainly from gene-knockout studies in mice. There is, however, a high demand for intracellular inhibitors with high selectivity to improve the understanding of isoform-specific mechanisms and for use as therapeutic tools. The commonly used JNK inhibitors are based on small molecules or peptides that often target the conserved ATP binding site or docking sites and thus show only moderate selectivity. To target novel binding epitopes, we used designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins) to generate alternative intracellular JNK inhibitors that discriminate two very similar isoforms, JNK1 and JNK2. DARPins are small binding proteins that are well expressed, stable, and cysteine-free, which makes them ideal candidates for appl...
Petra Parizek; Lutz Kummer; Peter Rube; Anke Prinz; Friedrich W. Herberg; Andreas Plückthun
The successful applicability of gene therapy approaches will heavily rely on the development of efficient and safe nonviral gene delivery vectors, for example, cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs). CPPs can condense oligonucleotides and plasmid DNA (pDNA) into nanoparticles, thus allowing the t ... more
Dendrimers feature a defined number of terminal groups that may bind RNA or be functionalized with bioactive molecules. These competing uses of terminal groups may create an impasse if the requisite density of ligands depletes the number of terminal groups for binding sufficient RNA, or vic ... more
The development of clay bionanocomposites requires processing routes with nanostructural control. Moreover, moisture durability is a concern with water-soluble biopolymers. Here, oriented bionanocomposite coatings with strong in-plane orientation of clay platelets are for the first time pre ... more
Scientists are reporting discovery of a potential biochemical basis for the apparent cancer-fighting ability of broccoli and its veggie cousins. They found for the first time that certain substances in the vegetables appear to target and block a defective gene associated with cancer. Their ... more
Scientists in Japan are reporting development of a faster, less expensive version of the fabled polymerase chain reaction (PCR) a DNA test widely used in criminal investigations, disease diagnosis, biological research and other applications. The new method could lead to expanded use of PCR ... more
Researchers at Rice University in Texas have developed a new approach to fighting cancer, based on nanoscale particles that can both detect and destroy cancerous cells. The report appears in the American Chemical Society's journal Nano Letters. Current molecular imaging approaches only dete ... more