Fat molecules, the key to the future of medicine?
European researchers are now closely studying a type of fat molecules that can be used as key components in future medicines for illnesses such as cancer, inflammation and cardiovascular disease.
Professor Karl-Eric Magnusson's research group at LiU is responsible for part of the project.
The project with the acronym TraPPs will consist of eight teams studying different aspects of inositol phospholipids, a group of signalling molecules that regulate the metabolism of calcium in the cells and thus affect cell movement and shape. For example, if an epithelial cell in the intestine does not develop into its normal long thin shape, it risks turning into cancer cells.
The comprehensive project has been initiated by the European Science Foundation ESF within the EuroMEMBRANE programme and includes a further five research teams.
“Our team will try to visualise how these lipids interact with proteins on the cell membrane. We do this with a fluorescence microscope on living cells and by using electron microscopy on frozen cells”, says Karl-Eric Magnusson.
The Swedish Research Council has awarded him a grant of more than 4 million SEK (365K Euros) over three years to enable the work.
Footnote: "TraPPS" stands for Tracking of phosphoinositide pools - Key signalling components in cell migration and polarisation.
Last updated: 2009-06-17