LRRK2 is a major target for Parkinson's disease therapies. Determination of a high-resolution crystal structure of the full-length LRRK2 protein or individual functional domains protein would help understanding the molecular basis of this disease and, importantly, provide a structural basis for rational drug design. Yet, this complex multi-domain protein has so far defied structure determination by x-ray crystallography. Despite extensive efforts, only poorly diffracting crystals were obtained. Sebastian Mathea and Stefan Knapp from the SGC Frankfurt have now joined forces with The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to grow crystals of the LRRK2 protein in microgravity conditions with the hope to obtain improved crystals suitable for structure determination. Last month, precious LRRK2 protein samples were sent into space for crystallization experiments at the International Space Station (ISS).
List of Highly Cited Researchers released. CSO of the SGC Frankfurt Stefan Knapp is one of the worlds’ most influential scientists as revealed by Clarivate Analytics’ Highly Cited Researchers List. He has been selected for his exceptional performance in the newly introduced category “Cross-Field”, based on his multiple high impact papers published across several fields. Besides Stefan Knapp, 12 other colleagues from Goethe University have been credited by the 2018 list. With this result, Goethe University is second best in Germany, only Heidelberg University scores higher. The global pole position is traditionally taken by Harvard University. Link
Stefan Knapp elected as new member of EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organisation), joining a group of more than 1800 of the best researchers in Europe and around the world. Link
Open Science Probe Project launched. With this unique project, several pharmaceutical companies (AbbVie, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Janssen, MSD, Pfizer, and Takeda) have entered into a pre-competitive collaboration with the SGC, to make a large number of innovative high-quality probes available to the research community.
These probes complement the probe set generated by the SGC and its academic and industry collaborators. All compounds fulfil specific criteria in terms of potency, selectivity and cellular activity and are extensively profiled. Moreover, several probes are suitable for in vivouse. Additionally, control compounds are provided and profiled as well. In order to be accepted in the set, all probes have been evaluated by an internal as well as an external expert committee. All probe- and control compound- associated data and recommendations on use, are presented in a database, thereby providing both a unique resource of chemical tools and target-related knowledge in order to help researchers to decide, which chemical tools to choose, at which concentrations to use them, and how to interpret the resulting data taking into account the profiling results. Compounds are available through our on-line system without complicated contractual arrangements under the simple web-accessible Open Science Trust Agreement (http://www.thesgc.org/click-trust). We are inviting other companies and academics to contact us and provide high-quality probes to the community. Please contact: SGC Frankfurt.
Stefan Knapp is among the top 10 most cited protein scientist in Europe according to the latest Lab Times ranking, based on an analysis of research articles published between 2009 and 2015 in "protein" research journals. Link
The internationally recognized scientist Ivan Dikic, has announced his intention to remain at the Goethe University Frankfurt rejecting counter offers from abroad. Thanks to the generous support of the Else-Kröner-Fresenius- and the Schwiete-Stiftung an investment in a screening platform for chemical and biological probes as well as equipment for proteome analysis and the CRISPR/Cas gene editing method was possible. Link
Promega announces a project with SGC-Frankfurt, where researchers are currently testing broad-spectrum profiling of specific kinase inhibitors in live cells for a more realistic estimate of inhibitor selectivity under more physiological conditions. Link
Susanne Müller-Knapp invited to become co-editor of German Epigenetic Newsletter. Link
The British Biochemical Society honors Stefan Knapp for his research on the development of inhibitors in the field of Epigenetics as part of the SGC epigenetic probe program. The developed inhibitors have led to several clinical cancer trials. Link