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Single molecule dynamics of stress signalling components studied with the ulta-sensitive fluorescence microscope Cytoscout for drug screening


This project focuses on the elucidation of membranes as targets of stress signalling. Stress signalling plays a crucial role in chronic disorders like diabetes mellitus, heart disease, kidney failure or neuro-degenerative disorders. We will improve the understanding of the molecular basis of the diseases by applying a new imaging technology to study the membrane dynamic processes. The new technique permits the visualisation of single molecules and will be applied to investigate the level and cellular localisation of e.g heat shock proteins and to observe lipid- and protein-specific membrane domains and rafts engaged in HSP-signalling. An immediate outcome of the proposed research will be a better understanding of the molecular basis of the membrane-associated diseases. We also expect that the project will lead to the identification and characterization of new drug compounds, which rebalance the perturbed levels of HSP proteins in diseased tissue. Through the proposed project the host institutions Upper Austrian Research GmbH (UAR) and the Biological Research Center, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (BRC) will intensify their ongoing collaboration and combine their scientific strengths to improve the understanding of molecular basis of membrane-associated diseases. BRC is one of the leading scientific institutions working on stress-signalling of membranes and their involvement in diseases. UAR is a leading company in developing ultra sensitive fluorescence microscopes for single dye tracing (SDT) and HTS with single molecule sensitivity used for life science applications. The trade name of this tool is CytoScout. This integrated project follows a multidisciplinary approach and brings together experts from physics, chemistry, biology, molecular biology, clinical diagnostics, medicine and its scope ranges from basic science over applied research to clinical application.

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