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ENDOTRACK — Result In Brief

Project ID: 19050
Country: Germany

Following intracellular processes

European scientists advanced knowledge in the field of growth factor signalling and related processes.
Following intracellular processes
Cells take up molecules or growth factors (GF) by 'engulfing' them, a process known as endocytosis. This is then translated to modified gene expression which eventually leads to particular cellular responses. However, the sequences of events that take place within a cell to transduce a GF signal to the nucleus remain largely unknown.

With this in mind, the EU-funded 'Tracking the endocytic routes of growth factor receptor complexes and their modulatory role on signalling' (Endotrack) project sought to characterise the mechanisms of endocytic trafficking and signalling of GF receptor complexes. The project constituted a large-scale multi-disciplinary effort to understand how the endocytic routes are regulated and how they contribute to signal transduction.

In the course of the study, new assays and technologies were developed to measure and dissect the intracellular trafficking process under physiological and pathological conditions. Novel molecules were also identified that regulate the process of GF endocytic trafficking. Additionally, the Endotrack team unravelled the mechanisms behind various signalling pathways and how these affect cellular responses and development.

Importantly, project partners developed various pre-clinical models that recapitulate human diseases. These were used to address the function and effectiveness of various modulators of endocytic trafficking as therapeutic vehicles.

Overall, the Endotrack project provided important new knowledge in the field of GF intracellular trafficking and how the process is regulated. The project’s findings will create novel opportunities in the future for therapeutic intervention especially in diseases that result from signal transduction dysfunctions, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

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