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Kai Simons: membrane master.

Simons K - J. Cell Biol. (2008)

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Max Planck Institute, Dresden.

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As one of the founding members of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and a leading voice in European and American science advocacy organizations, Kai Simons has had an enduring influence on generations of scientists... Simons, who is now based at the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, credits much of his career success to others, beginning with his father, who set him on the path to biomedical research, and then Leevi Kääriäinen, who introduced him to Semliki Forest Virus—which would subsequently become a focus of his early work on cell membrane trafficking pathways... Later, at the newly formed EMBL, Simons assembled a multidisciplinary team of researchers to study how certain proteins, together with certain lipids, dynamically segregate into subdomains in the plasma membrane... The methodology everyone initially used to study lipid rafts was detergent resistance: if you put Triton on a membrane, any material that was insoluble at four degrees was considered a part of a lipid raft... For a long time it was difficult to publish, and I thought I would never see the light at the end of the tunnel... There are quite a number of people out there still who think rafts are an artifact. …Over the last two years our methodology has improved so much... How do you study such a phenomenon? It's not simple... But with the infusion of biophysics into this field, we have many new tools—such as single molecule and STED spectroscopy—that are beginning to give us glimpses of the dynamics of membrane subcompartmentalization... We have also recently shown that plasma membranes can phase separately into micrometer subdomains just as simple lipid model systems do, but that such phase separation is prevented in living cells…so we're still learning about rafts, and refining our understanding of their roles in cells... We're excited about where the field is headed.

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Kai Simons
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Kai Simons: membrane master.

Simons K - J. Cell Biol. (2008)

Kai Simons
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2606959&req=5

fig1: Kai Simons

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Max Planck Institute, Dresden.

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

As one of the founding members of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and a leading voice in European and American science advocacy organizations, Kai Simons has had an enduring influence on generations of scientists... Simons, who is now based at the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, credits much of his career success to others, beginning with his father, who set him on the path to biomedical research, and then Leevi Kääriäinen, who introduced him to Semliki Forest Virus—which would subsequently become a focus of his early work on cell membrane trafficking pathways... Later, at the newly formed EMBL, Simons assembled a multidisciplinary team of researchers to study how certain proteins, together with certain lipids, dynamically segregate into subdomains in the plasma membrane... The methodology everyone initially used to study lipid rafts was detergent resistance: if you put Triton on a membrane, any material that was insoluble at four degrees was considered a part of a lipid raft... For a long time it was difficult to publish, and I thought I would never see the light at the end of the tunnel... There are quite a number of people out there still who think rafts are an artifact. …Over the last two years our methodology has improved so much... How do you study such a phenomenon? It's not simple... But with the infusion of biophysics into this field, we have many new tools—such as single molecule and STED spectroscopy—that are beginning to give us glimpses of the dynamics of membrane subcompartmentalization... We have also recently shown that plasma membranes can phase separately into micrometer subdomains just as simple lipid model systems do, but that such phase separation is prevented in living cells…so we're still learning about rafts, and refining our understanding of their roles in cells... We're excited about where the field is headed.

Show MeSH