Just what exactly happens en route from the copier to the pores has been clarified in recent years among others by Prof. Kubitscheck's working group at the University of Bonn. "Key experiments on this were undertaken by the biologist Dr. Roman Veith, whose doctorate thesis was awarded this year's Dr. Edmund ter Meer Ph.D. thesis prize from the university society," reports Prof. Kubitscheck. For these experiments the messenger RNA was altered so that it glowed when illuminated with a laser beam. This enabled the researchers to trace the path of individual molecules containing copies of the genetic material in living buccal gland cells of a mosquito type with up to 500 pictures per second. A light microscope with a high speed camera made the observation possible.
Researchers constructed special light microscope
Once the transport processes between the "copier" and the cell nuclear membrane were understood, Prof. Kubitscheck and his colleagues turned their attention in recent years to the direct transport process through the nuclear pores. In order to observe this process, they took a number of years to construct a highly sensitive light microscope which works on the basis of target illumination. It creates delicate pictures of living samples and, in the process of taking pictures with high frequency, creates an unusually strong contrast.
Process is of fundamental biological interest
The question of how the messenger RNA enters the cell from the cell nucleus is of fundamental interest in biology, a fact Prof. Thoru Pederson (University of Massachusetts Medical School) underscores in his comment which accompanies the article paper presented by the Bonn-based scientists. In recent years, the
|Contact: Dr. Ulrich Kubitscheck|
University of Bonn