Research Area F - Publications 2017

Molecular Therapy, Vol. 25, No 12, DOI:
Molecular Therapy, online article


Ocular gene therapy has evolved rapidly into the clinical realm due to promising pre-clinical proof-of-concept studies, recognition of the high unmet medical need of blinding disorders, and the excellent safety profile of the most commonly used vector system, the adeno-associated virus (AAV). With several trials exposing subjects to AAV, investigators ...


Genetics, vol. 206, no. 4, 2069-2084,
Genetics, online article


Snail-like transcription factors affect stem cell function through mechanisms that are incompletely understood. In the Caenorhabditis elegans neurosecretory motor neuron (NSM) neuroblast lineage, CES-1 Snail coordinates cell cycle progression and cell polarity to ensure the asymmetric division of the NSM neuroblast and the generation of two daughter cells of ...


Nature Communications, 8, Article number: 116, doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00160-z
Nature Communications, online article


Optical imaging approaches have revolutionized our ability to monitor neural network dynamics, but by themselves are unable to link a neuron’s activity to its functional connectivity. We present a versatile genetic toolbox, termed ‘Optobow’, for all-optical discovery of excitatory connections in vivo. By combining the Gal4-UAS system with Cre/lox recombination, ...


Developmental Cell, Volume 41, Issue 6, p573–574, DOI:
Developmental Cell, online article


Caspases have apoptotic and non-apoptotic functions, both of which depend on their abilities to cleave proteins at specific sites. What distinguishes apoptotic from non-apoptotic substrates has so far been unclear. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Weaver et al. (2017) now provide an answer to this crucial question.


Front. Neurosci., Volume 11,  Article 292,
Front. Neurosci., online article


Achromatopsia type 2 (ACHM2) is a severe, inherited eye disease caused by mutations in the CNGA3 gene encoding the α subunit of the cone photoreceptor cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channel. Patients suffer from strongly impaired daylight vision, photophobia, nystagmus, and lack of color discrimination. We have previously shown in the Cnga3 knockout (KO) mouse ...


Scientific Reports, 7, Article number: 2321, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-02514-5
Scientific Reports, online article


Mutations in the photoreceptor outer segment (OS) specific peripherin-2 lead to autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP). By contrast, mutations in the peripherin-2 homolog Rom-1 cause digenic RP in combination with certain heterozygous mutations in peripherin-2. The mechanisms underlying the differential role of peripherin-2 and Rom-1 in RP pathophysiology ...


Neuron, Volume 94, Issue 4, p774–789.e5, DOI:
Neuron, online article


We introduce a flexible method for high-resolution interrogation of circuit function, which combines simultaneous 3D two-photon stimulation of multiple targeted neurons, volumetric functional imaging, and quantitative behavioral tracking. This integrated approach was applied to dissect how an ensemble of premotor neurons in the larval zebrafish brain drives a ...


J. Biol. Chem., 292(27) 11189–11205, DOI 10.1074/jbc.M117.782326
J. Biol. Chem., online article


Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and mislocalization of improperly folded proteins have been shown to contribute to photoreceptor death in models of inherited retinal degenerative diseases. In particular, mice with cone cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channel deficiency, a model for achromatopsia, display both early-onset ER stress and opsin mistrafficking. By 2 ...


Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., International Edition: DOI: 10.1002/anie.201700424
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., online article


Until recently, it was believed that the genomes of higher organisms contain, in addition to the four canonical DNA bases, only 5-methyl-dC (m5dC) as a modified base to control epigenetic processes. In recent years, this view has changed dramatically with the discovery of 5-hydroxymethyl-dC (hmdC), 5-formyl-dC (fdC), and 5-carboxy-dC (cadC) in DNA from stem cells ...


J Gene Med. 2017, Volume 19, Issue 3, e2944
J Gene Med., online article


The present review summarizes the current status of achromatopsia (ACHM) gene therapy-related research activities and provides an outlook for their clinical application. ACHM is an inherited eye disease characterized by a congenital absence of cone photoreceptor function. As a consequence, ACHM is associated with strongly impaired daylight vision, photophobia, ...


Genes & Dev., 31: 209-222 , doi: 10.1101/gad.288555.116
Genes & Dev., online article


Programmed cell death occurs in a highly reproducible manner during Caenorhabditis elegans development. We demonstrate that, during embryogenesis, miR-35 and miR-58 bantam family microRNAs (miRNAs) cooperate to prevent the precocious death of mothers of cells programmed to die by repressing the gene egl-1, which encodes a proapoptotic BH3-only protein. In ...


The Journal of Physiology, DOI: 10.1113/JP272790
The Journal of Physiology, online article


In vivo two-photon Ca2+ imaging has become an effective approach for the functional analysis of neuronal populations, individual neurons and subcellular neuronal compartments in the intact brain. When imaging individually labelled neurons, depth penetration can often reach up to 1 mm below the cortical surface. However, for densely labelled neuronal populations, ...


iovs, 58:4, 155–4160. DOI:10.1167/iovs.17-22402
iovs, online article


Purpose: Despite ever-growing adoption of subretinal (SRi) and intravitreal injections (IVTi) in ocular gene therapy trials, concerns regarding possible deleterious effects of the SRi on the outer retina are yet to be addressed. SRi offers several advantages over IVTi, such as a better photoreceptor transduction efficiency and a limited off-target exposure. We ...


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Helmholtz München
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MPI of Biochemistry