Göttinger Graduiertenschule für Neurowissenschaften, Biophysik und Molekulare Biowissenschaften

Saher, Gesine, Dr.*

Dr. of Biochemistry

  • 1998 Dr. rer. nat. LMU Munich, Germany
  • 2000-2008 Research Fellow, Department of Neurogenetics, Max-Planck-Institute of Experimental Medicine, Göttingen, Germany
  • Since 2008 Research Group Leader, Department of Neurogenetics, Max-Planck-Institute of Experimental Medicine, Göttingen, Germany

Major Research Interests

In mammals, all cellular membranes contain a specific level of cholesterol influencing their physical and biological properties. Cholesterol is synthesized in every organ and its homeostasis is tightly regulated. The central nervous system has an exceptional position because almost all cholesterol is produced locally. The brain is hence independent from nutrition and cholesterol metabolism of the body.

We investigate the consequences of altered cholesterol/lipid metabolism on the nervous system using a variety of transgenic mouse mutants. Targeting cholesterol biosynthesis by conditional inactivation of Squalene Synthase has proven a powerful tool to study the contribution of individual cell types on the nervous system cholesterol homeostasis. In addition, we address cell biological functions of cholesterol. Analyzing the lipid metabolism in neurodegenerative diseases with the potential development of novel lipid-based therapeutic strategies has become a new focus in my research group.

Homepage Department/Research Group


Selected Recent Publications

  • Saher G., Stumpf S.K. (2015). Cholesterol in Myelin Biogenesis and Hypomyelinating Disorders. BBA - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids, 1851:1083-1094
  • Saher G., Rudolphi F., Corthals K., Ruhwedel T., Schmidt K.F., Löwel S., Dibaj P., Möbius W., Nave K.A. (2012). Therapy of Pelizaeus-Merzbacher-Disease in mice with dietary cholesterol. Nat Med, 18(7): 1130-5
  • Fünfschilling U., Jockusch W.J., Sivakumar N., Möbius W., Corthals K., Li S., Quintes S., Kim Y., Schaap I.A.T., Rhee S.J., Nave K.A., Saher G. (2012). Critical time window of neuronal cholesterol synthesis during neurite outgrowth. J Neurosci, 32(22):7632-45
  • Saher G., Quintes S., Nave K.A. (2011). Cholesterol: A novel regulatory role in myelin formation. The Neuroscientist, 17(1): 79-93
  • Saher G., Quintes S., Möbius W., Wehr M., Krämer-Albers E.-M., Brügger B., and Nave K.A. (2009). Cholesterol regulates the ER exit of the major membrane protein P0 required for peripheral myelin compaction. J Neurosci 29: 6094-6104
  • Saher G., Brügger B., Lappe-Siefke C., Möbius W., Tozawa R., Wehr M., Wieland F., Ishibashi S., Nave K.-A. (2005): High cholesterol level is essential for myelin membrane growth. Nat Neuro 8(4): 468-475