Simons, Mikael, Prof. Dr.
2004 Facharzt/Specialty qualification in Neurology
2005 Habilitation in Neurology, University of Tübingen
2004-2008 Junior group leader, Centre for Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, University of Göttingen
2007 Attendant at the Department of Neurology; Head of the Multiple Sclerosis out-patient clinic, Department of Neurology, University of Göttingen
2008 Group leader with an ERC Starting Grant at the Max-Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine
Feb 2009 W3- Heisenberg Professorship, Department of Neurology, University of Göttingen
Major Research Interests
The myelin sheath is one of the most abundant membrane structures in the vertebrate nervous system. It is formed by the spiral wrapping of glial plasma membrane extensions around the axons, followed by the extrusion of cytoplasm and the compaction of the stacked membrane bilayers. These tightly packed membrane stacks provide electrical insulation around the axons and maximize their conduction velocity. Axonal insulation by myelin not only facilitates rapid nerve conduction but also regulates axonal transport and protects against axonal degeneration. Damage to the myelin sheath, as it for example occurs in multiple sclerosis (MS) results therefore in severe neurological disability also as a result of neurodegeneration.
Our main goal is to come up with new approaches of how to promote remyelination in demyelinating diseases such as MS. To realize this goal we need to understand how myelin is formed during normal development
Homepage Department/Research Group
Selected Recent Publications
- Aggarwal S, Snaidero N, Pähler G, Frey S, Sßnchez P, Zweckstetter M, Janshoff A, Schneider A, Weil MT, Schaap IA, Görlich D, Simons M (2013) Myelin membrane assembly is driven by a phase transition of myelin basic proteins into a cohesive protein meshwork.
PLoS Biol 11(6), e1001577
- Aggarwal S, Yurlova L, Snaidero N, Reetz C, Frey S, Zimmermann J, Pähler G, Janshoff A, Friedrichs J, Müller DJ, Goebel C, Simons M (2011) A Size Barrier Limits Protein Diffusion at the Cell Surface to Generate Lipid-Rich Myelin-Membrane Sheets. Dev Cell 21(3):445-56
- Aggarwal S, Yurlova L, Simons M (2011) Central nervous system myelin: structure, synthesis and assembly. Trends Cell Biol 21(10):585-93
- Budde H, Schmitt S, Fitzner D, Opitz L, Salinas-Riester G, Simons M (2010) Control of oligodendroglial cell number by the miR-17-92 cluster. Development 137(13):2127-32
- Hsu C, Morohashi Y, Yoshimura SI, Manrique-Hoyos N, Jung SY, Lauterbach M, Bakhti M, Gr°nborg G, Möbius W, Rhee JS, Barr FA, Simons M (2010) Regulation of exosome secretion by Rab35 and its GTPase-activating proteins TBC1D10A-C. J Cell Biol 189(2):223-32
- Simons M, Raposo G (2009) Exosomes-vesicular carriers for intercellular communication. Curr Opin Cell Biol 21(4):575-81
- Trajkovic K, Hsu C, Chiantia S, Rajendran L, Wenzel D, Wieland F, Schwille P, Brugger
B, Simons M (2008) Ceramide triggers budding of exosome vesicles into multivesicular
endosomes. Science 319(5867), 1244-7
- Simons M, Trotter J (2007) Wrapping it up: the cell biology of myelination. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 17(5):533-40
- Fitzner D, Schneider A, Kippert A, Möbius W, Willig KI, Hell SW, Bunt G, Gaus K, Simons M (2006) Myelin basic protein-dependent plasma membrane reorganization in the formation of myelin. EMBO J 25(21):5037-4