Simons, Mikael, Prof. Dr.
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
- Snaidero N, Möbius W, Czopka T, Hekking L.H.P., Mathisen C, Verkleij D, Goebbels S, Edgar J, Merkler D, Lyons D.A., Nave K.A., Simons M. (2014) Myelin membrane wrapping of CNS axons by PI(3,4,5)P3-dependent polarized growth at the inner tongue. Cell, Jan 16;156(1-2):277-90
- Aggarwal S, Snaidero N, Pähler G, Frey S, Sánchez 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, Grønborg 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