Dr Edgar Kramer

Dr Edgar Kramer

Professor of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Biomedical Research


• Professor of Neurodegenerative Diseases Biomedical Research Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry University of Plymouth UK • Senior Investigator Scientist Mouse Models of Neurodegeneration Group Mammalian Genetics Unit MRC Harwell UK


• 2016 Research Group Leader, Clinic for Neurology and Institute for Applied Physiology, Medical Faculty, Ulm University, Germany; • 2008-2016 Research Group Leader, Center for Molecular Neurobiology (ZMNH), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), University of Hamburg, Germany; • 2009 Habilitation in Zoology at the Department of Biology, University of Hamburg; • 2008 Habilitation in Neurobiology at the Department of Biology II LMU in Munich; • 2001-2008 Postdoc in Neuroscience at the EMBL in Heidelberg and at the Max-Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried, Germany; • 1996-2000 PhD in Biochemistry at the IMP, Vienna Biocenter, University of Vienna, Austria; • 1991-1996 Studies of Biology (Diploma), University of Konstanz, Germany, and State University of New York at Stony Brook, New York, USA

Roles on external bodies

• Editorial board of the journals: Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience; Neural Regeneration Research (NRR); Mental Health and Addiction Research (MHAR); ScienceMatters • Reviewer board of the journal: Open Journal of Parkinson’s Disease and Treatment

Teaching interests

Areas of teaching interest relate to molecular neuroscience in particular neurodegenerative diseases like Morbus Parkinson.

Staff serving as external examiners

University of Helsinki, Finland

Research interests

• Cell surface proteins of neurons have a multitude of functions during development and maintenance of the nervous system. During development cell surface proteins allow to communicate with the surrounding cells and the extracellular matrix for proper proliferation, migration, differentiation and contact formation in the complex network. But also in the mature and aging nervous system they are needed for electrical activity, neuronal communication, survival and even regeneration. Alterations in cell surface protein signalling have been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as motoneuron diseases, Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) but also in diseases such depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia. There are many cross-talks of different cell surface proteins on neuronal membranes which even can be different concerning their localization in axons, dendrites, synapses and other specialized membrane structures. In addition they are connected with the intraneuronal processes by a large amount of signalling and regulatory pathways. So far our knowledge about neuronal cell surface protein interaction, signalling and their physiological function is still limited. • My research group focuses on investigating the cross-talk and function of the glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) receptors, such as the receptor tyrosine kinase Ret, the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), integrins, N-cadherins, and syndecan 3 in the midbrain dopaminergic system altered in PD patients and drug addicts and in motoneurons innervating the skeletal muscles. In addition, we analyse the function of different intracellular proteins encoded by genes mutated or linked to PD. We study their signalling mechanisms on a molecular and cellular level as well as in intact animals. Therefore, we use diverse experimental approaches such as molecular biological techniques, cell culture, mouse genetics, histology, as well as behavioural and physiological experiments. • To enhance the analysis of the midbrain dopaminergic and the peripheral nervous system we also developed unique tools for genetic manipulation and in vivo and in vitro imaging and quantification.

Other research

Besides our interest to understand the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases and to develop corresponding treatments, we are also interested in other disease such as drug addiction and cancer as well as neurodevelopmental alterations.

Key publications are highlighted

Friedemann T, Ying Y, Wang W, Kramer ER, Schumacher U, Fei J & Schröder S 2016 'Neuroprotective Effect of Coptis chinensis in MPP+ and MPTP-Induced Parkinson’s Disease Models' The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 44, (05) 907-925 , DOI
Drinkut A, Tillack K, Meka DP, Schulz JB, Kügler S & Kramer ER 2016 'Ret is essential to mediate GDNF’s neuroprotective and neuroregenerative effect in a Parkinson disease mouse model' Cell Death and Disease 7, (9) e2359-e2359 , DOI PEARL
Tillack K, Aboutalebi H & Kramer ER 2015 'An Efficient and Versatile System for Visualization and Genetic Modification of Dopaminergic Neurons in Transgenic Mice' PLOS ONE 10, (8) e0136203-e0136203 , DOI
Kramer ER 2015 'Crosstalk of parkin and Ret in dopaminergic neurons' Oncotarget 6, (18) 15704-15705 , DOI
Kramer ER & Liss B 2015 'GDNF-Ret signaling in midbrain dopaminergic neurons and its implication for Parkinson disease' FEBS Letters 589, (24PartA) 3760-3772 , DOI
Meka DP, Müller-Rischart AK, Nidadavolu P, Mohammadi B, Motori E, Ponna SK, Aboutalebi H, Bassal M, Annamneedi A & Finckh B 2015 'Parkin cooperates with GDNF/RET signaling to prevent dopaminergic neuron degeneration' Journal of Clinical Investigation 125, (5) 1873-1885 , DOI
Kramer E 2015 'The neuroprotective and regenerative potential of parkin and GDNF/Ret signaling in the midbrain dopaminergic system' Neural Regeneration Research 10, (11) 1752-1752 , DOI
Gonzalez-Reyes LE, Verbitsky M, Blesa J, Jackson-Lewis V, Paredes D, Tillack K, Phani S, Kramer ER, Przedborski S & Kottmann AH 2012 'Sonic Hedgehog Maintains Cellular and Neurochemical Homeostasis in the Adult Nigrostriatal Circuit' Neuron 75, (2) 306-319 , DOI
Ertürk A, Mauch CP, Hellal F, Förstner F, Keck T, Becker K, Jährling N, Steffens H, Richter M & Hübener M 2011 'Three-dimensional imaging of the unsectioned adult spinal cord to assess axon regeneration and glial responses after injury' Nature Medicine 18, (1) 166-171 , DOI
Saghafi S, Becker K, Jährling N, Richter M, Kramer ER & Dodt H-U 2010 'Image enhancement in ultramicroscopy by improved laser light sheets' Journal of Biophotonics 3, (10-11) 686-695 , DOI
Lücking CB, Lichtner P, Kramer ER, Gieger C, Illig T, Dichgans M, Berg D & Gasser T 2010 'Polymorphisms in the receptor for GDNF (RET) are not associated with Parkinson's disease in Southern Germany' Neurobiology of Aging 31, (1) 167-168 , DOI
Aron L, Klein P, Pham T-T, Kramer ER, Wurst W & Klein R 2010 'Pro-Survival Role for Parkinson's Associated Gene DJ-1 Revealed in Trophically Impaired Dopaminergic Neurons' PLoS Biology 8, (4) e1000349-e1000349 , DOI
Jährling N, Becker K, Kramer ER & Dodt H-U 2008 '3D-Visualization of nerve fiber bundles by ultramicroscopy' Medical Laser Application 23, (4) 209-215 , DOI
Mishra A, Knerr B, Paixao S, Kramer ER & Klein R 2008 'The Protein Dendrite Arborization and Synapse Maturation 1 (Dasm-1) Is Dispensable for Dendrite Arborization' Molecular and Cellular Biology 28, (8) 2782-2791 , DOI
Deininger K, Eder M, Kramer ER, Zieglgansberger W, Dodt H-U, Dornmair K, Colicelli J & Klein R 2008 'The Rab5 guanylate exchange factor Rin1 regulates endocytosis of the EphA4 receptor in mature excitatory neurons' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105, (34) 12539-12544 , DOI
Becker K, Jährling N, Kramer ER, Schnorrer F & Dodt H-U 2008 'Ultramicroscopy: 3D reconstruction of large microscopical specimens' Journal of Biophotonics 1, (1) 36-42 , DOI
Kramer ER, Aron L, Ramakers GMJ, Seitz S, Zhuang X, Beyer K, Smidt MP & Klein R 2007 'Absence of Ret Signaling in Mice Causes Progressive and Late Degeneration of the Nigrostriatal System' PLoS Biology 5, (3) e39-e39 , DOI
Kowsky S, Poppelmeyer C, Kramer ER, Falkenburger BH, Kruse A, Klein R & Schulz JB 2007 'RET signaling does not modulate MPTP toxicity but is required for regeneration of dopaminergic axon terminals' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104, (50) 20049-20054 , DOI
Kramer ER, Knott L, Su F, Dessaud E, Krull CE, Helmbacher F & Klein R 2006 'Cooperation between GDNF/Ret and ephrinA/EphA4 Signals for Motor-Axon Pathway Selection in the Limb' Neuron 50, (1) 35-47 , DOI
Sorensen CS, Lukas C, Kramer ER, Peters J-M, Bartek J & Lukas J 2001 'A Conserved Cyclin-Binding Domain Determines Functional Interplay between Anaphase-Promoting Complex-Cdh1 and Cyclin A-Cdk2 during Cell Cycle Progression' Molecular and Cellular Biology 21, (11) 3692-3703 , DOI
Geley S, Kramer E, Gieffers C, Gannon J, Peters J-M & Hunt T 2001 'Anaphase-Promoting Complex/Cyclosome–Dependent Proteolysis of Human Cyclin a Starts at the Beginning of Mitosis and Is Not Subject to the Spindle Assembly Checkpoint' The Journal of Cell Biology 153, (1) 137-148 , DOI
Reimann JDR, Freed E, Hsu JY, Kramer ER, Peters J-M & Jackson PK 2001 'Emi1 Is a Mitotic Regulator that Interacts with Cdc20 and Inhibits the Anaphase Promoting Complex' Cell 105, (5) 645-655 , DOI
Petersen BO 2000 'Cell cycle- and cell growth-regulated proteolysis of mammalian CDC6 is dependent on APC-CDH1' Genes & Development 14, (18) 2330-2343 , DOI
Kramer ER, Scheuringer N, Podtelejnikov AV, Mann M & Peters J-M 2000 'Mitotic Regulation of the APC Activator Proteins CDC20 and CDH1' Molecular Biology of the Cell 11, (5) 1555-1569 , DOI
Sorensen CS, Lukas C, Kramer ER, Peters J-M, Bartek J & Lukas J 2000 'Nonperiodic Activity of the Human Anaphase-Promoting Complex-Cdh1 Ubiquitin Ligase Results in Continuous DNA Synthesis Uncoupled from Mitosis' Molecular and Cellular Biology 20, (20) 7613-7623 , DOI
Lukas C, Sorensen CS, Kramer E, Santoni-Rugiu E, Lindeneg C, Peters JM, Bartek J & Lukas J 1999 'Accumulation of cyclin B1 requires E2F and cyclin-A-dependent rearrangement of the anaphase-promoting complex' NATURE 401, (6755) 815-818 Author Site
Gieffers C, Peters BH, Kramer ER, Dotti CG & Peters J-M 1999 'Expression of the CDH1-associated form of the anaphase-promoting complex in postmitotic neurons' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 96, (20) 11317-11322 , DOI
Kramer ER, Gieffers C, Hölzl G, Hengstschläger M & Peters J-M 1998 'Activation of the human anaphase-promoting complex by proteins of the CDC20/Fizzy family' Current Biology 8, (22) 1207-S4 , DOI