Parkinson’s and neurodegenerative disease research

The neurodegenerative disease – Parkinson’s research group headed by Edgar Kramer is working on the development and maintenance of the nervous system with a focus on cell surface proteins of neurons in the midbrain dopaminergic system of the mouse. This is of special interest concerning Parkinson’s disease (PD), a devastating neurodegenerative disorder with currently no cure that is characterized by a premature death of dopaminergic neurons. 

Alterations in cell surface protein signalling have been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as motor neuron diseases, PD and Alzheimer disease (AD) but also in diseases such depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia. However at present 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. 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. 

Dr Edgar Kramer

 

Publications 

  • 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 Disease7, (9) e2359-e2359 , DOI PEARL.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Kramer ER 2015 'Crosstalk of parkin and Ret in dopaminergic neurons' Oncotarget 6, (18) 15704-15705 , DOI 
More Parkinson’s and neurodegenerative disease research publications.

Key research collaborations

  • Mouse Models of Neurodegeneration (MMoN), Medical Research Council Harwell Institute
  • Professor Konstanze Winklhofer, Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Pathobiochemistry, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.
  • Dr Barbara Finckh, Neonatal Screening/Metabolic Laboratory, Diagnostic Center, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg
  • Professor Heiko Braak, Clinical Neuroanatomy Section, Department of Neurology, Center for Biomedical Research, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.
  • Professor Elizabeth Fisher, Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, UK.

Contact information

Institute of Translational and Stratified Medicine, Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth Science Park, Plymouth, PL6 8BU, UK