Anders Nykjær

Research

Research activities are focused towards the functional characterization of a family of neuronal type-1 receptors denoted Vps10p-domain receptors or sortilins. Members of this gene family, which comprises sortilin, SorCS1, SorCS2, SorCS3 and SorLA, predominate in neurons. They engage in cellular trafficking as well as in signaling from the plasma membrane (Nature Rev Neurosci 2008, 9:899-909). For instance, studies in the lab uncovered that sortilin acts as a molecular switch that enables neurons to respond to a pro-neurotrophin by survival of death (see figure) (Nature 2004, 427:843-8; Nat Neurosci. 2007, 10:1449-57; Nat Neurosci. 2011, 14:54-61). Dysfunction of the Vps10p-domain receptors is associated with several neurological, psychiatric and metabolic disorders including Alzheimer’s diseases and other neurodegenerative conditions, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes. Using a broad repertoire of molecular, cellular and genetic tools we aim at identifying the biological pathways regulated by Vps10p-domain receptors in health and disease.

Research interests

  • Vps10p-domain receptors in:
  • Neuronal survival and death
  • Neurite differentiation
  • Neurodegenerative disorders, i.e. Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia
  • Synaptic plasticity and psychiatric disorders
  • Neurotrophin signaling in the central and peripheral nervous system
  • Axonal trafficking
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Type-2 diabetes and cholesterol metabolism

Methodologies

  • State-of-the-art biochemistry and cell biology
  • Development and phenotypic characterization of obligate and conditional transgenic mouse models
  • Primary neuronal cultures and explants
  • Signaling pathways, axon guidance, growth cone collapse and apoptosis induction
  • Two-photon microscopy and live imaging
  • Viral overexpression in vivo
  • Electrophysiology
  • Models of neuropathic pain 
  • Mouse behavior

Collaborators and centres

  • Professor Thomas E. Willnow, Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany
  • Professor Barbara L. Hempstead, Cornell University, New York, NY
  • Professor Moses V. Chao, NYU Medical Center, New York, NY
  • Professor Stephen Strittmatter, Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • Professor William C. Mobley, Stanford University and UCSD, CA

Research group members

Group leader

Anders Nykjær

Professor
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Publications

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