F Grosveld

Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

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Publications (189)2007.71 Total impact

  • Circulation 01/2006; 114(22). · 15.20 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition - J PEDIAT GASTROENTEROL NUTR. 01/2004; 39.
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    ABSTRACT: Locus control regions (LCRs) are transcriptional regulatory elements, which possess a dominant chromatin remodelling and transcriptional activating capability conferring full physiological levels of expression on a gene linked in cis, when integrated into the host cell genome. Using the human beta-globin LCR (betaLCR) as a model, we show that this class of control element can drive high levels of tissue-specific gene expression in stably transfected cultured cells from within an Epstein-Barr virus-based plasmid REV. Furthermore, a 38-kb betaLCR minilocus-REV cosmid vector was efficiently retained and maintained therapeutic levels of beta-globin transgene expression in the absence of drug selective pressure over a 2-month period of continuous culture equivalent to at least 60 generations. This demonstrates for the first time the feasibility of using REVs for gene therapy of the haemoglobinopathies. Importantly, our results demonstrate that as in the case of integrated transgenes, expression from within REVs is prone to silencing but that the inclusion of the betaLCR prevented this repression of gene function. Therefore, appropriate control elements to provide and maintain tissue-specific gene expression, as well as the episomal status of REVs is a crucial feature in vector design. Our data suggest that LCRs can contribute to this vital function.
    Gene Therapy 04/2002; 9(5):327-36. · 4.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During the switch from human gamma- (fetal) to beta- (adult) globin gene expression, the gamma and beta genes are expressed competitively by an alternating transcription mechanism. The -50 region of the gamma gene promoter has been proposed to be responsible for the early competitive advantage of the gamma genes and to act as a stage selector element (SSE) in hemoglobin switching. We analyzed the effect of mutating the -50 region of the gamma gene in the presence of a competing beta gene in transgenic mice. This shows that the -50 region does not affect silencing of the beta gene in early development and does not act as a stage selector. However, it affects the ratio of gamma versus beta gene expression in the early, but not later, stages of fetal development. Interestingly, both the wild-type and mutant minilocus constructs show a higher frequency of alternate transcription than observed in the complete locus, suggesting that sequences normally present between the gamma and beta genes facilitate the interaction of the locus control region (LCR) and beta-globin gene in the complete locus.
    The EMBO Journal 10/2001; 20(18):5242-9. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transposable elements have been used widely in the past 20 years for gene transfer and insertional mutagenesis in Drosophila. Transposon-based technology for gene manipulation and genomic analysis currently is being adopted for vertebrates. We tested the ability of Minos, a DNA transposon from Drosophila hydei, to transpose in mouse tissues. Two transgenic mouse lines were crossed, one expressing Minos transposase in lymphocytes under the control of the CD2 promoter/locus control region and another carrying a nonautonomous Minos transposon. Only mice containing both transgenes show excision of the transposon and transposition into new chromosomal sites in thymus and spleen cells. In addition, expression of Minos transposase in embryonic fibroblast cell lines derived from a transposon-carrying transgenic mouse resulted in excision of the transposon. These results are a first step toward a reversible insertional mutagenesis system in the mouse, opening the way to develop powerful technologies for functional genomic analysis in mammals.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2001; 98(20):11474-8. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic analysis in Drosophila suggests that Bicaudal-D functions in an essential microtubule-based transport pathway, together with cytoplasmic dynein and dynactin. However, the molecular mechanism underlying interactions of these proteins has remained elusive. We show here that a mammalian homologue of Bicaudal-D, BICD2, binds to the dynamitin subunit of dynactin. This interaction is confirmed by mass spectrometry, immunoprecipitation studies and in vitro binding assays. In interphase cells, BICD2 mainly localizes to the Golgi complex and has properties of a peripheral coat protein, yet it also co-localizes with dynactin at microtubule plus ends. Overexpression studies using green fluorescent protein-tagged forms of BICD2 verify its intracellular distribution and co-localization with dynactin, and indicate that the C-terminus of BICD2 is responsible for Golgi targeting. Overexpression of the N-terminal domain of BICD2 disrupts minus-end-directed organelle distribution and this portion of BICD2 co-precipitates with cytoplasmic dynein. Nocodazole treatment of cells results in an extensive BICD2-dynactin-dynein co-localization. Taken together, these data suggest that mammalian BICD2 plays a role in the dynein- dynactin interaction on the surface of membranous organelles, by associating with these complexes.
    The EMBO Journal 09/2001; 20(15):4041-54. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sp4 is a zinc finger transcription factor which is closely related to Sp1 and Sp3. All three proteins recognize the same DNA elements and can act as transcriptional activators through glutamine-rich activation domains. Unlike Sp1 and Sp3, which are ubiquitous proteins, Sp4 is highly abundant in the central nervous system, but also detectable in many other tissues. We have disrupted the mouse Sp4 gene by a targeted deletion of the exons encoding the N-terminal activation domains. Sp4 knockout mice show a complete absence of Sp4 expression. They develop until birth without obvious abnormalities. After birth, two-thirds die within 4 weeks. Surviving mice are growth retarded. Male Sp4null mice do not breed. The cause for the breeding defect remains obscure since they show complete spermatogenesis. In addition, pheromone receptor genes in the vomeronasal organ appear unaffected. Female Sp4null mice have a smaller thymus, spleen and uterus. In addition, they exhibit a pronounced delay in sexual maturation. The phenotype of the Sp4null mice differs significantly from those described for Sp1-/- and Sp3-/- mice. Thus, the structural similarities, the common recognition motif and the overlapping expression pattern of these three transcription factors do not reflect similar physiological functions.
    Genes to Cells 09/2001; 6(8):689-97. · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The transcription factor GATA-3 is essential for early T cell development and differentiation of naive CD4(+) T cells into Th2 effector cells. To study the function of GATA-3 during T cell-mediated immune responses in vivo, we investigated CD2-GATA3-transgenic mice in which GATA-3 expression is driven by the CD2 locus control region. Both in the CD4(+) and the CD8(+) T cell population the proportion of cells exhibiting a CD44(high)CD45RB(low)CD62L(low) Ag-experienced phenotype was increased. In CD2-GATA3-transgenic mice, large fractions of peripheral CD4(+) T cells expressed the IL-1 receptor family member T1/ST2, indicative of advanced Th2 commitment. Upon in vitro T cell stimulation, the ability to produce IL-2 and IFN-gamma was decreased. Moreover, CD4(+) T cells manifested rapid secretion of the Th2 cytokines IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10, reminiscent of Th2 memory cells. In contrast to wild-type CD4(+) cells, which lost GATA-3 expression when cultured under Th1-polarizing conditions, CD2-GATA3-transgenic CD4(+) cells maintained expression of GATA-3 protein. Under Th1 conditions, cellular proliferation of CD2-GATA3-transgenic CD4(+) cells was severely hampered, IFN-gamma production was decreased and Th2 cytokine production was increased. Enforced GATA-3 expression inhibited Th1-mediated in vivo responses, such as Ag-specific IgG2a production or a delayed-type hypersensitivity response to keyhole limpet hemocyanin. Collectively, these observations indicate that enforced GATA-3 expression selectively inhibits Th1 differentiation and induces Th2 differentiation. The increased functional capacity to secrete Th2 cytokines, along with the increased expression of surface markers for Ag-experienced Th2-committed cells, would argue for a role of GATA-3 in Th2 memory formation.
    The Journal of Immunology 08/2001; 167(2):724-32. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The transcription factor GATA6 is expressed in the fetal pulmonary epithelium of the developing mouse lung and loss of function studies strongly suggested that it is required for proper branching morphogenesis and epithelial differentiation. We have further investigated the role of GATA6 in this process by utilizing a pulmonary epithelium specific promoter to maintain high levels of GATA6 protein during fetal lung development. Transgenic mice expressing Gata6 cDNA under the control of the human Surfactant Protein-C (SP-C) promoter were generated and their lungs were analyzed during fetal stages. Transgenic lungs exhibit branching defects as early as embryonic day (E) 14.5 and molecular analysis just before birth (E18.5) shows a lack of distal epithelium differentiation whereas proximal epithelium is unaffected. Electron microscopic analysis and glycogen staining confirm the lack of differentiation to mature Type II cells. Thus, elevated levels of GATA6 protein affect early lung development and in analogy to other GATA factors in other tissues, GATA6 also plays a crucial role in the terminal differentiation in this case of the distal pulmonary epithelium.
    Mechanisms of Development 08/2001; 105(1-2):105-14. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The zinc finger transcription factor GATA-3 is of critical importance for early T cell development and commitment of Th2 cells. To study the role of GATA-3 in early T cell development, we analyzed and modified GATA-3 expression in vivo. In mice carrying a targeted insertion of a lacZ reporter on one allele, we found that GATA-3 transcription in CD4(+)CD8(+) double-positive thymocytes correlated with the onset of positive selection events, i.e., TCRalphabeta up-regulation and CD69 expression. LacZ expression remained high ( approximately 80% of cells) during maturation of CD4 single-positive (SP) cells in the thymus, but in developing CD8 SP cells the fraction of lacZ-expressing cells decreased to <20%. We modified this pattern by enforced GATA-3 expression driven by the CD2 locus control region, which provides transcription of GATA-3 throughout T cell development. In two independent CD2-GATA3-transgenic lines, approximately 50% of the mice developed thymic lymphoblastoid tumors that were CD4(+)CD8(+/low) and mostly CD3(+). In tumor-free CD2-GATA3-transgenic mice, the total numbers of CD8 SP cells in the thymus were within normal ranges, but their maturation was hampered, as indicated by increased apoptosis of CD8 SP cells and a selective deficiency of mature CD69(low)HSA(low) CD8 SP cells. In the spleen and lymph nodes, the numbers of CD8(+) T cells were significantly reduced. These findings indicate that GATA-3 supports development of the CD4 lineage and inhibits maturation of CD8 SP cells in the thymus.
    The Journal of Immunology 08/2001; 167(2):715-23. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) is a nonreceptor tyrosine kinase involved in precursor B (pre-B) cell receptor signaling. Here we demonstrate that Btk-deficient mice have an approximately 50% reduction in the frequency of immunoglobulin (Ig) lambda light chain expression, already at the immature B cell stage in the bone marrow. Conversely, transgenic mice expressing the activated mutant Btk(E41K) showed increased lambda usage. As the kappa/lambda ratio is dependent on (a) the level and kinetics of kappa and lambda locus activation, (b) the life span of pre-B cells, and (c) the extent of receptor editing, we analyzed the role of Btk in these processes. Enforced expression of the Bcl-2 apoptosis inhibitor did not alter the Btk dependence of lambda usage. Crossing 3-83mudelta autoantibody transgenic mice into Btk-deficient mice showed that Btk is not essential for receptor editing. Also, Btk-deficient surface Ig(+) B cells that were generated in vitro in interleukin 7-driven bone marrow cultures manifested reduced lambda usage. An intrinsic defect in lambda locus recombination was further supported by the finding in Btk-deficient mice of reduced lambda usage in the fraction of pre-B cells that express light chains in their cytoplasm. These results implicate Btk in the regulation of the activation of the lambda locus for V(D)J recombination in pre-B cells.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 06/2001; 193(10):1169-78. · 13.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CLIP-170 and CLIP-115 are cytoplasmic linker proteins that associate specifically with the ends of growing microtubules and may act as anti-catastrophe factors. Here, we have isolated two CLIP-associated proteins (CLASPs), which are homologous to the Drosophila Orbit/Mast microtubule-associated protein. CLASPs bind CLIPs and microtubules, colocalize with the CLIPs at microtubule distal ends, and have microtubule-stabilizing effects in transfected cells. After serum induction, CLASPs relocalize to distal segments of microtubules at the leading edge of motile fibroblasts. We provide evidence that this asymmetric CLASP distribution is mediated by PI3-kinase and GSK-3 beta. Antibody injections suggest that CLASP2 is required for the orientation of stabilized microtubules toward the leading edge. We propose that CLASPs are involved in the local regulation of microtubule dynamics in response to positional cues.
    Cell 04/2001; 104(6):923-35. · 31.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent loss-of-function studies in mice show that the transcription factor GATA6 is important for visceral endoderm differentiation. It is also expressed in early bronchial epithelium and the observation that this tissue does not receive any contribution from Gata6 double mutant embryonic stem (ES) cells in chimeric mice suggests that GATA6 may play a crucial role in lung development. The aim of this study was to determine the role of GATA6 in fetal pulmonary development. We show that Gata6 mRNA is expressed predominantly in the developing pulmonary endoderm and epithelium, but at E15.5 also in the pulmonary mesenchyme. Blocking or depleting GATA6 function results in diminished branching morphogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. TTF1 expression is unaltered in chimeric lungs whereas SPC and CC10 expression are attenuated in abnormally branched areas of chimeric lungs. Chimeras generated in a ROSA26 background show that endodermal cells in these abnormally branched areas are derived from Gata6 mutant ES cells, implicating that the defect is intrinsic to the endoderm. Taken together, these data demonstrate that GATA6 is not essential for endoderm specification, but is required for normal branching morphogenesis and late epithelial cell differentiation.
    Development 03/2001; 128(4):503-11. · 6.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have studied the infection pathway of Autographa californica multinuclear polyhedrosis virus (baculovirus) in mammalian cells. By titration with a baculovirus containing a green fluorescent protein cassette, we found that several, but not all, mammalian cell types can be infected efficiently. In contrast to previous suggestions, our data show that the asialoglycoprotein receptor is not required for efficient infection. We demonstrate for the first time that this baculovirus can infect nondividing mammalian cells, which implies that the baculovirus is able to transport its genome across the nuclear membrane of mammalian cells. Our data further show that the virus enters via endocytosis, followed by an acid-induced fusion event, which releases the nucleocapsid into the cytoplasm. Cytochalasin D strongly reduces the infection efficiency but not the delivery of nucleocapsids to the cytoplasm, suggesting involvement of actin filaments in cytoplasmic transport of the capsids. Electron microscopic analysis shows the cigar-shaped nucleocapsids located at nuclear pores of nondividing cells. Under these conditions, we observed the viral genome, major capsid protein, and electron-dense capsids inside the nucleus. This suggests that the nucleocapsid is transported through the nuclear pore. This mode of transport seems different from viruses with large spherical capsids, such as herpes simplex virus and adenovirus, which are disassembled before nuclear transport of the genome. The implications for the application of baculovirus or its capsid proteins in gene therapy are discussed.
    Journal of Virology 02/2001; 75(2):961-70. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patterning the vertebrate ear requires the coordinated expression of genes that are involved in morphogenesis, neurogenesis, and hair cell formation. The zinc finger gene GATA-3 is expressed both in the inner ear and in afferent and efferent auditory neurons. Specifically, GATA-3 is expressed in a population of neurons in rhombomere 4 that extend their axons across the floor plate of rhombomere 4 (r4) at embryonic day 10 (E10) and reach the sensory epithelia of the ear by E13.5. The distribution of their cell bodies corresponds to that of the cell bodies of the cochlear and vestibular efferent neurons as revealed by labeling with tracers. Both GATA-3 heterozygous and GATA-3 null mutant mice show unusual axonal projections, such as misrouted crossing fibers and fibers in the facial nerve, that are absent in wild-type littermates. This suggests that GATA-3 is involved in the pathfinding of efferent neuron axons that navigate to the ear. In the ear, GATA-3 is expressed inside the otocyst and the surrounding periotic mesenchyme. The latter expression is in areas of branching of the developing ear leading to the formation of semicircular canals. Ears of GATA-3 null mutants remain cystic, with a single extension of the endolymphatic duct and no formation of semicircular canals or saccular and utricular recesses. Thus, both the distribution of GATA-3 and the effects of null mutations on the ear suggest involvement of GATA-3 in morphogenesis of the ear. This study shows for the first time that a zinc finger factor is involved in axonal navigation of the inner ear efferent neurons and, simultaneously, in the morphogenesis of the inner ear.
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology 02/2001; 429(4):615-30. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The tandemly organised ribosomal DNA (rDNA) repeats are transcribed by a dedicated RNA polymerase in a specialised nuclear compartment, the nucleolus. There appears to be an intimate link between the maintenance of nucleolar structure and the presence of heterochromatic chromatin domains. This is particularly evident in many large neurons, where a single nucleolus is present, which is separated from the remainder of the nucleus by a characteristic shell of heterochromatin. Using a combined fluorescence in situ hybridisation and immunocytochemistry approach, we have analysed the molecular composition of this highly organised neuronal chromatin, to investigate its functional significance. We find that clusters of inactive, methylated rDNA repeats are present inside large neuronal nucleoli, which are often attached to the shell of heterochromatic DNA. Surprisingly, the methylated DNA-binding protein MeCP2, which is abundantly present in the centromeric and perinucleolar heterochromatin, does not associate significantly with the methylated rDNA repeats, whereas histone H1 does overlap partially with these clusters. Histone H1 also defines other, centromere-associated chromatin subdomains, together with the mammalian Polycomb group factor Eed. These data indicate that neuronal, perinucleolar heterochromatin consists of several classes of inactive DNA, that are linked to a fraction of the inactive rDNA repeats. These distinct chromatin domains may serve to regulate RNA transcription and processing efficiently and to protect rDNA repeats against unwanted silencing and/or homologous recombination events.
    Journal of Cell Science 01/2001; 113 Pt 24:4463-74. · 5.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We explored the mechanism of definitive-stage epsilon-globin transcriptional inactivity within a human beta-globin YAC expressed in transgenic mice. We focused on the globin CAC and CAAT promoter motifs, as previous laboratory and clinical studies indicated a pivotal role for these elements in globin gene activation. A high-affinity CAC-binding site for the erythroid krüppel-like factor (EKLF) was placed in the epsilon-globin promoter at a position corresponding to that in the adult beta-globin promoter, thereby simultaneously ablating a direct repeat (DR) element. This mutation led to EKLF-independent epsilon-globin transcription during definitive erythropoiesis. A second 4-bp substitution in the epsilon-globin CAAT sequence, which simultaneously disrupts a second DR element, further enhanced ectopic definitive erythroid activation of epsilon-globin transcription, which surprisingly became EKLF dependent. We finally examined factors in nuclear extracts prepared from embryonic or adult erythroid cells that bound these elements in vitro, and we identified a novel DR-binding protein (DRED) whose properties are consistent with those expected for a definitive-stage epsilon-globin repressor. We conclude that the suppression of epsilon-globin transcription during definitive erythropoiesis is mediated by the binding of a repressor that prevents EKLF from activating the epsilon-globin gene.
    Genes & Development 12/2000; 14(21):2778-94. · 12.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The CCAAT boxes of the beta-like globin genes interact with three proteins: NF-Y, GATA-1 and NFE-6. We demonstrate that NFE-6 contains C/EBPgamma, and address its role in globin gene regulation by erythroid overexpression of C/EBPgamma, and a dominant-negative form C/EBPgammaDeltaB, in mice. Elevated levels of C/EBPgamma, but not C/EBPgammaDeltaB, increase expression of the (fetal) gamma-globin relative to the (adult) beta-globin gene. Interestingly, fetal liver erythropoiesis is ablated when the C/EBPgamma and C/EBPgammaDeltaB levels are further increased in homozygous transgenics. We suggest that targeted expression of dominant-negative leucine zipper proteins is a generally applicable approach to ablate specific tissues in mice.
    The EMBO Journal 12/2000; 19(21):5856-63. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Locus control regions (LCRs) alleviate chromatin-mediated transcriptional repression. Incomplete LCRs partially lose this property when integrated in transcriptionally restrictive genomic regions such as centromeres. This frequently results in position effect variegation (PEV), i.e. the suppression of expression in a proportion of the cells. Here we show that this PEV is influenced by the heterochromatic protein SUV39H1 and by the Polycomb group proteins M33 and BMI-1. A concentration variation of these proteins modulates the proportion of cells expressing human globins in a locus-dependent manner. Similarly, the transcription factors Sp1 or erythroid Krüppel-like factor (EKLF) also influence PEV, characterized by a change in the number of expressing cells and the chromatin structure of the locus. However, in contrast to results obtained in a euchromatic locus, EKLF influences the expression of the gamma- more than the beta-globin genes, suggesting that the relief of silencing is caused by the binding of EKLF to the LCR and that genes at an LCR proximal position are more likely to be in an open chromatin state than genes at a distal position.
    The EMBO Journal 10/2000; 19(18):4986-96. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The development of effective receptor-targeted nonviral vectors for use in vivo is complicated by a number of technical problems. One of these is the low efficiency of the conjugation procedures used to couple protein ligands to the DNA condensing carrier molecules. We have made and characterized a multi-domain protein (SPKR)4inv, that is designed to target plasmid DNA to beta1 integrins in remodeling tissue. It contains a nonspecific DNA-binding domain (SPKR)4, a rigid alpha-helical linker, and the C-terminal beta1 integrin binding domain (aa 793-987) of the Yersinia pseudotuberculosis invasin protein. (SPKR)4inv could be purified at high yields using a bacterial expression system. We show that (SPKR)4inv binds with high affinity to both plasmid DNA and beta1 integrins. In a cell attachment assay, the apparent affinity of (SPKR)4inv for beta1 integrins is three orders of magnitude higher than that of the synthetic peptide integrin ligand RGDS. (SPKR)4inv-plasmid complexes are not active in an in vitro transfection assay. However, transfection efficiencies of plasmid complexes with a cationic lipid micelle (DOTAP/Tween-20) or a cationic polymer (polyethylenimine), are significantly increased in combination with (SPKR)4inv. (SPKR)4inv-mediated transfection can be inhibited by a soluble form of beta1 integrin, which is evidence for its receptor specificity. In conclusion, (SPKR)4inv allows beta1 integrin-specific targeting of plasmid-carrier complexes, while avoiding inefficient and cumbersome coupling chemistry. The modular design of the expression vector allows production of similar multi-domain proteins with a different affinity. The further development of such complexes for use in vivo is discussed.
    Gene Therapy 10/2000; 7(17):1505-15. · 4.32 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

13k Citations
2,007.71 Total Impact Points


  • 2002
    • Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 1995–2002
    • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
      • • Department of Cell Biology
      • • Department of Surgery
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 1996–2001
    • Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
      Dresden, Saxony, Germany
    • SickKids
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2000
    • Netherlands Cancer Institute
      • Division of Molecular Carcinogenesis
      Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 1999–2000
    • University of Tartu
      • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
      Tartu, Tartumaa, Estonia
    • University of Lisbon
      • Faculdade de Medicina
      Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 1994–2000
    • Northwestern University
      • Department of Cell and Molecular Biology
      Evanston, IL, United States
  • 1998
    • Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology
      Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
    • MRC Clinical Sciences Centre
      London Borough of Harrow, England, United Kingdom
  • 1981–1996
    • MRC National Institute for Medical Research
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom