Nils Brose

Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (215)2005.39 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: It is currently unknown whether the molecular steps of large dense-core vesicle (LDCV) docking and priming are identical to the corresponding reactions in synaptic vesicle (SV) exocytosis. Munc13s are essential for SV docking and priming, and we systematically analyzed their role in LDCV exocytosis using chromaffin cells lacking individual isoforms. We show that particularly Munc13-2 plays a fundamental role in LDCV exocytosis, but in contrast to synapses lacking Munc13s, the corresponding chromaffin cells do not exhibit a vesicle docking defect. We further demonstrate that ubMunc13-2 and Munc13-1 confer Ca 2+ -dependent LDCV priming with similar affinities, but distinct kinetics. Using a mathematical model, we identify an early LDCV priming step that is strongly dependent upon Munc13s. Our data demonstrate that the molecular steps of SV and LDCV priming are very similar while SV and LDCV docking mechanisms are distinct.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · eLife Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: The regulatory protein collybistin (CB)2 recruits the receptor-scaffolding protein gephyrin to mammalian inhibitory glycinergic and GABAergic postsynaptic membranes in nerve cells. CB is tethered to the membrane via phosphoinositides. We developed an in vitro assay based on solid-supported 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine membranes doped with different phosphoinositides on silicon/silicon dioxide substrates to quantify the binding of various CB2 constructs using reflectometric interference spectroscopy. Based on adsorption isotherms, we obtained dissociation constants and binding capacities of the membranes. Our results show that full length CB2 (CB2SH3+) harboring the N-terminal SH3-domain adopts a closed and autoinhibited conformation that largely prevents membrane binding. This autoinhibition is relieved upon introduction of the W24A-E262A mutation, which conformationally 'opens' CB2SH3+ and allows the PH domain to properly bind lipids depending on the phosphoinositide species with a preference for PI(3)P and PI(4)P. This type of membrane tethering under the control of the release of the SH3-domain of CB is essential for regulating gephyrin clustering.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that treatment with erythropoietin (EPO) improves cognition in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders as well as in healthy mice, and that transgenic expression of a constitutively active form of the EPO receptor (cEPOR) in glutamatergic neurons boosts higher cognitive functions in mice. In the present work, we asked whether selective activation of EPOR signaling in GABAergic neurons would also modulate cognitive performance. We generated transgenic mice that express cEPOR under the control of the vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter (Viaat) promoter and subjected them to comprehensive behavioral, cognitive and electrophysiological analyses. We demonstrate that transgenic expression of cEPOR in GABAergic neurons alters hippocampal gamma-oscillations and enhances long-term potentiation, but neither impairs nor improves cognition. To conclude, constitutively active EPOR in GABAergic neurons changes hippocampal network properties without affecting cognition, which suggests that the effect of EPO on cognition is dominated by its effect on the glutamatergic system. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Neurochemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Loss-of-function mutations in the synaptic adhesion protein Neuroligin-4 are among the most common genetic abnormalities associated with autism spectrum disorders, but little is known about the function of Neuroligin-4 and the consequences of its loss. We assessed synaptic and network characteristics in Neuroligin-4 knockout mice, focusing on the hippocampus as a model brain region with a critical role in cognition and memory, and found that Neuroligin-4 deletion causes subtle defects of the protein composition and function of GABAergic synapses in the hippocampal CA3 region. Interestingly, these subtle synaptic changes are accompanied by pronounced perturbations of γ-oscillatory network activity, which has been implicated in cognitive function and is altered in multiple psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. Our data provide important insights into the mechanisms by which Neuroligin-4-dependent GABAergic synapses may contribute to autism phenotypes and indicate new strategies for therapeutic approaches.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Cell Reports
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    ABSTRACT: Calsyntenin-2 plays an evolutionarily conserved role in cognition. In a human genome-wide screen, the CLSTN2 locus was associated with verbal episodic memory, and expression of human calsyntenin-2 rescues the associative learning defect in orthologous C. elegans mutants. Other calsyntenins promote synapse development, calsyntenin-1 selectively of excitatory synapses and calsyntenin-3 of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. We found that targeted deletion of calsyntenin-2 in mice results in a selective reduction in functional inhibitory synapses. Reduced inhibitory transmission was associated with a selective reduction of parvalbumin interneurons in hippocampus and cortex. Clstn2(-/-) mice showed normal behavior in elevated plus maze, forced swim test, and novel object recognition assays. However, Clstn2(-/-) mice were hyperactive in the open field and showed deficits in spatial learning and memory in the Morris water maze and Barnes maze. These results confirm a function for calsyntenin-2 in cognitive performance and indicate an underlying mechanism that involves parvalbumin interneurons and aberrant inhibitory transmission.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 14 July 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.206.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
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    ABSTRACT: Neuroligin 2 (Nlgn2) is a synaptic adhesion protein that plays a central role in the maturation and function of inhibitory synapses. Nlgn2 mutations have been associated with psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, and in mice, deletion of Nlgn2 results in a pronounced anxiety phenotype. To date, however, the molecular and cellular mechanisms linking Nlgn2 deletion to psychiatric phenotypes remain completely unknown. The aim of this study was therefore to define the role of Nlgn2 in anxiety-related neural circuits. To this end, we used a combination of behavioral, immunohistochemical, and electrophysiological approaches in Nlgn2 knockout (KO) mice to expand the behavioral characterization of these mice and to assess the functional consequences of Nlgn2 deletion in the amygdala. Moreover, we investigated the differential activation of anxiety-related circuits in Nlgn2 KO mice using a cFOS activation assay following exposure to an anxiogenic stimulus. We found that Nlgn2 is present at the majority of inhibitory synapses in the basal amygdala, where its deletion affects postsynaptic structures specifically at perisomatic sites and leads to impaired inhibitory synaptic transmission. Following exposure to an anxiogenic environment, Nlgn2 KO mice show a robust anxiety phenotype as well as exacerbated induction of cFOS expression specifically in CaMKII-positive projection neurons, but not in parvalbumin- or somatostatin-positive interneurons. Our data indicate that Nlgn2 deletion predominantly affects inhibitory synapses onto projection neurons in basal amygdala, resulting in decreased inhibitory drive onto these neurons and leading to their excessive activation under anxiogenic conditions. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Neuropharmacology
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    ABSTRACT: Complexins (Cplxs) are small synaptic proteins that cooperate with SNARE-complexes in the control of synaptic vesicle (SV) fusion. Studies involving genetic mutation, knock-down, or knock-out indicated two key functions of Cplx that are not mutually exclusive but cannot easily be reconciled, one in facilitating SV fusion, and one in "clamping" SVs to prevent premature fusion. Most studies on the role of Cplxs in mammalian synapse function have relied on cultured neurons, heterologous expression systems, or membrane fusion assays in vitro, whereas little is known about the function of Cplxs in native synapses. We therefore studied consequences of genetic ablation of Cplx1 in the mouse calyx of Held synapse, and discovered a developmentally exacerbating phenotype of reduced spontaneous and evoked transmission but excessive asynchronous release after stimulation, compatible with combined facilitating and clamping functions of Cplx1. Because action potential waveforms, Ca(2+) influx, readily releasable SV pool size, and quantal size were unaltered, the reduced synaptic strength in the absence of Cplx1 is most likely a consequence of a decreased release probability, which is caused, in part, by less tight coupling between Ca(2+) channels and docked SV. We found further that the excessive asynchronous release in Cplx1-deficient calyces triggered aberrant action potentials in their target neurons, and slowed-down the recovery of EPSCs after depleting stimuli. The augmented asynchronous release had a delayed onset and lasted hundreds of milliseconds, indicating that it predominantly represents fusion of newly recruited SVs, which remain unstable and prone to premature fusion in the absence of Cplx1. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/358272-19$15.00/0.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
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    ABSTRACT: The energy required to fuse synaptic vesicles with the plasma membrane ('activation energy') is considered a major determinant in synaptic efficacy. From reaction rate theory we predict that a class of modulations exists, which utilize linear modulation of the energy barrier for fusion to achieve supralinear effects on the fusion rate. To test this prediction experimentally, we developed a method to assess the number of releasable vesicles, rate constants for vesicle priming, unpriming, and fusion, and the activation energy for fusion by fitting a vesicle state model to synaptic responses induced by hypertonic solutions. We show that ComplexinI/II deficiency or phorbol ester stimulation indeed affects responses to hypertonic solution in a supralinear manner. An additive versus multiplicative relationship between activation energy and fusion rate provides a novel explanation for previously observed non-linear effects of genetic/pharmacological perturbations on synaptic transmission and a novel interpretation of the cooperative nature of Ca(2+)-dependent release.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · eLife Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Signaling at nerve cell synapses is a key determinant of proper brain function, and synaptic defects - or synaptopathies - are at the basis of many neurological and psychiatric disorders. In key areas of the mammalian brain, such as the hippocampus or the basolateral amygdala, the clustering of the scaffolding protein Gephyrin and of γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptors at inhibitory neuronal synapses is critically dependent upon the brain-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) Collybistin (Cb). Accordingly, it was discovered recently that an R290H missense mutation in the diffuse B-cell lymphoma homology (DH) domain of Cb, which carries the GEF activity, leads to epilepsy and intellectual disability in human patients. In the present study, we determined the mechanism by which the Cb(R290H) mutation perturbs inhibitory synapse formation and causes brain dysfunction. Based on a combination of biochemical, cell biological, and molecular dynamics simulation approaches, we demonstrate that the R290H mutation alters the strength of intramolecular interactions between the DH domain and the pleckstrin homology domain of Cb. This defect reduces the phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate binding affinity of Cb, which limits its normal synaptogenic activity. Our data indicate that an impairment of the membrane lipid binding activity of Cb and a consequent defect in inhibitory synapse maturation represent a likely molecular pathomechanism of epilepsy and mental retardation in humans. Copyright © 2015, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Munc13-3 is a member of the Munc13 family of synaptic vesicle priming proteins and mainly expressed in cerebellar neurons. Munc13-3 null mutant (Munc13-3 −/−) mice show decreased synaptic release probability at parallel fiber to Purkinje cell, granule cell to Golgi cell, and granule cell to basket cell synapses and exhibit a motor learning deficit at highest rotarod speeds. Since we detected Munc13-3 immunoreactivity in the dentate gyrus, as reported here for the first time, and current studies indicated a crucial role for the cerebellum in hippocampus-dependent spatial memory, we systematically investigated Munc13-3 −/− mice versus wild-type littermates of both genders with respect to hippocampus-related cognition and a range of basic behaviors, including tests for anxiety, sensory functions, motor performance and balance, sensorimotor gating, social interaction and competence, and repetitive and compulsive behaviors. Neither basic behavior nor hippocampus-dependent cognitive performance, evaluated by Morris water maze, hole board working and reference memory, IntelliCage-based place learning including multiple reversals, and fear conditioning, showed any difference between genotypes. However, consistent with a disturbed cerebellar reflex circuitry, a reliable reduction in the acoustic startle response in both male and female Munc13-3 −/− mice was found. To conclude, complete deletion of Munc13-3 leads to a robust decrease in the acoustic startle response. This readout of a fast cerebellar reflex circuitry obviously requires synaptic vesicle priming by Munc13-3 for full functionality, in contrast to other behavioral or cognitive features, where a nearly perfect compensation of Munc13-3 deficiency by related synaptic proteins has to be assumed.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · The Cerebellum
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    ABSTRACT: Ribbon synapses of cochlear inner hair cells (IHCs) employ efficient vesicle replenishment to indefatigably encode sound. In neurons, neuroendocrine and immune cells, vesicle replenishment depends on proteins of the mammalian uncoordinated 13 (Munc13) and Ca(2+)-dependent activator proteins for secretion (CAPS) families, which prime vesicles for exocytosis. Here, we tested whether Munc13 and CAPS proteins also regulate exocytosis in mouse IHCs by combining immunohistochemistry with auditory systems physiology and IHC patch-clamp recordings of exocytosis in mice lacking Munc13 and CAPS isoforms. Surprisingly, we did not detect Munc13 or CAPS proteins at IHC presynaptic active zones (AZs) and found normal IHC exocytosis as well as auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) in Munc13 and CAPS deletion mutants. Instead, we show that otoferlin, a C2-domain protein critical for vesicular fusion and replenishment in IHCs, clusters at the plasma membrane of the presynaptic AZ. Electron tomography of otoferlin-deficient IHC synapses revealed a reduction of short tethers holding vesicles at the AZ, which might be a structural correlate of impaired vesicle priming in otoferlin-deficient IHCs. We conclude that IHCs use an unconventional priming machinery that involves otoferlin.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Cell Science
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    ABSTRACT: Priming of secretory vesicles is a prerequisite for their Ca(2+)-dependent fusion with the plasma membrane. The key vesicle priming proteins, Munc13s and CAPSs, are thought to mediate vesicle priming by regulating the conformation of the t-SNARE syntaxin, thereby facilitating SNARE complex assembly. Munc13s execute their priming function through their MUN domain. Given that the MUN domain of Ca(2+)-dependent activator protein for secretion (CAPS) also binds syntaxin, it was assumed that CAPSs prime vesicles through the same mechanism as Munc13s. We studied naturally occurring splice variants of CAPS2 in CAPS1/CAPS2-deficient cells and found that CAPS2 primes vesicles independently of its MUN domain. Instead, the pleckstrin homology domain of CAPS2 seemingly is essential for its priming function. Our findings indicate a priming mode for secretory vesicles. This process apparently requires membrane phospholipids, does not involve the binding or direct conformational regulation of syntaxin by MUN domains of CAPSs, and is therefore not redundant with Munc13 action. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Cell Reports
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    ABSTRACT: Munc13-3 is a presynaptic protein implicated in vesicle priming that is strongly expressed in cerebellar granule cells (GCs). Mice deficient of Munc13-3 (Munc13-3−/−) show an increased paired-pulse ratio (PPR), which led to the hypothesis that Munc13-3 increases the release probability (pr) of vesicles. In the present study, we analyzed unitary synaptic connections between GCs and basket cells in acute cerebellar slices from wild-type and Munc13-3−/− mice. Unitary EPSCs recorded from Munc13-3−/− GCs showed normal kinetics and synaptic latency but a significantly increased PPR and fraction of synaptic failures. A quantal analysis revealed that neither the charge of single quanta nor the binominal parameter N were affected by loss of Munc13-3 but that pr was almost halved in Munc13-3−/−. Neither presynaptic Ca2+ influx was affected by deletion of Munc13-3 nor replenishment of the readily releasable vesicle pool. However, a high concentration of EGTA led to a reduction in EPSCs that was significantly stronger in Munc13-3−/−. We conclude that Munc13-3 is responsible for an additional step of molecular and/or positional “superpriming” that substantially increases the efficacy of Ca2+-triggered release.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
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    ABSTRACT: Synaptic vesicle docking, priming, and fusion at active zones are orchestrated by a complex molecular machinery. We employed hippocampal organotypic slice cultures from mice lacking key presynaptic proteins, cryofixation, and three-dimensional electron tomography to study the mechanism of synaptic vesicle docking in the same experimental setting, with high precision, and in a near-native state. We dissected previously indistinguishable, sequential steps in synaptic vesicle active zone recruitment (tethering) and membrane attachment (docking) and found that vesicle docking requires Munc13/CAPS family priming proteins and all three neuronal SNAREs, but not Synaptotagmin-1 or Complexins. Our data indicate that membrane-attached vesicles comprise the readily releasable pool of fusion-competent vesicles and that synaptic vesicle docking, priming, and trans-SNARE complex assembly are the respective morphological, functional, and molecular manifestations of the same process, which operates downstream of vesicle tethering by active zone components.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Neuron
  • E. Herzog · C. Biesemann · E. Luquet · Y. Humeau · N. Brose

    No preview · Conference Paper · Sep 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Protein ubiquitination is a core regulatory determinant of neural development. Previous studies have indicated that the Nedd4-family E3 ubiquitin ligases Nedd4-1 and Nedd4-2 may ubiquitinate phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and thereby regulate axonal growth in neurons. Using conditional knockout mice, we show here that Nedd4-1 and Nedd4-2 are indeed required for axonal growth in murine central nervous system neurons. However, in contrast to previously published data, we demonstrate that PTEN is not a substrate of Nedd4-1 and Nedd4-2, and that aberrant PTEN ubiquitination is not involved in the impaired axon growth upon deletion of Nedd4-1 and Nedd4-2. Rather, PTEN limits Nedd4-1 protein levels by modulating the activity of mTORC1, a protein complex that controls protein synthesis and cell growth. Our data demonstrate that Nedd4-family E3 ligases promote axonal growth and branching in the developing mammalian brain, where PTEN is not a relevant substrate. Instead, PTEN controls neurite growth by regulating Nedd4-1 expression.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: The formation of neuronal synapses and the dynamic regulation of their efficacy depend on the assembly of the postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptor apparatus. Receptor recruitment to inhibitory GABAergic and glycinergic synapses is controlled by the scaffold protein gephyrin and the adaptor protein collybistin. We derived new insights into the structure of collybistin and used these to design biochemical, cell biological, and genetic analyses of collybistin function. Our data define a collybistin-based protein interaction network that controls the gephyrin content of inhibitory postsynapses. Within this network, collybistin can adopt open/active and closed/inactive conformations to act as a switchable adaptor that links gephyrin to plasma membrane phosphoinositides. This function of collybistin is regulated by binding of the adhesion protein neuroligin-2, which stabilizes the open/active conformation of collybistin at the postsynaptic plasma membrane by competing with an intramolecular interaction in collybistin that favors the closed/inactive conformation. By linking trans-synaptic neuroligin-dependent adhesion and phosphoinositide signaling with gephyrin recruitment, the collybistin-based regulatory switch mechanism represents an integrating regulatory node in the formation and function of inhibitory postsynapses.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · The EMBO Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Neuroligin-4 (Nlgn4) is a member of the neuroligin family of postsynaptic cell adhesion molecules. Loss-of-function mutations of NLGN4 are among the most frequent, known genetic causes of heritable autism. Adult Nlgn4 null mutant (Nlgn4(-/-)) mice are a construct valid model of human autism, with both genders displaying a remarkable autistic phenotype, including deficits in social interaction and communication as well as restricted and repetitive behaviors. In contrast to adults, autism-related abnormalities in neonatal and juvenile Nlgn4(-/-) mice have not been reported yet. The present study has been designed to systematically investigate in male and female Nlgn4(-/-) pups versus wildtype littermates (WT, Nlgn4(+/+)) developmental milestones and stimulus-induced ultrasound vocalization (USV). Neonatal development, followed daily from postnatal days (PND) 4-21, including physical development, neurological reflexes and neuromotor coordination, did not yield any differences between Nlgn4(-/-) and their WT littermates. USV in pups (PND 8-9) in response to brief separation from their mothers revealed remarkable gender effects, and a genotype influence in females regarding latency to first call. In juveniles (PND 22-23), USV monitoring upon exposure to an anesthetized female intruder mouse uncovered a clear genotype effect with reduced USV in Nlgn4(-/-) mice, and again a more prominent phenotype in females. Together, these data support an early manifestation of communication deficits in Nlgn4(-/-) mice that appear more pronounced in immature females with their overall stronger USV as compared to males.
    No preview · Article · May 2014 · Behavioural Brain Research
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    ABSTRACT: ComplexinII (CpxII) and SynaptotagminI (SytI) have been implicated in regulating the function of SNARE proteins in exocytosis, but their precise mode of action and potential interplay have remained unknown. In this paper, we show that CpxII increases Ca(2+)-triggered vesicle exocytosis and accelerates its secretory rates, providing two independent, but synergistic, functions to enhance synchronous secretion. Specifically, we demonstrate that the C-terminal domain of CpxII increases the pool of primed vesicles by hindering premature exocytosis at submicromolar Ca(2+) concentrations, whereas the N-terminal domain shortens the secretory delay and accelerates the kinetics of Ca(2+)-triggered exocytosis by increasing the Ca(2+) affinity of synchronous secretion. With its C terminus, CpxII attenuates fluctuations of the early fusion pore and slows its expansion but is functionally antagonized by SytI, enabling rapid transmitter discharge from single vesicles. Thus, our results illustrate how key features of CpxII, SytI, and their interplay transform the constitutively active SNARE-mediated fusion mechanism into a highly synchronized, Ca(2+)-triggered release apparatus.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · The Journal of Cell Biology
  • Nils Brose
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    ABSTRACT: Numerous metaphors have been employed to describe the achievements of the 2013 Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine, James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman, and Thomas C. Südhof, who were honored for "their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells." Most of these metaphors referred to the mundane issue of business logistics, and there is probably no other cell type in which the logistics problem is more pressing than in neurons.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Neuron

Publication Stats

15k Citations
2,005.39 Total Impact Points


  • 2015
    • Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1999-2015
    • Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1996-2015
    • Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine
      • Department of Molecular Neurobiology
      Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
      Ashburn, Virginia, United States
  • 2003-2011
    • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
      Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2010
    • University of Southampton
      • Centre for Biological Sciences
      Southampton, England, United Kingdom
    • Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
      Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany
    • Kobe University
      • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Kōbe, Hyōgo, Japan
  • 2008
    • Institut Pasteur
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2006-2008
    • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
      • Department of Molecular Genetics
      Dallas, Texas, United States
  • 2007
    • Universidad de Navarra
      • Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
      Iruña, Navarre, Spain
    • Max Planck Society
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1994
    • University of Texas at Dallas
      Richardson, Texas, United States
  • 1992-1994
    • Salk Institute
      • Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory
      لا هویا, California, United States