Christoph Englert
Christoph Englert


Thomas Bates

Lihua Dong

Nils Hartmann

Birgit Perner

PhD Students

Andreas Große

Abinaya Nathan

Uta Naumann

Stefan Pietsch

Danny Schnerwitzki

Peter Singer

Bachelor Students

Luisa Drechsel

Fanny Eggeler

Kathrin Weber

Lukas Wonka


Simone Dunkel (Notho facility)

Christina Ebert (Zebrafish facility)

Gabriele Günther

Dagmar Kruspe

Fish Care Takers

Martin Neumann (Notho facility)

Sabrina Stötzer (Zebrafish facility)


Englert Research Group

Molecular genetics

Molecular basis of urogenital development

Many "disease" genes in humans play essential roles in the development of specific organs. Examples are the Wilms' tumor suppressor gene wt1 that, in its mutated form, causes a pediatric kidney cancer and is indispensable for gonad and kidney development in humans and mice. Kidney diseases are also caused by members of the Eya ("Eyes absent") and Six ("Sine oculis") gene families (branchio-oto-renal syndrome). In order to understand how mutations of those genes cause malformations in humans, we are trying to explore the molecular mechanisms by which the respective gene products exert their function. For this we are employing biochemistry, cell biology as well as animal models (mouse, zebrafish).


Pathways regulating aging and lifespan in a short-lived vertebrate

The identification of vertebrate genes, which control aging is hampered by the lifespan of available animal models. Recently, a species of annual fish with an exceptionally short lifespan was described [Valdesalici S, Cellerino A (2003) Proc Biol Sci. 270, S189-S191]. This species is named Nothobranchius furzeri and has a maximum life expectancy in captivity of just three months.
We want to use N. furzeri to analyze and characterize the biochemical pathways that regulate aging in vertebrates.  » more



Mouse Embryo
  • Identification of targets of the Wilms' tumor suppressor wt1 in gonad and kidney development
  • Analysis of the Pax/Six/Eya network in kidney organogenesis
  • Characterization of the wt1 promoter in mouse and zebrafish
  • Analysis of the biochemical pathways regulating aging in the short-lived vertebrate Nothobranchius furzeri


Recent selected publications

  • Dong L, Pietsch S, Tan Z, Perner B, Sierig R, Kruspe D, Groth M, Witzgall R, Gr÷ne HJ, Platzer M, Englert C. (2015) Integration of cistromic and transcriptomic analyses identifies Nphs2, Mafb, and Magi2 as Wilms' tumor 1 target genes in podocyte differentiation and maintenance. J Am Soc Nephrol, (epub ahead of print). [PubMed]
  • Schnerwitzki D, Perner B, Hoppe B, Pietsch S, Mehringer R, Hänel F, Englert C. (2014) Alternative splicing of Wilms tumor suppressor 1 (Wt1) exon 4 results in protein isoforms with different functions. Dev Biol, 393, 24-32. [PubMed]
  • Krämer A, Mentrup T, Kleizen B, Rivera-Milla E, Reichenbach D, Enzensperger C, Nohl R, Täuscher E, Görls H, Ploubidou A, Englert C, Werz O, Arndt HD, Kaether C (2013) Small molecules intercept Notch signaling and the early secretory pathway. Nat Chem Biol, 9, 731-738. [PubMed]
  • Burghardt T, Kastner J, Suleiman H, Rivera-Milla E, Stepanova N, Lottaz C, Kubitza M, Böger CA, Schmidt S, Gorski M, de Vries U, Schmidt H, Hertting I, Kopp J, Rascle A, Moser M, Heid IM, Warth R, Spang R, Wegener J, Mierke CT, Englert C, Witzgall R (2013) LMX1B is essential for the maintenance of differentiated podocytes in adult kidneys. J Am Soc Nephrol, 24, 1830-1848. [PubMed]
  • Gebeshuber CA, Kornauth C, Dong L, Sierig R, Seibler J, Reiss M, Tauber S, Bilban M, Wang S, Kain R, Böhmig GA, Moeller MJ, Gröne HJ, Englert C, Martinez J, Kerjaschki D (2013) Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis is induced by microRNA-193a and its down regulation of WT1. Nat Med, 19, 481-487. [PubMed]
  • Schüler S, Hauptmann J, Perner B, Kessels MM, Englert C, Qualmann B (2013) Ciliated sensory hair cell formation and function require the F-BAR protein syndapin I and the WH2 domain-based actin nucleator Cobl. J Cell Sci, 126, 196-208. [PubMed]
  • Stengel R, Rivera-Milla E, Sahoo N, Ebert C, Bollig F, Heinemann S, Schoenherr R, Englert C (2012) Kcnh1 voltage-gated potassium channels are essential for early zebrafish development. J Biol Chem, 287, 35565-35575. [PubMed]
  • Hartmann N, Englert C (2012) A microinjection protocol for the generation of transgenic killifish (species: Nothobranchius furzeri). Dev Dyn, 241, 1133-1141. [PubMed]
  • Hartmann N, Reichwald K, Wittig I, Dröse S, Schmeisser S, Lück C, Graf M, Gausmann U, Terzibasi E, Cellerino A, Ristow M, Brandt U, Platzer M, Englert C (2011) Mitochondrial DNA copy number and function decrease with age in the short-lived fish Nothobranchius furzeri. Aging Cell, 10, 824-831. [PubMed]
  • Diep CQ, Ma D, Deo RC, Holm TM, Naylor RW, Arora N, Wingert RA, Bollig F, Djordjevic G, Lichman B, Zhu H, Ikenaga T, Ono F, Englert C, Cowan CA, Hukriede NA, Handin RI, Davidson AJ (2011) Identification of adult nephron progenitors capable of kidney regeneration in zebrafish. Nature, 470, 95-100. [PubMed]
  • Landgraf K, Bollig F, Trowe M-O, Besenbeck B, Ebert C, Kruspe D, Kispert A, Hänel F, Englert C (2010) Sipl1 and Rbck1 are novel Eya1-binding proteins with a role in craniofacial development. Mol Cell Biol, 30, 5764-5775. [PubMed]
  • Bollig F, Perner B, Besenbeck B, Köthe S, Ebert C, Taudien S, Englert C (2009) A highly conserved retinoic acid responsive element controls wt1a expression in the zebrafish pronephros. Development, 136, 2883-2892. [PubMed]
  • Makki MS, Heinzel T, Englert C (2008) TSA downregulates Wilms tumor gene 1 (Wt1) expression at multiple levels. Nucleic Acids Res, 36, 4067-4078. [PubMed]
  • Klattig J, Sierig R, Kruspe D, Besenbeck B, Englert C (2007) The Wilms' tumor protein wt1 is an activator of the anti-Müllerian hormone receptor gene Amhr2. Mol Cell Biol, 27, 4355-4364. [PubMed]


Last update: January 30, 2015

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