Photo of Dr Antonius Plagge

Dr Antonius Plagge Dr.

Lecturer Biochemistry, Cell and Systems Biology

Research

Neurobiological functions of imprinted genes and their epigenetic regulation

My area of work is related to neurobiological functions of imprinted genes. Projects are focused on the analyses of two imprinted gene clusters: the Gnas locus and the Peg13-Trappc9 locus. The Gnas locus encodes variants of the cAMP signalling protein Gsα. We are specifically interested in studying their roles in neuroendocrinology and neural pathways that control energy homeostasis, energy expenditure and sympathetic nervous system activity. The Peg13-Trappc9-Kcnk9 cluster shows brain-specific imprinting and epigenetic regulation. Trappc9 encodes a subunit of the Trafficking Protein Particle complex involved in intracellular vesicle processes. Mutations of this gene are associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. We are using genetically modified mice (knock-outs) as well as cellular and molecular biological approaches to investigate the gene functions. Furthermore, we are analysing the brain-specific epigenetic regulation of imprinted genes.

Labelling and imaging of stem cells in animal models

We are using reporter genes and virus vectors to label cells for imaging in animal models of disease, for example in the context of stem cell-based regenerative medicine therapies. Reporter genes for several imaging modalities are used, including luciferases and fluorescent proteins, which allow cell tracking over time in bioluminescence, fluorescence, optoacoustic or other imaging modalities. This work is done in collaboration with the Centre for Preclinical Imaging at our University.

Research Grants

Developing novel tools and technologies to assess the safety and efficacy of cell-based regenerative medicine therapies, focusing on kidney disease RenalToolBox

EUROPEAN COMMISSION

November 2018 - April 2023

Regenerative Medicine Platform in Stem Cell Safety Science

MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

June 2013 - March 2018

Wellcome trust four-year PhD studentship with the cellular and molecular physiology PhD programme

WELLCOME TRUST (UK)

October 2012 - September 2016

Investigation of sympathetic nervous system (sns) activity in mice deficient for the signalling protein xlalphas.

BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL

October 2008 - September 2012

Determination of tissue-specific functions of Gnasxl derived proteins from the imprinted Gnas gene cluster.

MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

November 2007 - November 2010

Research Collaborations

Prof. Harish Poptani

Internal

Centre for Preclinical Imaging; PhD studentship;

Dr Bettina Wilm

Internal

Centre for Preclinical Imaging

Prof Patricia Murray

Internal

Centre for Preclinical Imaging; stem cell labelling and tracking; PhD studentship

Prof George Bou-Gharios

Internal

ES cell culture and generation of knock-out mice

Dr Murat Bastepe

External: Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Dr Gavin Kelsey

External: The Babraham Institute