MDC Lab Coats

Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas J. Jentsch

Research Interest:


Ion transport across cellular membranes is important for cellular homeostasis and has integrative functions such as transepithelial transport or neuronal signal transduction. We study these processes at various levels, from biophysical analysis of transport proteins, structure-function analysis, role in cellular functions such as cell volume regulation or endocytosis, to the role in the organism. The physiological role of ion transport proteins has often been gleaned from pathologies resulting from their inactivation in human diseases or in mouse models. We have discovered several human ‘channelopathies’ and have generated and analyzed many mouse models. We focus on CLC chloride channels and transporters, KCC potassium-chloride co-transporters, and KCNQ potassium channels. Their mutational Inactivation led to pathologies ranging from epilepsy, deafness, lysosomal storage disease to osteopetrosis, kidney stones and hypertension. We are particularly interested in the control of neuronal excitability and in the role of chloride and pH in endosomes and lysosomes.

Selected Publications:

Novarino G., Weinert S., Rickheit G., Jentsch T.J. (2010). Endosomal chloride-proton exchange rather than chloride conductance is crucial for renal endocytosis. Science 328, 1398-1401.

Weinert S., Jabs S., Supanchart C., Schweizer M., Gimber N., Richter M., Rademann J., Stauber T., Kornak U., Jentsch T.J. (2010). Lysosomal pathology and osteopetrosis upon loss of H+-driven lysosomal Cl- accumulation. Science 328,1401-1403.

Tzingounis A.V., Heidenreich M., Kharkovets T., Spitzmaul G., Jensen H.S., Nicoll R.A., Jentsch T.J. (2010) The KCNQ5 potassium channel mediates a component of the afterhyperpolarization current in mouse hippocampus. PNAS 107, 10232-10237

Rickheit G., Maier H., Strenzke N., Andreescu C.E., De Zeeuw C.I., Zdebik A.A., Jentsch T.J. (2008). Endocochlear potential depends on chloride channels: mechanism underlying deafness in Bartter syndrome IV. EMBO J. 27, 2907-2917.

Lange P.F., Wartosch L., Jentsch T.J., Fuhrmann J.C. (2006). ClC-7 requires Ostm1 as a β-subunit to support bone resorption and lysosomal function. Nature  440, 220-223

Kharkovets T., Dedek K., Maier H., Schweizer M., Khimich D., Nouvian R., Vardanyan V., Leuwer R., Moser T., Jentsch T.J. (2006). Mice with altered KCNQ4 K+ channels implicate sensory outer hair cells in human progressive deafness. EMBO J. 25, 642-652.