Arbeitsgruppe Dr. Birgit Weinhold/Dr. Anja Münster-Kühnel

Sialoglycobiology in mammalian development

Portraitfoto von Dr. Birgit Weinold
Dr. Birgit Weinhold, Copyright: Weinhold, Birgit


Dr. Birgit Weinhold

Phone: +49(0)511/532-6547


Building J03, Level 04, Room 1220

Portraifoto von Dr. Anja Münster-Kühnel
Dr. Anja Münster-Kühnel, Copyright: Münster-Kühnel, Anja


Dr. Anja Münster-Kühnel

Phone: +49(0)511/532-9807


Building J03, Level 04, Room 1310


Our group concentrates on the impact of sialic acids (Sia) during embryonic and early postnatal development. We use conditional knock-out and knock-down models targeting the sialic acid activating enzyme CMP-sialic acid synthetase (CMAS) in mice.

Every living cell is covered by a dense layer of glycoproteins, glycolipids and proteoglycans, the so called glycocalyx. Sialic acids are located at terminal positions on glycans and mediate cell-cell contacts and communications. The depletion of CMAS results in an asialo and embryonic lethal phenotype. Reduced CMAS expression causes kidney failure and postnatal death.

We aim to

  • Analyse the expression patterns of sialoglycans and elucidate their functions during development in mice
  • Provide mouse model systems to investigate the role of sialylation in fetal rejection, placentation deficits, preeclampsia, and nephropathies
  • Explain pathomechanisms associated with lack of Sia in mammals