Dr Andreas Werner
Reader in Molecular Biology
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6990
- Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 7424
- Address: Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Catherine Cookson Building
Newcastle upon Tyne
The genome of every one of us shows small variations that make each individual special. Genome sequencing has made the detection of mutations quick and affordable. How the many different variations affect each individual is much more difficult to establish. We are investigating how mutations affect the function of various membrane proteins in order to understand the mechanism of particular diseases. Moreover, we are interested in the function of noncoding RNAs in the organisation of the genome and the regulation of individual genes.
Our lab uses a wide variety of techniques including next generation sequencing, protein expression, immunological visualisation, RT-qPCR, molecular biology and microbiology. We are also engaged in collaborative research with groups in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, USA and Australia.
Our lab has a long track record of successful PhD supervision including students from Europe, America, Asia and Arabic countries. Our lab welcomes PhD applications from overseas students. Please drop me an email for more information.
I have professional qualifications in biochemistry, physiology, teaching and journalism and worked in Switzerland, Germany, UK, USA and Australia. In my spare time,I am a keen tango dancer; together with my wife, Angela, we organise Argentinean tango events and teach tango in Tynemouth, UK.
The research of my group focuses on two major areas:
• Gene regulation by natural antisense transcripts
• Epithelial Na/phosphate transport
We are happy to receive applications from prospective PhD students with funding.
Natural antisense transcripts (NATs)
Large proportions of the human genome do not code for proteins and were long considered as junk or ‘the dark matter of the genome’. Recent studies, however, have shown that much of the noncoding regions of the genome are actively transcribed. The resulting noncoding RNAs have emerged as essential and abundant regulators of eukaryotic gene expression. Interestingly, noncoding RNAs are implicated in cancer, Alzheimer’s and thalassemia.
Our research mainly focuses on a particular family of noncoding RNAs, so-called natural antisense transcripts (NATs). NATs are long regulatory RNAs that are transcribed in the opposite direction of protein-coding transcripts and potentially regulate their expression level. Moreover, NATs are hypothesised to enable the evolution of complex organisms.
Wight M, Werner A. The functions of natural antisense transcripts. Essays Biochem. 2013; 54: 91-101.
Inorganic phosphate (Pi)
Inorganic phosphate (Pi) homeostasis is tightly regulated in humans and both un-physiologically high and low levels of Pi have deleterious consequences. The level of Pi is controlled in the kidney and a membrane transport protein, NaPi-IIa, is particularly important. Mutations in the NaPi-IIa protein have been found in patients with kidney stones, for example. We use molecular modelling and functional expression of the protein to find out how the mutations affect Pi transport and cause disease.
Structural Fold and Binding Sites of the Human Na+-Phosphate Cotransporter NaPi-II.Biophys J. 2014;106: 1268-79
Heba AliBen Allison
Biomedical Sciences Course, third year: Research in Physiology, Module Leader
Dental Medicine, first year: Respiratory Physiology, Integrative Physiology
Biomedical Sciences Course, third year: RNA biology and Project supervision
PhD, MSci and MRes project supervision
- Piatek MJ, Henderson V, Fearn A, Chaudhry B, Werner A. Ectopically expressed Slc34a2a sense-antisense transcripts cause a cerebellar phenotype in zebrafish embryos depending on RNA complementarity and Dicer. PLoS ONE 2017, 12(5), e0178219.
- Werner A, Patti M, Zinad HS, Fearn A, Laude A, Forster I. Molecular determinants of transport function in zebrafish Slc34a Na-phosphate transporters. American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology 2016, 311(6), R1213-R1222.
- Patti M, Fenollar-Ferrer C, Werner A, Forrest LR, Forster IC. Cation Interactions and Membrane Potential Induce Conformational Changes in NaPi-IIb. Biophysical Journal 2016, 111(5), 973-988.
- Piatek MJ, Henderson V, Zynad HS, Werner A. Natural antisense transcription from a comparative perspective. Genomics 2016, 108(2), 56-63.
- Werner A, Piatek MJ, Mattick JS. Transpositional shuffling and quality control in male germ cells to enhance evolution of complex organisms. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 2015, 1341, 156-163.
- Fenollar-Ferrer C, Forster IC, Patti M, Knoepfel T, Werner A, Forrest LR. Identification of the First Sodium Binding Site of the Phosphate Cotransporter NaPi-IIa (SLC34A1). Biophysical Journal 2015, 108(10), 2465-2480.
- Werner A, Cockell S, Falconer J, Carlile M, Alnumeir S, Robinson J. Contribution of natural antisense transcription to an endogenous siRNA signature in human cells. BMC Genomics 2014, 15, 19.
- Piatek MJ, Werner A. Endogenous siRNAs: regulators of internal affairs. Biochemical Society Transactions 2014, 42, 1174-1179.
- Fenollar-Ferrer C, Patti M, Knopfel T, Werner A, Forster IC, Forrest LR. Structural Fold and Binding Sites of the Human Na+-Phosphate Cotransporter NaPi-II. Biophysical Journal 2014, 106(6), 1268-1279.
- Werner A. Biological functions of natural antisense transcripts. BMC Biology 2013, 11, 31.
- Wight M, Werner A. The functions of natural antisense transcripts. Essays in Biochemistry 2013, 54, 91-102.
- Werner Andreas. Processing and Regulatory Impact of Endogenous siRNAs in Animals. In: Morris, K.V, ed. Non-coding RNAs and Epigenetic Regulation of Gene Expression: Drivers of Natural Selection. Norfolk: Caister Academic Press, 2012, pp.31-46.
- Forster I, Hernando N, Sorribas V, Werner A. Phosphate Transporters in Renal, Gastrointestinal, and Other Tissues. Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease 2011, 18(2), 63-76.
- Bakrac B, Podlesek Z, Lakey JH, Werner A, Anderluh G. Equinatoxin, a eukaryotic pore-forming toxin used as a specific marker for cellular sphingomyelin. In: 34th FEBS Congress. 2009, Prague, Czech Republic: FEBS Journal: Wiley-Blackwell.
- Werner A, Sayer JA. Naturally occurring antisense RNA: function and mechanisms of action. Current Opinion in Nephrology & Hypertension 2009, 18(4), 343-349.
- Carlile M, Swan D, Jackson K, Preston-Fayers K, Ballester B, Flicek P, Werner A. Strand selective generation of endo-siRNAs from the Na/phosphate transporter gene Slc34a1 in murine tissues. Nucleic Acids Research 2009, 37(7), 2274-2282.
- Werner A, Carlile M, Swan D. What do natural antisense transcripts regulate?. RNA Biology 2009, 6(1), 43-48.
- Werner A. Gene Regulation by Natural Antisense Transcripts. In: Taylor JC; Williams AJ, ed. Research Progress in Antisense Elements (Genetics). New York: Nova Biomedical Books, 2008, pp.87-123.
- Werner A, Schmutzler G, Carlile M, Miles CG, Peters H. Expression profiling of antisense transcripts on DNA arrays. Physiological Genomics 2007, 28(3), 294-300.
- Mobjerg N, Werner A, Hansen SM, Novak I. Physiological and molecular mechanisms of inorganic phosphate handling in the toad Bufo bufo. Pflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology 2007, 454(1), 101-113.
- McHaffie GS, Graham C, Kohl B, Strunck-Warnecke U, Werner A. The role of an intracellular cysteine stretch in the sorting of the type II Na/phosphate cotransporter. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes 2007, 1768(9), 2099-2106.
- Werner A. Natural antisense transcripts. In: Gossen, M, ed. Encyclopedic Reference of Genomics and Proteomics in Molecular Medicine. Berlin, Germany: Springer, 2006.
- Werner A. Natural antisense transcripts. RNA Biology 2005, 2(2), 53-62.
- Werner A, Berdal A. Natural antisense transcripts: Sound or silence?. Physiological Genomics 2005, 23(2), 125-131.
- Graham C, Nalbant P, Scholermann B, Hentschel H, Kinne RKH, Werner A. Characterization of a type IIb sodium-phosphate cotransporter from zebrafish (Danio rerio) kidney. American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology 2003, 284(4), F727-F736.
- Coloso RM, King K, Fletcher JW, Weis P, Werner A, Ferraris RP. Dietary P regulates phosphate transporter expression, phosphatase activity, and effluent P partitioning in trout culture. Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology 2003, 173(6), 519-530.
- Kirschner U, Van Driessche W, Werner A, Wehner F. Hypertonic activation of phospholemman in solitary rat hepatocytes in primary culture. FEBS Letters 2003, 537(1-3), 151-156.
- Dehmelt L, Schrage A, Hagnia M, Nalbant P, Musson J, Traebert M, Arpin-Bott M-P, Hinne RKH, Kaissling B, Robinson JH, Werner A. A novel isoform of the Shank adaptor protein family (Shank 3b) is expressed in immune cells and colocalizes with actin. Journal of Cell Science 2002. Submitted.
- Werner A, Preston-Fayers K, Dehmelt L, Nalbant P. Regulation of the NPT gene by a naturally occurring antisense transcript. Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics 2002, 36(2-3), 241-252.
- Werner AMC, Sharpe LT. Spatial features and chromatic adaptation. Perception 2002, 31(supplement), 16.
- Werner A, Kinne RKH. Evolution of the Na/Pi cotransport system type II (Napi-II). American Journal of Physiology 2001, 280(2), R301-312.
- Werner A, Kinne RKH. Evolution of the Na-P-i cotransport systems. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 2001, 280(2), R301-R312.
- Bohmer C, Wagner CA, Beck S, Moschen I, Melzig J, Werner A, Lin J-T, Lang F, Wehner F. The shrinkage-activated Na+ conductance of rat hepatocytes and its possible correlation to rENaC. Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry 2000, 10(4), 187-194.
- B. Kohl, C. A. Wagner, B. Huelseweh, A. E. Busch and A. Werner. The Na+-phosphate cotransport system (NaPi-Pi) with a cleaved protein backbone: implications on function and membrane insertion. Journal of Physiology-London 1998, 508, 341-350.
- B. Huelseweh, B. Kohl, H. Hentschel, R. K. H. Kinne and A. Werner. Translated anti-sense product of the Na/phosphate co- transporter (NaPi-II). Biochemical Journal 1998, 332, 483-489.
- I. C. Forster, C. A. Wagner, A. E. Busch, F. Lang, J. Biber, N. Hernando, H. Murer and A. Werner. Electrophysiological characterization of the flounder type II Na+/P-i cotransporter (NaPi-5) expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Journal of Membrane Biology 1997, 160, 9-25.
- Zinad HS, Natasya I, Werner A. Natural antisense transcripts at the interface between host genome and mobile genetic elements. Frontiers in Microbiology 2017, 8, 2292.