Michael Willem

Learn More
Although BACE1 (beta-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1) is essential for the generation of amyloid-b peptide in Alzheimer's disease, its physiological function is unclear. We found that very high levels of BACE1 were expressed at time points when peripheral nerves become myelinated. Deficiency of BACE1 resulted in the accumulation of(More)
Inhibition of amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) production by blocking gamma-secretase activity is at present one of the most promising therapeutic strategies to slow progression of Alzheimer's disease pathology. gamma-secretase inhibitors apparently block Abeta generation via interference with presenilin (PS) function. Besides being an essential component of(More)
Mice with a targeted deletion of the nidogen-binding site of laminin gamma1 were used to study the function of the pial basement membrane in cortical histogenesis. The pial basement membrane in the mutant embryos assembled but was unstable and disintegrated at random segments. In segments with a disrupted basement membrane, radial glia cells were retracted(More)
Homing behavior and function of autoimmune CD4+ T cells in vivo was analyzed before and during EAE, using MBP-specific T cells retrovirally engineered to express the gene of green fluorescent protein. The cells migrate from parathymic lymph nodes to blood and to the spleen. Preceding disease onset, large numbers of effector cells invade the CNS, with only(More)
Genetic variants in the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) have been linked to Nasu-Hakola disease, Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and FTD-like syndrome without bone involvement. TREM2 is an innate immune receptor preferentially expressed by microglia and is(More)
Basement membrane assembly is of crucial importance in the development and function of tissues and during embryogenesis. Nidogen 1 was thought to be central in the assembly processes, connecting the networks formed by collagen type IV and laminins, however, targeted inactivation of nidogen 1 resulted in no obvious phenotype. We have now selectively deleted(More)
The interplay between growing axons and the extracellular substrate is pivotal for directing axonal outgrowth during development and regeneration. Here we show an important role for the neuronal cell adhesion molecule alpha7beta1 integrin during peripheral nerve regeneration. Axotomy led to a strong increase of this integrin on regenerating motor and(More)
Cell surface proteolysis is essential for communication between cells and results in the shedding of membrane-protein ectodomains. However, physiological substrates of the contributing proteases are largely unknown. We developed the secretome protein enrichment with click sugars (SPECS) method, which allows proteome-wide identification of shedding(More)
The intramembranous gamma-secretase cleavage of the beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) is dependent on biologically active presenilins (PS). Notch also undergoes a similar PS-dependent gamma-secretase-like cleavage, resulting in the liberation of the Notch intracellular domain (NICD), which is critically required for developmental signal transduction.(More)
Proteolytic shedding of cell surface proteins generates paracrine signals involved in numerous signaling pathways. Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) type III is involved in myelination of the peripheral nervous system, for which it requires proteolytic activation by proteases of the ADAM family and BACE1. These proteases are major therapeutic targets for the prevention(More)