Lehrstuhl für Zell- und Entwicklungsbiologie

Manfred Alsheimer

Manfred Alsheimer

... is a molecular cell biologist with major interest in nuclear structure and dynamics. He graduated from Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg where he also received a doctorate in biology. Following a short postdoctoral period and an appropriate time as research project leader in 2006 he habilitated in Cell and Developmental Biology at the Faculty of Biology. Since 2006 Manfred Alsheimer is an independent reserach group leader at the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg. Finally, in 2013 he was appointed apl. Professor at the University of Würzburg.

2013 appointed apl. Professor

since 2006 Research Group Leader, Dept. Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Würzburg

2006 Habilitation at the Faculty of Biology, University of Würzburg

2000-2006 Assistant Professor, Dept. Cell and Developmental Biology,University of Würzburg

1997-2000 Postdoc, Dept. Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Würzburg

1997 Dr. rer. nat, University of Würzburg


Tel ++49 93131 84282

Fax ++49 93131 84252

Students Tue, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Room C104

Research synopsis

During his graduate studies Manfred Alsheimer already became highly fascinated by cell biology and particularly in nuclear structure and dynamics, a topic which still remaines at the center of his interest. Manfred Alsheimer’s group is mainly working on mammalian germ cells. Germ cells are characterized by a series of quite pronounced dynamic nuclear remodeling processes and thus represent a highly impressing model suitable for studying purposive nuclear reorganization. In particular, segregation of the homologous chromosomes, which marks the central feature of meiotic genome haploidization, essentially depends on an accurate prearrangement of chromosomes that culminates in a precise and unambiguous pairing of the homologs. Pairing with the right partner goes along with, moreover it implicitly requires, vigorous movements of the chromosomes that follow a unique but evolutionarily highly conserved choreography. Remarkably, these movements are driven by the chromosomal ends. Telomeres firmly attach to the nuclear envelope and move to congregate in a small cluster, hence trailing chromosomes into close vicinity, a condition that is suggested to promote homolog recognition and alignment. Thus, the nuclear envelope for its part holds a somehow exceptional but very central role in providing a dynamic platform for meiotic telomere and chromosome movements. A second prominent feature of germ cell development is the characteristic shaping of the sperm nucleus during sperm head formation. It is a well-directed process that requires an elaborate cooperation of different cellular mechanisms and involves assembly of sperm-specific cytoskeletal structures, chromatin compaction, nuclear movement as well as a striking polarization of nuclear components. Recent studies suggest that the nuclear envelope could be a critical and central determinant in sperm head formation. In this context the group of Manfred Alsheimer currently studies the role and impact of particular nuclear envelope components in sperm-specific nuclear shaping and elongation. Since most of these components are expressed not only in germ cells but (at least as related splice forms) in many other cell types these results will also provide important and more general insights into the question how a cell defines nuclear morphology and shape.



Link, J., Benavente, R., and Alsheimer, M. (2016). Analysis of Meiotic Telomere Behavior in the Mouse. Methods Mol. Biol. 1411, 195-208. (doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3530-7_12)

Fraune, J., Brochier-Armanet, C., Alsheimer, M., Volff J.N., Schücker, K., and Benavente, R. (2016). Evolutionary history of the mammalian synaptonemal complex. Chromosoma 125, 355-360. (DOI: 10.1007/s00412-016-0583-8.

Gómez, R., Felipe-Medina, N., Ruiz-Torres, M., Berenguer, I., Viera, A., Pérez, S., Barbero, J.L., Llano, E., Fukuda, T., Alsheimer, M., Pendás, A. M., Losada, A., and Suja, J.A. (2016). Sororin loads to the synaptonemal complex central region independently of meiotic cohesin complexes. EMBO Rep 17, 695-707. (doi: 10.15252/embr.201541060)


Pasch, E., Link, J., Beck, C., Scheuerle, S., and Alsheimer, M. (2015). The LINC complex component Sun4 plays a crucial role in sperm head formation and fertility. Biol. Open 4, 1792-1802.

Link, J., Jahn, D., and Alsheimer, M. (2015). Structural and functional adaptations of the mammalian nuclear envelope to meet the meiotic requirements. Nucleus 6, 93-101.

Viera, A., Alsheimer, M., Gómez, R., Berenguer, I., Ortega, S., Symonds, C.E., Santamaría, D., Benavente, R., and Suja, J.A. (2015). CDK2 regulates nuclear envelope protein dynamics and telomere attachment in mouse meiotic prophase. J. Cell Sci. 128, 88-99.


Fraune, J., Alsheimer, M., Redolfi, J., Brochier-Armanet, C., and Benavente, R. (2014). Protein SYCP2 Is an Ancient Component of the Metazoan Synaptonemal Complex. Cytogenet. Genome Res. 144, 299-305.

de la Fuente, R., Manterola, M., Viera, A., Parra, M.T., Alsheimer, M., Rufas, J.S., and Page, J. (2014). Chromatin organization and remodeling of interstitial telomeric sites during meiosis in the Mongolian Gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus). Genetics 197, 1137-1151.

Daniel, K., Tränkner, D., Wojtasz, L., Shibuya, H., Watanabe, Y., Alsheimer, M., and Tóth, A. (2014). Mouse CCDC79 (TERB1) is a meiosis-specific telomere associated protein. BMC Cell Biology 15, 17.

Link, J., Leubner, M., Schmitt, J., Göb, E., Benavente, R., Jeang, K.-T., Xu, R., and Alsheimer, M. (2014). Analysis of meiosis in SUN1 deficient mice reveals a distinct role of SUN2 in mammalian meiotic LINC complex formation and function. PLoS Genet. 10, e1004099.


Fraune, J., Brochier-Armanet, C., Alsheimer, M., and Benavente, R. (2013). Phylogenies of Central Element Proteins Reveal the Dynamic Evolutionary History of the Mammalian Synaptonemal Complex: Ancient and Recent Components. Genetics 195, 781-793.

Gómez, R., Jordan, P.W., Viera, A., Alsheimer, M., Fukuda, T., Jessberger, R., Llano, E., Pendás, A.M., Handel, M.A., and Suja, J.A. (2013). Dynamic localization of SMC5/6 complex proteins during mammalian meiosis and mitosis implies functions in distinct chromosome processes. J. Cell Sci. 126, 4239-4252.

Link, J., Jahn, D., Schmitt, J., Göb, E., Baar, J., Ortega, S., Benavente, R., and Alsheimer, M. (2013). The meiotic nuclear lamina regulates chromosome dynamics and promotes efficient homologous recombination in the mouse. PLoS Genet. 9, e1003261.

Kracklauer, M.P., Link, J., and Alsheimer, M. (2013). LINCing the Nuclear Envelope to Gametogenesis. Curr. Top. Dev. Biol. 102, 127-157.


Fraune J., Alsheimer, M., Volff, J.N., Busch, K., Fraune, S., Bosch, T.C.G., and Benavente, R. (2012). Hydra meiosis reveals unexpected conservation of structural synaptonemal complex proteins across metazoans. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109, 16588-16593.

Jahn, D., Schramm, S., Schnölzer, M., Heilmann, C.J., de Koster, C.G., Schütz, W., Benavente, R., and Alsheimer, M. (2012). A truncated lamin A in the Lmna (-/-) mouse line: Implications for the understanding of laminopathies. Nucleus 3, 463-474.

Fraune, J., Schramm, S., Alsheimer, M., and Benavente, R. (2012). The mammalian synaptonemal complex: Protein components, assembly and role in meiotic recombination. Exp. Cell Res. 318, 1340-1346.


Göb, E., Meyer-Natus, E., Benavente, R., and Alsheimer, M. (2011). Expression of individual mammalian Sun1 isoforms depends on the cell type. Commun. Integr. Biol. 4, 440-442.

Schramm, S., Fraune, J., Naumann, R., Hernandez-Hernandez, A., Höög, C., Cooke, H. J., Alsheimer, M., and Benavente, R. (2011). A novel mouse synaptonemal complex protein is essential for loading of central element proteins, recombination and fertility. PLoS Genet. 7, e1002088.

Alsheimer, M., Jahn, D. Schramm, S., and Benavente, R. (2011). Nuclear lamins in mammalian spermatogenesis. In Epigenetics and Human Reproduction, S. Rousseaux and S. Khochbin eds. (Berlin Heidelberg, Germany: Springer-Verlag), pp. 279-288.


Göb, E., Schmitt, J., Benavente, R., and Alsheimer, M. (2010). Mammalian sperm head formation involves different polarization of two novel LINC complexes. PLoS ONE 5, e12072.

Jahn, D., Schramm, S., Benavente, R., and Alsheimer, M. (2010). Dynamic properties of meiosis-specific lamin C2 and its impact on nuclear envelope integrity. Nucleus 1, 273-283.

Alsheimer, M., Baier, A., Schramm, S., Schütz, W., and Benavente, R. (2010). Synaptonemal complex protein SYCP3 exists in two isoforms showing different conservation in mammalian evolution. Cytogenet. Genome Res. 128, 162-168.


Adelfalk, C., Janschek, J., Revenkova, E., Liebe, B., Göb, E., Alsheimer, M., Benavente, R., de Boer, E., Novak, I., Höög, C., Scherthan, H., and Jessberger, R. (2009). Cohesin SMC1 protects telomeres in meiocytes. J. Cell Biol. 187, 185-199.

Winkel, K., Alsheimer, M., Öllinger, R., and Benavente, R. (2009). Protein SYCP2 provides a link between transverse filaments and lateral elements of mammalian synaptonemal complexes. Chromosoma: 118, 259-267.

Alsheimer, M. (2009). The dance floor of meiosis: Evolutionary conservation of nuclear envelope attachment and dynamics of meiotic telomeres. Genome Dyn. 5, 81-93.


Schmitt, J., Benavente, R., Hodzic, D., Höög, C., Stewart, C.L., and Alsheimer, M. (2007). Transmembrane protein Sun2 is involved in tethering mammalian meiotic telomeres to the nuclear envelope. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 7426-7431.

Baier, A., Alsheimer, M., Volff, J.N., and Benavente, R. (2007). Synaptonemal Complex Protein SYCP3 of the Rat: Evolutionary Conserved Domains and the Assembly of Higher Order Structures. Sex. Dev. 1, 161-168.

Baier, A., Alsheimer, M., and Benavente, R. (2007). Synaptonemal complex protein SYCP3: Conserved polymerization properties among vertebrates. BBA – Proteins Proteom. 1774,: 595-602.


Costa, Y., Speed, R., Öllinger, R., Alsheimer, M., Semple, C.A., Gautier, P., Maratou, K., Novak, I., Höög, C., Benavente, R., and Cooke, H.J. (2005). Two novel proteins recruited by SYCP1 are at the centre of meiosis. J. Cell Sci. 118, 2755-2762.

Schütz, W., Benavente, R., and Alsheimer, M. (2005). Dynamic properties of germline-specific lamin B3: the role of the shortened rod domain. Eur. J. Cell Biol. 84, 649-662.

Schütz, W., Alsheimer, M., Öllinger, R., and Benavente, R. (2005). Nuclear envelope remodelling during mouse spermiogenesis: Postmeiotic expression and redistribution of germline lamin B3. Exp. Cell Res. 307, 285-291.

Prüfert, K., Alsheimer, M., Benavente, R., and Krohne, G. (2005). The myristoylation site of meiotic lamin C2 promotes local nuclear membrane growth and the formation of intranuclear membranes in somatic cultured cells. Eur. J. Cell Biol. 84, 637-646.

Geisinger, A., Alsheimer, M., Baier, A., Benavente, R., and Wettstein, R. (2005). The mammalian gene pecanex 1 is differentially expressed during spermatogenesis. BBA – Gene Struct. Expr. 1728, 34-43.

Alsheimer, M. Drewes, T., Schütz, W., and Benavente, R. (2005). The cancer/testis antigen CAGE-1 is a component of the acrosome of spermatids and spermatozoa. Eur. J. Cell Biol. 84, 445-452.

Öllinger, R., Alsheimer, M., and Benavente, R. (2005). Mammalian Protein SCP1 Forms Synaptonemal Complex-like Structures in the Absence of Meiotic Chromosomes. Mol. Biol. Cell. 16, 212-217.


Alsheimer, M., Liebe, B., Sewell, L., Stewart, C.L., Scherthan, H., and Benavente, R. (2004). Disruption of spermatogenesis in mice lacking A-type lamins. J. Cell Sci. 117, 1173-1178.

Liebe, B., Alsheimer, M., Höög, C., Benavente, R., and Scherthan, H. (2004). Telomere attachment, meiotic chromosome condensation, pairing, and bouquet stage duration are modified in spermatocytes lacking axial elements. Mol. Biol. Cell 15, 827-837.

Benavente, R., Alsheimer, M., and von Glasenapp, E. (2004). The nuclear envelope at the attachment sites of mammalian meiotic telomeres. Chromosomes Today 14, 119-126.


Franco, S., Alsheimer, M., Herrera, E., Benavente, R., and Blasco, M.A. (2002). Mammalian meiotic telomeres: composition and ultrastructure in telomerase-deficient mice. Eur. J. Cell Biol. 81, 335-340.


Alsheimer, M., von Glasenapp, E., Schnölzer, M., Heid H., and Benavente, R. (2000). Meiotic lamin C2: the unique amino-terminal hexapeptide GNAEGR is essential for nuclear envelope association. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 97, 13120-13125.


Alsheimer, M., von Glasenapp, E., Hock, R., and Benavente, R. (1999). Architecture of the nuclear periphery of rat pachytene spermatocytes: Distribution of nuclear envelope proteins in relation to synaptonemal complex attachment sites. Mol. Biol. Cell 10, 1235-1245.

Lang, C., Paulin-Levasseur, M., Gajewski, A., Alsheimer, M., Benavente, R., and Krohne, G. (1999). Molecular characterization and developmentally regulated expression of Xenopus lamina–associated polypeptid 2 (XLAP2). J. Cell Sci. 112, 749-759.


Alsheimer, M., Fecher, E., and Benavente, R. (1998). Nuclear envelope remodelling during rat spermiogenesis: Distribution and expression pattern of LAP2/thymopoietins. J. Cell Sci. 111, 2227-2234.


Alsheimer, M., Imamichi, Y., Heid, H., and Benavente, R. (1997). Molecular characterization and expression pattern of XY body-associated protein XY40 of the rat. Chromosoma 106, 308-314.


Alsheimer, M., and Benavente, R. (1996). Change of karyoskeleton during mammalian spermatogenesis: expression pattern of nuclear lamin C2 and its regulation. Exp. Cell Res. 228, 181-188.


Lehrstuhl für Zoologie I - Zell- und Entwicklungsbiologie
Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg

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Fax: +49 931 31-84252

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