Protein Kinase Regulation of Brain Development and Disease
Coffey Eleanor_PIC.jpg
Eleanor Coffey, PhD

Neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease) are characterised by the irreversible loss of nerve cell function. Protein kinases such as JNK and LRRK2 are major players in neurodegenerative disorders, however their mechanism of action is largely unknown. Even though our understanding of the physiological functions of these molecules is in its infancy. drug targeting strategies are already underway. Our lab uses a proteomics screen developed in the lab to identify protein kinase substrates. The identification of novel targets combined with biochemical, genetic and imaging approaches has revealed unexpected functions for kinases in neocortical development and provided mechanistic insight in neuronal disease.

  • ​Veronica Fagerholm, PhD
  • Sylvia Ortega-Martinez, PhD
  • Prasanna Deshpande, MSc
  • Hasan Mohammad, MSc
  • Francesca Marchisella, MSc
  • Artemis Varidaki, MSc
  • Lassi Lauren, MSc
  • Partrik Hollos, MSc
  • Ye Hong, MSc
  • Siv Holmgren, coordinator​


  1. Gerardo Morfini, Yi-Mei You, Sarah Pollema, Agnieszka Kaminska, Gustavo Pigino, Katherine Liu, Katsuji Yoshioka, Benny Björkblom, Eleanor T. Coffey, Carolina Bagnato, David Han, Chun-Fang Huang, Gary Banker, and Scott T. Brady. (2009) Inhibition of fast axonal transport by pathogenic Huntingtin involves activation of JNK3 and phosphorylation of kinesin-1. Nature Neuroscience, 12:864-871.(IF 15.66)
  2. Björkblom B, Vainio JC, Hongisto V, Herdegen T, Courtney MJ, Coffey E.T. (2008) All JNKs can kill, but nuclear localization is critical for neuronal death. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 283:19704-13. (IF 5.58)
  3. Semanova, M.M., Mäki-Hokkanen, A.M.J., Cao, C., Komarovski, V., Forsberg, K.M., Koistinaho, M., Coffey, E.T., Courtney, M.J. (2007) Rho mediates calcium-dependent activation of p38a and subsequent excitotoxic cell death. Nature Neuroscience, 10(4):436-443. (IF 15.66)
  4. Tararuk T, Ostman N, Li W, Bjorkblom B, Padzik A, Zdrojewska J, Hongisto V, Herdegen T, Konopka W, Courtney MJ, Coffey E.T. (2006) JNK1 phosphorylation of SCG10 determines microtubule dynamics and axodendritic length. Journal of Cell Biology, 173(2):265-77. (IF 9.59)
  5. Björkblom, B., Östman, N., Hongisto, V., Komarovski, V. Nyman, T., Filen, J., Kallunki, T., Courtney, M.J., Coffey, E.T. (2005) Cytoplasmic JNK1 is a dominant regulator of dendritic architecture; role of MAP2 as an effector. Journal of Neuroscience, 25(27):6350-61. (IF 7.49)
Number of publications: 49
Funding 2013-2014: 800.000€


20014 Turun yliopisto, Finland
Tel. +358 29 450 5000

People search

Follow us: 
Facebook   Twitter   Instagram   Youtube   LinkedIn
© University of Turku