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MRC Toxicology Unit


The Electron Microscopy & Ultrastructural Pathology group provides three-dimensional fine analysis for the Unit Programmes and external collaborative projects.

The EM & Ultrastructural Pathology group is able to study a whole range of tissues and cells; from mouse brain to signalling receptor-complexes involved in the response to toxins. Correlational changes between structure and function can be examined in nanoscale using CLEM (Correlation Light and Electron Microscopy) giving an in-depth visualisation of areas affected by toxins or drugs.


The techniques available include:

1) Serial-block face SEM for large-volume tissues and cells

2) TEM Tomography for cellular organelles

3) Single particle analysis using cryo EM for purified protein-complexes

4) CEMOVIS (Cryo-Electron Microscopy of Vitreous Sections)*

5) Freeze-fracture replication for specific tissue cells, organelles, and macromolecular complexes*

6) High-pressure freezing and freeze-substitution

7) CLEM (Correlation Light and Electron Microscopy)

8) Image processing


The group provides a training course in image processing for PhD students & Post Doctoral researchers to carry out fine 3D-reconstruction and segmentation using AMIRA software (FEI, USA).


Selected Publications

Nitric oxide-mediated posttranslational modifications control neurotransmitter release by modulating complexin farnesylation and enhancing its clamping ability.

Robinson SW, Bourgognon JM, Spiers JG, Breda C, Campesan S, Butcher A, Mallucci GR, Dinsdale D, Morone N, Mistry R, Smith TM, Guerra-Martin M, Challiss RAJ, Giorgini F, Steinert JR.

PLoS Biol. (2018) 16(4):e2003611. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2003611.


Membrane re-modelling by BAR domain superfamily proteins via molecular and non-molecular factors.

Nishimura T, Morone N, Suetsugu S.

Biochem Soc Trans. (2018) 46(2):379-389. doi: 10.1042/BST20170322.


Hybrid Cellular Metabolism Coordinated by Zic3 and Esrrb Synergistically Enhances Induction of Naive Pluripotency.

Sone M, Morone N, Nakamura T, Tanaka A, Okita K, Woltjen K, Nakagawa M, Heuser JE, Yamada Y, Yamanaka S, Yamamoto T.

Cell Metab. (2017) 25(5):1103-1117. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2017.04.017.


Metabolic reprogramming during neuronal differentiation.

Agostini M, Romeo F, Inoue S, Niklison-Chirou MV, Elia AJ, Dinsdale D, Morone N, Knight RA, Mak TW, Melino G.

Cell Death Differ. 2016 Apr 8. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2016.36.


Confined diffusion of transmembrane proteins and lipids induced by the same actin meshwork lining the plasma membrane.

Fujiwara TK, Iwasawa K, Kalay Z, Tsunoyama TA, Watanabe Y, Umemura YM, Murakoshi H, Suzuki KG, Nemoto YL, Morone N, Kusumi A.

Mol Biol Cell. 2016 Apr 1;27(7):1101-19. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E15-04-0186.


Molecular profiling reveals primary mesothelioma cell lines recapitulate human disease.

Chernova T, Sun XM, Powley IR, Galavotti S, Grosso S, Murphy FA, Miles GJ, Cresswell L, Antonov AV, Bennett J, Nakas A, Dinsdale D, Cain K, Bushell M, Willis AE, MacFarlane M.

Cell Death Differ. 2016 Jul;23(7):1152-64. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2015.165.


p63 supports aerobic respiration through hexokinase II.

Viticchiè G, Agostini M, Lena AM, Mancini M, Zhou H, Zolla L, Dinsdale D, Saintigny G, Melino G, Candi E.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Sep 15;112(37):11577-82. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1508871112.


RBM3 mediates structural plasticity and protective effects of cooling in neurodegeneration.

Peretti D, Bastide A, Radford H, Verity N, Molloy C, Martin MG, Moreno JA, Steinert JR, Smith T, Dinsdale D, Willis AE, Mallucci GR.

Nature. 2015 Feb 12;518(7538):236-9. doi: 10.1038/nature14142.


A coculture model of the lung–blood barrier: the role of activated phagocytic cells.

Luyts K, Napierska D, Dinsdale D, Klein SG, Serchi T, Hoet PH.

Toxicol In Vitro. 2015 Feb;29(1):234-41.


Prion protein facilitates synaptic vesicle release by enhancing release probability.

Robinson SW, Nugent ML, Dinsdale D, Steinert JR.

Hum Mol Genet. 2014 Sep 1;23(17):4581-96. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddu171.


TAp73 is required for spermatogenesis and the maintenance of male fertility.

Inoue S, Tomasini R, Rufini A, Elia AJ, Agostini M, Amelio I, Cescon D, Dinsdale D, Zhou L, Harris IS, Lac S, Silvester J, Li WY, Sasaki M, Haight J, Brüstle A, Wakeham A, McKerlie C, Jurisicova A, Melino G, Mak TW.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Feb 4;111(5):1843-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1323416111.


Enhancing nucleotide metabolism protects against mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegeneration in a PINK1 model of Parkinson’s disease.

Tufi R, Gandhi S, de Castro IP, Lehmann S, Angelova PR, Dinsdale D, Deas E, Plun-Favreau H, Nicotera P, Abramov AY, Willis AE, Mallucci GR, Loh SH, Martins LM.

Nat Cell Biol. 2014 Feb;16(2):157-66. doi: 10.1038/ncb2901.


TAp73 knockout mice show morphological and functional nervous system defects associated with loss of p75 neurotrophin receptor.

Niklison-Chirou MV, Steinert JR, Agostini M, Knight RA, Dinsdale D, Cattaneo A, Mak TW, Melino G.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Nov 19;110(47):18952-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1221172110