Ruth Chiquet-Ehrismann

Ruth Chiquet-Ehrismann

Obituary Ruth Chiquet-Ehrismann (1954 - 2015)
The Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research shares its sorrow at the sudden and unexpected death of Ruth Chiquet-Ehrismann, Senior group leader of the FMI and Adjunct professor of the University of Basel, on September 4, 2015. With her passing we have lost a very special colleague.
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Cell communication in growth control and differentiation
Normal development depends on cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions. Cancer cells are impaired in cell adhesion and have lost the ability to respond properly to their environment, which results in overgrowth and metastatic behavior. In contrast to the ECM of normal tissues, tumor ECM contains markedly increased amounts of tenascin-C and less fibronectin. Therefore, we investigate the anti-adhesive and tumor growth-promoting functions of the ECM protein family of tenascins. We analyze the interaction between tenascins and fibronectin and the intracellular signaling pathways in- duced by cell adhesion to these ECM proteins. We have discovered a novel cell surface receptor family that we have termed teneurins. These are transmembrane proteins with a cytoplasmic domain involved in signal transduction and a large extracellular part involved in cell-cell interactions. We are studying their function in adhesion signaling that regulates cell survival, proliferation and differentiation. We use molecular and cell biological techniques with cell cultures and with chicken and Caenorhabditis elegans for in vivo studies.

Scharenberg MA, Pippenger BE, Sack R, Zingg D, Ferralli J, Schenk S, Martin I, Chiquet-Ehrismann R (2014) TGF-β-induced differentiation into myofibroblasts involves specific regulation of two MKL1 isoforms

J Cell Sci 127:1079-1091

Gurbuz I, Ferralli J, Roloff T, Chiquet-Ehrismann R, Asparuhova MB (2014) SAP domain-dependent Mkl1 signaling stimulates proliferation and cell migration by induction of a distinct gene set indicative of poor prognosis in breast cancer patients

Mol Cancer 13:22

Tucker RP, Ferralli J, Schittny JC, Chiquet-Ehrismann R (2013) Tenascin-C and tenascin-W in whisker follicle stem cell niches: possible roles in regulating stem cell proliferation, migration and differentiation.

J Cell Sci 126:5111-5115

Beckmann J, Schubert R, Chiquet-Ehrismann R, Müller DJ (2013) Deciphering teneurin domains that facilitate cellular recognition, cell-cell adhesion and neurite outgrowth using AFM-based single-cell force spectroscopy

Nano Lett 13:2937-2946

Brellier F, Martina E, Degen M, Heuzé-Vourch N, Petit A, Kryza T, Courty Y, Terracciano L, Ruiz C, Chiquet-Ehrismann R (2012) Tenascin-W is a better cancer biomarker than tenascin-C for most human solid tumors

BMC Clin Pathol 12:14

Martina E, Degen M, Rüegg C, Merlo A, Lino MM, Chiquet-Ehrismann R, Brellier F (2010) Tenascin-W is a specific marker of glioma-associated blood vessels and stimulates angiogenesis in vitro

FASEB J 24:778-87

Sivasankaran B, Degen M, Ghaffari A, Hegi ME, Hamou MF, Ionescu MC, Zweifel C, Tolnay M, Wasner M, Mergenthaler S, Miserez AR, Kiss R, Lino MM, Merlo A, Chiquet-Ehrismann R, Boulay JL (2009) Tenascin-C is a novel RBPJkappa-induced target gene for Notch signaling in gliomas

Cancer Res 69:458-65

Tucker RP, Chiquet-Ehrismann R (2009) The regulation of tenascin expression by tissue microenvironments

Biochim Biophys Acta 1793:888-92

Tucker RP, Chiquet-Ehrismann R (2009) Evidence for the evolution of tenascin and fibronectin early in the chordate lineage

Int J Biochem Cell Biol 41:424-34

Degen M, Brellier F, Schenk S, Driscoll R, Zaman K, Stupp R, Tornillo L, Terracciano L, Chiquet-Ehrismann R, Rüegg C, Seelentag W (2008) Tenascin-W, a new marker of cancer stroma, is elevated in sera of colon and breast cancer patients

Int J Cancer 122:2454-61

Kenzelmann D, Chiquet-Ehrismann R, Leachman NT, Tucker RP (2008) Teneurin-1 is expressed in interconnected regions of the developing brain and is processed in vivo

BMC Dev Biol 25:30

Trzebiatowska A, Topf U, Sauder U, Drabikowski K, Chiquet-Ehrismann R (2008) Caenorhabditis elegans teneurin, ten-1, is required for gonadal and pharyngeal basement membrane integrity and acts redundantly with integrin ina-1 and dystroglycan dgn-1

Mol Biol Cell 19:3898-908

Degen M, Brellier F, Kain R, Ruiz C, Terracciano L, Orend G, Chiquet-Ehrismann R (2007) Tenascin-W is a novel marker for activated tumor stroma in low-grade human breast cancer and influences cell behavior

Cancer Res 67:9169-9179

Tucker RP, Kenzelmann D, Trzebiatowska A, Chiquet-Ehrismann R (2007) Teneurins: transmembrane proteins with fundamental roles in development

Int J Biochem Cell Biol 39:292-297

Tucker RP, Chiquet-Ehrismann R (2006) Teneurins: a conserved family of transmembrane proteins involved in intercellular signaling during development

Dev Biol 290:237-245

Drabikowski K, Trzebiatowska A, Chiquet-Ehrismann R (2005) ten-1, an essential gene for germ cell development, epidermal morphogenesis, gonad migration, and neuronal pathfinding in Caenorhabditis elegans

Dev Biol 282:27-38

Nunes-Radimerski S, Ferralli J, Choi KD, Minet A, Chiquet-Ehrismann R (2005) The intracellular domain of teneurin-1 interacts with MBD1 and CAP/ponsin resulting in subcellular co-distribution and translocation to the nuclear matrix

Exp Cell Res 305:122-132

Scherberich A, Tucker RP, Degen M, Brown-Luedi M, Andrès AC, Chiquet-Ehrismann R (2005) (2005) Tenascin-W is found in malignant mammary tumors, promotes alpha8 integrin-dependent motility and requires p38MAPK activity for BMP-2 and TNF-alpha induced expression in vitro

Oncogene 24:1525-1532

Ruiz C, Huang W, Hegi ME, Lange K, Hamou M-F, Fluri E, Oakeley EJ, Chiquet-Ehrismann R, Orend G (2004) Differential gene expression analysis reveals activation of Wnt and MAPK signaling and downregulation of tropomyosin-1 by tenascin-C

Cancer Res 64:7377-7385

Scherberich A, Tucker RP, Samandari E, Brown-Luedi M, Martin D, Chiquet-Ehrismann R (2004) Murine tenascin-W: A novel mammalian tenascin expressed in kidney and at sites of bone and smooth muscle development

J Cell Sci 117:571-581

Bagutti C, Forro G, Ferralli J, Rubin Lucht B, Chiquet-Ehrismann R (2003) The intracellular domain of teneurin-2 has a nuclear function and represses zic-1 mediated transcription

J Cell Sci 116:2957-2966

Chiquet-Ehrismann R, Chiquet M (2003) Tenascins: regulation and putative functions during pathological stress

J Pathol 200:488-499

PhD students

Rahel Schnellmann (2013-2018)
Anina Von Planta (2014-2015)
Francesca Chiovaro (2010-2015)
Irem Guerbuez (2010-2015)
Jonas Schoeler (2009-2015)
Matthias Scharenberg (2009-2013)
Enrico Martina (2008-2012)
Jan Beckmann (2008-2012)
Ulrike Topf (2007-2011)
Roman Lutz (2006-2010)
Michaela Brosig (2005-2009)
Daniela Kenzelmann Broz (2005-2008)
Agnieszka Trzebiatowska (2003-2008)
Martin Degen (2002-2007)
Ana Hrus (2002-2007)
Samantha Nunes Radimerski (2000-2005)
Silvia Isler (2002-2004)
Wentao Huang (1997-2002)
Maria-Luz Pereira (2001-2002)
Krzysztof Drabikowski (1997-2002)
Ariane Denise Minet (1995-2000)
Doris Fischer (1993-1997)
Carmen Hagios (1991-1997)
Susanne Schenk (1990-1997)
Urs Hofer (1989-1993)
Michael Tannheimer (1989-1992)
Juerg Spring (1987-1991)

Postdoctoral fellows

Siham Mebarki (2015-2017)
Ismail Hendaoui (2011-2016)
Maria Asparuhova (2008-2016)
Martin Degen (2015-2016)
Irem Guerbuez (2015)
Jayanthi Ganesan (2012-2013)
Ulrike Topf (2011)
Florence Brellier (2005-2011)
Laurent Gelman (2006-2008)
Silke Maier (2006-2008)
Martin Degen (2007-2008)
Stefano Canevascini (2002-2005)
Krzysztof Drabikowski (2002-2004)
Arnaud Scherberich (2000-2004)
Claudia Bagutti (1997-2002)
Gertraud Orend (1997-2002)
Richard Tucker (2002)
Beatrix Rubin Lucht (1996-2001)
John Michael Daly (1994-1998)
Stephan Baumgartner (1989-1997)
Ken-Ichi Matsumoto (1992-1994)
Yoichiro Matsuoka (1988-1990)
Eleanor Mackie (1985-1987)

Technical/Research associates

Jacqueline Ferralli (2001-2016)
Luca Campo (2015)
Irfan Oezkan (2013-2014)
Dominik Zingg (2011-2013)
Marianne Brown-Luedi (1995-2009)
Doris Martin (1990-2001)
Sabine Altrogge (1995-1996)
Claudia Guttinger (1987-1990)
Carolyn Pearson(Adams-) (1985-1987)


Luca Campo (2014-2015)
Anina Von Planta (2014)
Rahel Schnellmann (2013)
Stefanie Flueckiger (2011)
Sabrina Ruggiero (2009)
Gudrun Gygli (2009)
Stefan Biedert (2006-2007)
Enrico Martina (2006)
Thomas Walpen (2004-2005)
Gordon Lau (2004-2005)
Karen Choi (2002-2003)
Christian Ruiz (2001-2002)
Elika Samandari (2002)
Gaby Forro (2000-2001)
Sorin Schneiter (1998-1999)
Wadim Kapulkin (1997-1998)
Gisela Nardão Tapias (1995-1996)
Adrian Brunner (1988-1990)
Nevenka Vrucinic-Filipi (1988-1990)
Susanne Schenk (1987-1988)
Peter Kalla (1986-1987)
Michael G. Laeuger (1986)

Visiting scientists

Richard Tucker (2014)
Richard Tucker (2012)
Matthias Chiquet (2008-2010)
Richard Tucker (2010)
Richard Tucker (2008)
Matthias Chiquet (2006-2008)
Krzysztof Drabikowski (2007)
Richard Tucker (2006)
Richard Tucker (2004)


PhD, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich
BSc, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich

Positions held

Senior Group Leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel
Junior Group Leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel
Postdoctoral Fellow, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. Md., USA


Chair, Swiss Society for Connective Tissue Research
Council Member, International Society of Matrix Biology
Chair, BIO Panel of the Academy of Finland (Research Council for Biosciences and Environment)
Privatdozent, University of Basel, Basel
Member, Board of Schweizerische Stiftung für medizinisch-biologische Stipendien
Co-chair, Swiss Society for Connective Tissue Research
Travel Grant, British/Swiss Joint Research Programme, British Council and Swiss National Research Foundation
Privatdozent, ETH, Zurich
Member, Board of the Cancer League, Basel
Huggenberger-Bischoff Prize for Cancer Research
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Muscular Dystrophy Association