Dr David Weinkove
C. elegans research lab
We address major biological and biomedical problems using the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model . The strengths of the system are that conditions can be tightly controlled and the animal is very well characterised through a concerted effort of labs around the world. Further, the short lifecycle and lifespan means that experiments can be conducted very quickly. We combine the techniques of genetics, biochemistry and microscopy to understand basic biological processes in our animal model, such as ageing and nutrition. Where possible we try to use the strengths of research in physics, chemistry and mathematics to increase our ability to understand animal biology.
Animals have co-evolved with microbes, so understanding this interaction is vital to understanding animal biology. In the lab, C. elegans is cultured with the live microbe Escherichia coli as a food source, allowing us to use C. elegans as model to understand the animal: microbe interaction. We have found that perturbing folate synthesis in E. coli increases C. elegans lifespan without slowing the growth of the bacteria or the worm. Our current hypothesis is that E. coli and other microbes synthesis more folate than they need for growth and this excess folate causes the bacteria to be detrimental to the animal. We are testing this hypothesis and exploring its relevance to mammals. Our experimental system allows us to address these questions by manipulating the growth media, E. coli and C. elegans. See interview in BMC Biology
In another project, we are using C. elegans to make proteins from parasitic nematodes that are of potential therapeutic value. The intention is to develop C. elegans as a bioprocessing platform and reduce the use of lab rodents to grow parasitic nematodes to make protein. See press release
How to pronounce Weinkove (courtesy of cousin Ben).
Current lab members (in order of appearance)
David Weinkove (follow on Twitter: @dweinkove)
Past lab members (other than 3rd year undergraduate project students)
Andrea Bender, Marjanne Bourgois, James Pauw, Nikolin Oberleitner, Gonçalo Correia, Natasha Chetina, Inna Feyst, Harry Blandy, Marta Cipinska, David Bradley, Shona Lee, Noel Helliwell
- C. elegans
- E. coli
- Host:microbe interactions
- Metabolomic and metabolic modelling approaches
- Microbial folates
- Microbial metabolism in nutrition
- Phosphoinositide signalling
Journal papers: academic
- Weinkove, D (2013). From aging worms to the influence of the microbiota: an interview with David Weinkove. BMC Biology 11(1): 94.
- Cabreiro, F., Au, C., Leung, K.-Y. Vergara-Irigaray, N., Cocheme, H.M., Noori, T., Weinkove, D., Schuster, E., Greene, N.D.E. & Gems, D. (2013). Metformin retards aging in C. elegans by altering microbial folate and methionine metabolism. Cell 153(1): 228-239.
- Virk, B, Correia, G, Dixon, DP, Feyst, I, Jia, J, Oberleitner, N, Briggs, Z, Hodge, E, Edwards, R, Ward, J, Gems, D & Weinkove, D (2012). Excessive folate synthesis limits lifespan in the C. elegans: E. coli aging model. BMC Biology 10: 67.
- Panbianco, C, Weinkove, D, Zanin, E, Jones, D, Divecha, N, Gotta, M & Ahringer, J (2008). A casein kinase 1 and PAR proteins regulate asymmetry of a PIP2 synthesis enzyme for asymmetric spindle positioning. Developmental Cell 15(2): 198-208.
- Weinkove, D, Bastiani, M, Chessa, TAM, Joshi, D, Hauth, L, Cooke, FT, Divecha, N & Schuske, K (2008). Overexpression of PPK-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans Type I PIP kinase, inhibits growth cone collapse in the developing nervous system and causes axonal degeneration in adults. Developmental Biology 313(1): 384-397.
- Bass, TM, Weinkove, D, Houthoofd, K, Gems, D & Partridge, L (2007). Effects of resveratrol on lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. Mechanisms Of Ageing And Development 128(10): 546-552.
- Weinkove, D, Halstead, JR, Gems, D & Divecha, N (2006). Long-term starvation and ageing induce AGE-1/PI 3-kinase-dependent translocation of DAF-16/FOXO to the cytoplasm. BMC Biology 4: 13.
- Jansen, G, Weinkove, D & Plasterk, RHA (2002). The G-protein gamma subunit gpc-1 of the nematode C. elegans is involved in taste adaptation. EMBO Journal 21(5): 986-994.
- Weinkove, D & Leevers, SJ (2000). The genetic control of organ growth: insights from Drosophila. Current Opinion In Genetics & Development 10(1): 75-80.
- Weinkove, D, Neufeld, TP, Twardzik, T, Waterfield, MD & Leevers, SJ (1999). Regulation of imaginal disc cell size, cell number and organ site by Drosophila class I-A phosphoinositide 3-kinase and its adaptor. Current Biology 9(18): 1019-1029.
- Weinkove, D, Poyatos, JA, Greiner, H, Oltra, E, Avalos, J, Fukshansky, L, Barrero, AF & Cerda-Olmedo, E (1998). Mutants of Phycomyces with decreased gallic acid content. Fungal Genetics And Biology 25(3): 196-203.
- Weinkove, D, Leevers, SJ, MacDougall, LK & Waterfield, MD (1997). p60 is an adaptor for the Drosophila phosphoinositide 3-kinase, Dp110. Journal Of Biological Chemistry 272(23): 14606-14610.
- Leevers, SJ, Weinkove, D, MacDougall, LK, Hafen, E & Waterfield, MD (1996). The Drosophila phosphoinositide 3-kinase Dp110 promotes cell growth. EMBO Journal 15(23): 6584-6594.