Dr David Weinkove
C. elegans research lab
We conduct experiments on the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. This system provides controlled conditions and large numbers of animals to understand basic biological processes using genetics, biochemistry and microscopy.
Bacteria and Ageing
Animals have co-evolved with microbes, so understanding these interactions is vital to understanding animal biology.
In the lab, C. elegans is cultured with the live bacteria Escherichia coli as a food source. We study both E. coli and C. elegans to understand this animal: microbe interaction.
Inhibiting folate synthesis in E. coli slows ageing in C. elegans without slowing the growth of the bacteria or the worm. E. coli synthesises more folate than it needs for growth and we think that this excess folate causes the bacteria to be detrimental to the animal.
We are testing this hypothesis and exploring its relevance to mammals and their gut microbiota.
Making recombinant proteins
In another project, we are using C. elegans to make proteins from parasitic nematodes that could be used to treat diseases of the immune system such as asthma or rheumatoid arthritis. The intention is to use C. elegans for bioprocessing and reduce the use of lab rodents. See video
Current lab members (in order of appearance)
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, Jie Jia, Razan Bakheet, Daniel Weintraub, Bhupinder Virk, Lucy Lancaster
- Animal Cells and Systems
- Durham Centre for Bioimaging Technology
- C. elegans
- E. coli
- Host:microbe interactions
- Microbial folates
- Virk, B., Jia, J., Maynard, C.A., Raimundo, A., Lefebvre, J., Richards, S.A., Chetina, N., Liang, Y., Helliwell, N., Cipinska, M. & Weinkove, D. (2016). Folate acts in E. coli to accelerate C. elegans aging independently of bacterial biosynthesis. Cell Reports 14(7): 1611-1620.
- Zhang, C, Yin, A, Li, H, Wang, R, Wu, G, Shen, J, Zhang, M, Wang, L, Hou, Y, Ouyang, H, Zhang, Y, Zheng, Y, Wang, J, Lv, X, Wang, Y, Zhang, F, Zeng, B, Li, W, Yan, F, Zhao, Y, Pang, X, Zhang, X, Fu, H, Chen, F, Zhao, N, Hamaker, BR, Bridgewater, LC, Weinkove, D, Clement, K, Dore, J, Holmes, E, Xiao, H, Zhao, G, Yang, S, Bork, P, Nicholson, JK, Wei, H, Tang, H, Zhang, X & Zhao, L (2015). Dietary Modulation of Gut Microbiota Contributes to Alleviation of Both Genetic and Simple Obesity in Children. EBioMedicine 2(8): 968.
- Weinkove, D. (2013). From aging worms to the influence of the microbiota: an interview with David Weinkove. BMC Biology 11: 94.
- Cabreiro, F., Au, C., Leung, K.-Y., Vergara-Irigaray, N., Cochemé, 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, J.R., 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: 1.
- 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.
- Weinkove, D (2015). Model Super-organisms: Can the biochemical genetics of E. coli help us understand aging?. The Biochemist 37(4).