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Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon's biography and research focus.

Mr Mark Harmon

PhD Student - Skehel Group

  • Hugh Robson Building
  • 15 George Square
  • Edinburgh EH8 9XD

Contact details

Research

My research focuses on the role of inter-organelle contacts in neurodegeneration with a specific interest in ER-mitochondria interactions. Disruptions to organelle contact points have been observed in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).   Using split fluorescent reporter proteins targeted to the ER and mitochondria respectively, we can visualise and detect these contact sites in living cells to try and elucidate the functional consequences of any alterations to these sites which may be involved in neuronal cell death. In particular, we are interested in the role of VAPB in tethering the ER and mitochondria together and its link to ALS type 8.    

Split fluorescent venus reporter fragments were fused to an ER targeting domain (V1-ER) or an outer mitochondrial membrane targeting domain (V2-Mito) respectively. Co-expression of V1-ER and V2-mito reporter plasmids in NSC34 cells yields discrete fluorescent puncta (green) at close contact sites between the ER (as labelled by anti-ERp72 in blue) and the mitochondria (as labelled by anti-ATPB in red). Panel I indicates higher magnification of boxed region from merged image and panel II illustrates the same image, processed and rendered in 3D by Imaris image analysis software. Scale bar 10m in merged image, 0.4m in panels I and II.
Split fluorescent venus reporter fragments were fused to an ER targeting domain (V1-ER) or an outer mitochondrial membrane targeting domain (V2-Mito) respectively. Co-expression of V1-ER and V2-mito reporter plasmids in NSC34 cells yields discrete fluorescent puncta (green) at close contact sites between the ER (as labelled by anti-ERp72 in blue) and the mitochondria (as labelled by anti-ATPB in red). Panel I indicates higher magnification of boxed region from merged image and panel II illustrates the same image, processed and rendered in 3D by Imaris image analysis software. Scale bar 10m in merged image, 0.4m in panels I and II.

Relevant Publications

 

Harmon M, Larkman P, Hardingham G, Jackson M, Skehel P. A Bi-fluorescence complementation system to detect associations between the Endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria. Sci Rep. 2017;7(1):17467.