Professor Roger Keynes

University Position


Growth cone repulsion is an important mechanism controlling axon growth. During development it guides axons by excluding them from repulsive regions of the embryo. Following injury to the adult brain it may also block axon regeneration, with major clinical consequences. Our laboratory is investigating two axon-repulsive systems. We are characterizing somite glycoproteins that repel axons, creating the segmented pattern of spinal nerves during development. We have also purified a repulsive protein in the grey matter of the adult brain that may contribute to CNS regenerative failure. Besides elucidating the biology of these molecules and their receptors, an important clinical aim is to interfere with their inhibitory action, including the use of engineered bacterial chondroitinase, to see whether improved functional regeneration can be achieved using models of brain and spinal cord injury.

Key Publications

Neurodegenerative Diseases and Autophagy

E-pub date: 1 Jan 2018
Authors: A Fleming, M Vicinanza, M Renna, C Puri, T Ricketts, J Füllgrabe, A Lopez, SM de Jager, A Ashkenazi, M Pavel, F Licitra, A Caricasole, SP Andrews, J Skidmore, DC Rubinsztein


A152T tau allele causes neurodegeneration that can be ameliorated in a zebrafish model by autophagy induction.

Journal: Brain
E-pub date: 1 Apr 2017
Authors: A Lopez, SE Lee, K Wojta, EM Ramos, E Klein, J Chen, AL Boxer, ML Gorno-Tempini, DH Geschwind, L Schlotawa, NV Ogryzko, EH Bigio, E Rogalski, S Weintraub, MM Mesulam, Tauopathy Genetics Consortium, A Fleming, G Coppola, BL Miller, DC Rubinsztein

Autophagy regulates Notch degradation and modulates stem cell development and neurogenesis.

Journal: Nat Commun
E-pub date: 3 Feb 2016
Authors: X Wu, A Fleming, T Ricketts, M Pavel, H Virgin, FM Menzies, DC Rubinsztein

Complex inhibitory effects of nitric oxide on autophagy.

Journal: Mol Cell
E-pub date: 8 Jul 2011
Authors: S Sarkar, VI Korolchuk, M Renna, S Imarisio, A Fleming, A Williams, M Garcia-Arencibia, C Rose, S Luo, BR Underwood, G Kroemer, CJ O'Kane, DC Rubinsztein

Antioxidants can inhibit basal autophagy and enhance neurodegeneration in models of polyglutamine disease.

Journal: Hum Mol Genet
E-pub date: 1 Sep 2010
Authors: BR Underwood, S Imarisio, A Fleming, C Rose, G Krishna, P Heard, M Quick, VI Korolchuk, M Renna, S Sarkar, M García-Arencibia, CJ O'Kane, MP Murphy, DC Rubinsztein