Satu Kuure Team

Contact information

Satu Kuure, PhD
Research Team leader
Tel. +358 50 448 0936

Institute of Biotechnology
P.O.Box. 56
00014 University of Helsinki

Street address:
Viikinkaari 5D, Biocenter 2
00790 Helsinki

Member of Finnish Centre of Excellence in Molecular and Integrative Neuroscience Research


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Satu Kuure, Ph.D.

PhD 2007, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland
Postdoctoral fellow 2007-2010, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Fellow 2011-2014
Team leader since 2014
Head of GM-Unit, Laboratory Animal Centre

MEMBERS of the team
Anneliis Ihermann (M.Sc). Ph.D. student
Hao Li, (MSc, BMed) Ph.D. student
Kristen Kurtzeborn, (MSCc), Ph.D. student
Heidi Anttonen under grad. student

Former members
Jussi Kupari, Ph.D.
Anniina Pirttiniemi, MSc
Yujuan Gui, MSc

Research Interests
Congenital renal malformations are common birth defects affecting approximately 1% of the infants. Several of these malformations arise from the failure of ureteric bud (UB) to form, or branch normally. The overall goal of my research is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying kidney development, which is a complex process involving branching of the epithelial ureteric bud and induction of the functional units of the organ, the nephrons. GDNF signaling through the RET receptor tyrosine kinase is essential for UB outgrowth but the events that occur downstream of RET to promote ureter morphogenesis at the cellular level remain largely obscure. Branching and growth of the UB is critical determinant of the future size and shape of the kidney, but it also directly influences the number of nephrons that are formed. Signaling pathways involved in nephron induction have started to be elucidated during last couple of years, but how the inductive stimuli are converted into esenchyme–to–epithelium transformation remains an open question. With the help of an in vitro induction method developed during my PhD-studies and recently generated genetic mouse models we are studying the role of intracellular signaling pathways in nephron differentiation. As the rate of renal diseases progression together with the development of some forms of hypertension are associated with reduced nephron number, it is of clinical importance to reveal how UB morphogenesis and nephron induction are regulated in order to develop novel strategies for treatment of congenital malformations, hypertension and cardiovascular problems.

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Jane and Aatos Erkko foundation
Academy of Finland
University of Helsinki

Hasan, MM, DeFaveri, J., Kuure, S., Dash, S.N., Lehtonen, S. Merilä, J. McCairns, S.R.J. 2017. Kidney morphology and candidate gene expression shows plasticity in sticklebacks adapted to divergent osmotic environments. J Exp Biol Apr 3. pii: jeb.146027.

Runeberg-Roos, P., Piccini, E., Penttinen, A-M., Mätlik, K., Heikkinen, H., Kuure, S., Bespalow, M.M., Peränen, J., Rodriguez, E. G., Fuchs, E., Airavaara, M., Kalkkinen, N., Penn, R & Saarma, M. 2016. Developing therapeutically more efficient Neurturin variants for treatment of Parkinson's disease. Neurobiol Dis. 96:335-345.

Kumar, A., Kopra, J., Varendi, K., Porokuokka, L.L., Panhelainen, A., Kuure, S., Marshall, P., Nevalainen, N., Härma, M-A., Vilenius, C., Lilleväli, K., Tekko, T., Mijatovic, J., Pulkkinen, N., Jakobson, M., Jakobson, M., Ola, R., Palm, E., Lindahl, M., Strömberg, I., Võikar, V., Piepponen, P.T., Saarma, M., Andressoo, JO. 2015. GDNF overexpression from the native locus reveals its role in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system function. PLoS Genet. 17;11(12):e1005710.

Akagi, T., Kuure, S., Koide, H., Costantini, F & Yokota. 2015.  ETS-related Transcription Factors ETV4 and ETV5 are Involved in Proliferation and Induction of Differentiation-associated Genes in ES cells. J Biol Chem. 290:22460-73

Ihermann-Hella, A., Lume, M., Miinalainen, I., Pirttiniemi, A., Gui, Y., Peränen, J., Charron, J., Saarma, M., Costantini, F. & Kuure, S. 2014. Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway regulates branching by remodeling epithelial cell adhesion. Plos Genet.

Kuure, S. 2012. Analysis of migration in primary ureteric bud epithelial cells. Book chapter in Methods in molecular biology, Kidney Development: Methods and Protocols. vol. 886: 147-55. Ed. Jon Walker & Odysse Michos.

Kuure S, Cebrian C, Machingo Q, Lu BC, Chi X, Hyink D, D'Agati V, Gurniak C, Witke W, Costantini F. 2010. Actin depolymerizing factors cofilin1 and destrin are required for ureteric bud branching morphogenesis. PLoS Genet. 6:e1001176.

Kuure, S., Chi,. X., Lu, B., Costantini, F. 2010. The transcription factors Etv4 and Etv5 mediate formation of the ureteric bud tip domain during kidney development. Development. 137:1975-1979.

Lu, B., Cebrian, C., Chi, X., Kuure, S., Kuo, R., Bates, C.M., Arber, S., Hassell, J., MacNeil, L., Schmidt-Ott, K., Barasch, J., D’Agati, V., Costantini, F. 2009. The ETS transcription factors Pea3 and Erm are required downstream of GDNF and Ret for branching morphogenesis during kidney development. Nat Genet. 41:1295-302.

Nousiainen, H. O., Kestilä*, M., Pakkasjärvi*, N., Honkala, H., Kuure, S., Tallila, J., Vuopala, K., Ignatius, J., Herva, R., Peltonen, L. 2008. Mutations in mRNA export mediator GLE1L result in a fetal motoneuron disease. Nat Genet., 40:155-157.

Kuure, S., Popsueva, A, Jakobson, M., Sainio, K., Sariola H. 2007. GSK3 inactivation and stabilisation of b-catenin induce nephron differentiation in isolated mouse and rat kidney mesenchymes. J Am Soc Nephr. 18:1130-1139.