Martin Kruse

Associate Professor of Biology and Neuroscience



Bonney Science Center, Room 285


Bonney Science Center, Room 285



  • Diploma (equivalent to B.S. & M.S.), Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Hamburg (2004)
  •  Philosophiae Doctor, Chemistry, University of Hamburg (2009)
  •  Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, University of Washington (2010)

Courses Taught

  •  BI/NS 308 Neurobiology / Lab
  •  BIO 202 Cellular & Molecular Biology
  •  BIO 321 Cellular Biochemistry
  •  BIO 473 Seminar and Research in Cell Biology
  •  BIO 460 Junior Seminar
  •  BI/NS 305 Gene Editing in Biology and Neuroscience
  •  BIO 195 Lab-Based Biological Inquiry: Cellular Neuroscience
  •  FYS 497 Community Science of Brain Injury in Sports

Research Interests

Over the last decade phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2), a minor membrane phospholipid of the phosphoinositide family, has emerged as a key regulator of nerve cell activity. PI(4,5)P2 interaction with voltage-gated ion channels is essential for a large number of these channels. In addition, PI(4,5)P2 is critically involved in exo- and endocytosis, influencing neurotransmitter release and reuptake. A fundamental problem is how neurons accurately control PI(4,5)P2 levels, and quickly and reversibly adjust them to an altered physiological situation. However, despite the importance of phosphoinositides for the regulation of neuronal activity, little is known about how the metabolism of phosphoinositides is regulated in cells of the nervous system. To address this question, my research focuses on two major

  • Analysis of individual steps of phosphoinositide metabolism in a model system for hippocampal neurons by a combination of experimental and computational approaches. Development of mathematical models of phosphoinositide-dependent processes such as action potential firing of hippocampal neurons in response to simulated stimulation by neurotransmitters.
  • Analysis of second messenger signaling downstream of PI(4,5)P2 hydrolysis, specifically mediation of intracellular Ca2+-signaling by IP3 receptor-binding protein released with inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate.


1. Jensen J, Falkenburger BH, Dickson EJ, de la Cruz L, Dai G, Myeong J, Jung SR, Kruse M, Vivas O, Suh BC, and Hille B (2022). Biophysical physiology of phosphoinositide rapid dynamics and regulation in living cells. J Gen Physiol 154(6): e:202113074.

2. de la Cruz L, Kushmerick C, Sullivan JM, Kruse M*, and Vivas O* (2022). Hippocampal neurons maintain a large PtdIns(4)P pool that results in faster PtdIns(4,5)P2 synthesis. J Gen Physiol 154(3): e:202113001. * Oscar Vivas and Martin Kruse are shared senior authors of this publication.

3. Flenner F, Jungen C, Küpker N, Ibel A, Kruse M, Koivumäki JT, Rinas A, Zech ATL, Rhoden A, Wijnker PJM, Lemoine MD, Steenpass A, Girdauskas E, Eschenhagen T, Meyer C, van der Velden J, Patten-Hamel M, Christ T, and Carrier L (2021). Translational investigation of electrophysiology in hyperthrophic cardiomyopathy. J Mol Cell Cardiol 157: 77-89.

4. Kruse M, and Whitten RJ# (2021). Control of neuronal excitability by cell surface receptor density and phosphoinositide metabolism. Front Pharmacol 12: 663840. # Undergraduate student mentored by M. Kruse.

5. Chua GNL, Wassarman KL, Sun H, Alp JA, Jarczyk EI, Kuzio NJ, Bennett MJ, Malachowsky BG, Kruse M, and Kennedy AJ (2019). Cytosine-based TET enzyme inhibitors. ACS Med Chem Lett 10: 180-185.

6. Kruse M, Kohout SC, and Hille B (2019). Reinterpretation of the substrate specificity of the voltage- sensitive phosphatase during dimerization. J Gen Physiol 151: 258-263.

7. Walter AM, Mueller R, Tawfik B, Wierda KD, Pinheiro PS, Nadler A, McCarthy AW, Ziomkiewicz I, Kruse M, Reither G, Rettig J, Lehmann M, Haucke V, Hille B, Schultz C, and Sorensen JB (2017). Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate optical uncaging potentiates exocytosis. eLIFE e30203.

8. Traynor-Kaplan A, Kruse M, Dickson EJ, Dai G, Vivas O, Yu H, Whittington D, and Hille B (2017). Fatty- acyl chain profiles of cellular phosphoinositides. Biochim Biophys Acta – Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids 1862: 513-522.

9. Dai G, Yu H, Kruse M, Traynor-Kaplan A, and Hille B (2016). Osmoregulatory inositol transporter SMIT1 modulates electrical activity by adjusting PI(4,5)P2 levels. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113: E3290- 9.

10. Keum D*, Kruse M*, Kim DI, Hille B, and Suh BC (2016). Phosphoinositide 5- and 3- phosphatase activities of a voltage-sensing phosphatase in living cells show identical voltage dependence. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113: E3686-95. * These authors contributed equally to this work

11. Yu H, Benitez SG, Jung SR, Altamirano LE, Kruse M, Seo JB, Koh DS, Muñoz EM, and Hille B (2016). GABAergic signaling in the rat pineal gland. J Pineal Res 61: 69-81.

12. Dickson EJ, Jensen JB, Vivas O, Kruse M, Traynor-Kaplan A, and Hille B (2016). Rapid formation of ER-PM junctions recruits a lipid phosphatase and regulates phosphoinositide metabolism. JCB 213: 33-48.

13. Kruse M*, Vivas O*, Traynor-Kaplan A, and Hille B (2016). Dynamics of phosphoinositide-dependent signaling in sympathetic neurons. J Neurosci 36: 1386-400. * These authors contributed equally to this work. (Recommended in Faculty of 1000)

14. Hille B, Dickson EJ, Kruse M, Vivas O, Suh BC (2015). Phosphoinositides regulate ion channels. Biochim Biophys Acta 1851: 844-56.

15. Vivas O*, Kruse M*, Hille B (2014). Nerve growth factor sensitizes adult sympathetic neurons to the proinflammatory peptide bradykinin. J Neurosci 34: 11959-71. * These authors contributed equally to this work.

16. Kruse M, Pongs O (2014). TRPM4 channels in the cardiovascular system. Curr Opin Pharmacol 15: 68-73.

17. Hille B, Dickson E, Kruse M, Falkenburger B (2014). Dynamic metabolic control of an ion channel. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci 123: 219-47.

18. Kruse M, Hille B (2013). The phosphoinositide sensitivity of the KV channel family. Channels 7: 530- 6.

19. Schattling B, Steinbach K, Thies E, Kruse M, Menigoz A, Ufer F, Flockerzi V, Brück W, Pongs O, Vennekens R, Kneussel M, Freichel M, Merkler D, Friese MA (2012). TRPM4 cation channel mediates axonal and neuronal degeneration in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis. Nat Med 18: 1805-11. (Recommended in Faculty of 1000)

20. Mandal G, Sharma M, Kruse M, Sander-Juelch C, Munro LA, Wang Y, Vilg JV, Tamás MJ, Bhattacharjee H, Wiese M, Mukhopadhyay R (2012). Modulation of Leishmania major aquaglyceroporin activity by a mitogen-activated protein kinase. Mol Microbiol 85: 1204-18.

21. Kruse M, Hammond GR, Hille B (2012). Regulation of voltage-gated potassium channels by PI(4,5)P2. J Gen Physiol 140: 189-205.

22. Klaiber M*, Dankworth B*, Kruse M*, Hartmann M, Nikolaev VO, Yang RB, Völker K, Gassner B, Oberwinkler H, Feil R, Freichel M, Groschner K, Skryabin BV, Frantz S, Birnbaumer L, Pongs O, Kuhn M (2011). A cardiac pathway of cyclic GMP-independent signaling of guanylyl cyclase A, the receptor for atrial natriuretic peptide. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108: 18500-5. * These authors contributed equally to this work.

23. Sachse G, Kruse M, Pongs O (2011). Genetically Modified Mice: Useful Models to Study Cause and Effect of Cardiac Arrhythmias? Heart Rate and Rhythm, 473-84.

24. Klaiber M, Kruse M, Völker K, Schröter J, Feil R, Freichel M, Baba HA, Pongs O, Penninger JM, and Kuhn M (2010). Novel insights into the mechanisms mediating the local antihypertrophic effects of cardiac atrial natriuretic peptide: role of cGMP-dependent protein kinase and RGS2. Basic Res Cardiol 105: 583-95. (Recommended in Faculty of 1000)

25. Liu H*, El Zein L*, Kruse M*, Guinamard R, Beckmann A, Bozio A, Kurtbay G#, Mégarbané A, Ohmert I, Blaysat G, Vilain E, Pongs O, and Bouvagnet P (2009). Gain- of-function mutations in TRPM4 cause autosomal dominant isolated cardiac conduction disease. Circ Cardiovasc Genet 3: 374-85. * These authors contributed equally to this work. # Undergraduate student mentored by M. Kruse.

26. Kruse M*, Schulze-Bahr E*, Corfield V*, Beckmann A, Stallmeyer B, Kurtbay G#, Ohmert I, Schulze- Bahr El, Brink P, and Pongs O (2009). Impaired endocytosis of the ion channel TRPM4 is associated with human progressive familial heart block type I. JCI 119: 2737-44. * These authors contributed equally to this work. # Undergraduate student mentored by M. Kruse. (Recommended in Faculty of 1000)

27. Wang Q, Melzer IM, Kruse M, Sander-Juelch C, and Wiese M (2005). LmxMPK4, a mitogen- activated protein (MAP) kinase homologue essential for promastigotes and amastigotes of Leishmania mexicana. Kinetoplastid Biol Dis 4: 6.

28. Cross FR, Schroeder L, Kruse M, and Chen KC (2005). Quantitative characterization of a mitotic cyclin threshold regulating exit from mitosis. Mol Biol Cell 16: 2129-38.