Department für Anatomie, Histologie und Embryologie

Michael HessCellular Electron Microscopy

Our cell biological research concentrates on ultrastructural aspects of membrane trafficking in the context of intracellular signalling, degradation pathways and cellular polarity. Cryo-based (immuno-) electron microscopy and electron tomography are used for studying mammalian cell cultures, human and biopsy material and various eukaryotic model organisms such as mice, yeast, flatworms and Hydra. In addition, we perform methodological research on various organisms from all kingdoms aiming at the improvement and development of specimen and labelling procedures as well as of mammalian cell culture systems.

Selected references

Endosomal signaling and degradation pathways:

Schiefermeier, N., J.M. Scheffler, M.E.G. de Araujo, T. Stasyk, T. Yordaov, H.L. Ebner, M. Offterdinger, S. Munck, M.W. Hess, S.A. Wickström, A. Lange, W. Wunderlich, R. Fässler, D. Teis, and L.A. Huber. 2014 .The late endosomal p14/MP1 (Lamtor2/3) complex regulates focal adhesion dynamics during cell migration. J Cell Biol. in press

Adell, M.A., G.F. Vogel, M. Pakdel, M. Muller, H. Lindner, M.W. Hess, and D. Teis. 2014. Coordinated binding of Vps4 to ESCRT-III drives membrane neck constriction during MVB vesicle formation. J Cell Biol. 205:33-49.

Taub, N., D. Teis, H.L. Ebner, M.W.. 2012. The late endosomal adaptor p14 is a macrophage host-defense factor against Salmonella infection. J Cell Sci. 125:2698-708.

Taub, N., D. Teis, H.L. Ebner, M.W. Hess, and L.A. Huber. 2007. Late endosomal traffic of the epidermal growth factor receptor ensures spatial and temporal fidelity of mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling. Mol Biol Cell. 18:4698-710.

Teis, D., N. Taub, R. Kurzbauer, D. Hilber, M.E. de Araujo, M. Erlacher, M. Offterdinger, A. Villunger, S. Geley, G. Bohn, C. Klein, M.W. Hess, and L.A. Huber. 2006. p14-MP1-MEK1 signaling regulates endosomal traffic and cellular proliferation during tissue homeostasis. J Cell Biol. 175:861-8.

Cellular polarity:

Wiegerinck, C.L., A.R. Janecke, K. Schneeberger, G.F. Vogel, D.Y. van Haaften-Visser, J.C. Escher, R. Adam, C.E. Thoni, K. Pfaller, A.J. Jordan, C.A. Weis, I.J. Nijman, G.R. Monroe, P.M. van Hasselt, E. Cutz, J. Klumperman, H. Clevers, E.E. Nieuwenhuis, R.H. Houwen, G. van Haaften, M.W. Hess, L.A. Huber, J.M. Stapelbroek, T. Müller, and S. Middendorp. 2014. Loss of Syntaxin 3 Causes Variant Microvillus Inclusion Disease. Gastroenterology. in press

Ruemmele, F.M., T. Müller, N. Schiefermeier, H.L. Ebner, S. Lechner, K. Pfaller, C.E. Thoni, O. Goulet, F. Lacaille, J. Schmitz, V. Colomb, F. Sauvat, Y. Revillon, D. Canioni, N. Brousse, G. de Saint-Basile, J. Lefebvre, P. Heinz-Erian, A. Enninger, G. Utermann, M.W. Hess, A.R. Janecke, and L.A. Huber. 2010. Loss-of-function of MYO5B is the main cause of microvillus inclusion disease: 15 novel mutations and a CaCo-2 RNAi cell model. Hum Mutat. 31:544-51.

Muller, T., M.W. Hess, N. Schiefermeier, K. Pfaller, H.L. Ebner, P. Heinz-Erian, H. Ponstingl, J. Partsch, B. Rollinghoff, H. Kohler, T. Berger, H. Lenhartz, B. Schlenck, R.J. Houwen, C.J. Taylor, H. Zoller, S. Lechner, O. Goulet, G. Utermann, F.M. Ruemmele, L.A. Huber, and A.R. Janecke. 2008. MYO5B mutations cause microvillus inclusion disease and disrupt epithelial cell polarity. Nat Genet. 40:1163-5.


Schmiedinger, T., G.F. Vogel, O. Eiter, K. Pfaller, W.A. Kaufmann, A. Flörl, K. Gutleben, S. Schönherr, B. Witting, T.W. Lechleitner, H.L. Ebner, T. Seppi, and M.W. Hess. 2013. Cryo-immunoelectron microscopy of adherent cells improved by the use of electrospun cell culture substrates. Traffic. 14:886-94.

Hess, M.W., K. Pfaller, H.L. Ebner, B. Beer, D. Hekl, and T. Seppi. 2010. 3D versus 2D cell culture implications for electron microscopy. Methods Cell Biol. 96:649-70.


For further publications, see



Michael W. Hess, PhD
Associate Professor of Cell Biology
telephone: +43 (0)512 9003 71176

Georg F. Vogel, MD
University Assistant
telephone:+ 43 (0)512 9003 71181

Karin Gutleben
Research Technician
telephone: +43 (0)512 9003 71177

Barbara Witting, BMA
Research Technician
telephone: +43 (0)512 9003 71177

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