Rayk Behrendt
Prof. Dr. Rayk Behrendt
  • Institut für klinische Chemie und klinische Pharmakologie, Universitätsklinikum Bonn
Research topics
  • innate immunity
  • inflammation
  • genome stability
  • retroelements
Over the last 20 years innate immune recognition of nucleic acids has been established as a central mechanism driving inflammation of sterile and of infectious etiologies. We investigate under which conditions endogenous nucleic acids can activate nucleic acid sensors of the innate immune system. Specifically, we identified molecular mechanisms that underly human conditions that are driven by aberrant signalling through the cGAS/STING DNA sensing pathway and we developed specific therapies targeting STING. In the future, we will investigate how immune recognition of endogenous viral sequences, which occupy around 40% of mammalian genomes, regulate immune responses in health and in disease.
Selected publications

Tina Schumann, Santiago Costas Ramon, Nadja Schubert, Mohamad Aref Mayo, Melanie Hega,  Katharina Isabell Maser, Servi-Remzi Ada, Lukas Sydow, Mona Hajikazemi, Markus Badstübner, Patrick Müller, Yan Ge, Farhad Shakeri, Andreas Buness, Benjamin Rupf, Stefan Lienenklaus, Barbara Utess, Lina Muhandes, Michael Haase, Luise Rupp, Marc Schmitz, Thomas Gramberg, Nicolas Manel, Gunther Hartmann, Thomas Zillinger, Hiroki Kato, Stefan Bauer, Alexander Gerbaulet, Katrin Paeschke, Axel Roers, and Rayk Behrendt
Deficiency for SAMHD1 activates MDA5 in a cGAS/STING-dependent manner 
J Exp Med, 2022 in press

Haag SM, Gulen MF, Reymond L, Gibelin A, Abrami L, Decout A, Heymann M, van der Goot FG, Turcatti G, Behrendt R, Ablasser A. 
Targeting STING with covalent small-molecule inhibitors.
Nature. 2018 Jul;559(7713):269-273. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0287-8. Epub 2018 Jul 4.
PMID: 29973723

Peschke K, Achleitner M, Frenzel K, Gerbaulet A, Ada SR, Zeller N, Lienenklaus S, Lesche M, Poulet C, Naumann R, Dahl A, Ravens U, Günther C, Müller W, Knobeloch KP, Prinz M, Roers A, Behrendt R. 
Loss of Trex1 in Dendritic Cells Is Sufficient To Trigger Systemic Autoimmunity.
J Immunol. 2016 Sep 15;197(6):2157-66. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1600722. Epub 2016 Aug 10.
PMID: 27511730 Free article.

Hiller B, Achleitner M, Glage S, Naumann R, Behrendt R*, Roers A*. 
Mammalian RNase H2 removes ribonucleotides from DNA to maintain genome integrity.
J Exp Med. 2012 Jul 30;209(8):1419-26. doi: 10.1084/jem.20120876. Epub 2012 Jul 16.

Rayk Behrendt
Prof. Dr. Rayk Behrendt
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