Beyond the exome

DFG funded Research Group

People of Beyond the exome

Prof. Dr. med. Kai Schmidt-Ott

Testbeschreibung Medizinische Klinik m. S. Nephrologie
und Internistische Intensivmedizin
Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Augustenburger Platz 1
D-13353 Berlin, Germany

Phone: +49 (0)30 94062512
FAX: +49 (0)30 94062536
Email: kai.schmidt-ott@charite.de
Homepage:



Kai Schmidt-Ott, MD, is a tenured Professor of Nephrology at Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin. He is a member of the CRC “Nephroprotection” at the Charité and a Principal Investigator at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in Berlin. His clinical work is based at the Department of Nephrology and Intensive Care at the Charité Campus Benjamin Franklin. He received his doctorate at the Free University of Berlin in 2002 and performed postdoctoral studies at the Department of Nephrology at Columbia University in New York (2003-2007). From 2007-2013 he led an independent junior research group funded by the Emmy Noether Program of the German Research Foundation. From 2014-2019 he received an endowed professorship of the Urological Research Foundation. He received several awards for his research, including the Ernst Reuter Award of the Free University for the best doctoral thesis (2002) and the Werner Jackstädt Research Award of the German Society of Nephrology (2017). His research interest is focused on the molecular basis of kidney development and disease. One major research focus is the molecular and developmental function of transcription factors of the CP2 family, in particular the Grainyhead-like 2 transcription factor. Kai Schmidt-Ott’s group has demonstrated an involvement of this transcription factor in key developmental processes, including kidney tubular epithelial differentiation, placenta formation, and neural tube closure. In the adult kidney, the Grainyhead-like 2 transcription factor controls epithelial barrier characteristics of the renal collecting duct and participates in renal osmoregulation. Kai Schmidt-Ott studies the structural and molecular basis of Grainyhead transcription factor transactivation of target genes in collaboration with Udo Heinemann (MDC). Specifically, they are focusing on the biophysical determinants of Grainyhead-DNA binding affinity. Their molecular data serve as an input to computational approaches developed by the bioinformatician Dominik Seelow to predict the implications of non-coding DNA variants on transcription factor binding affinity.

Publications (selection)

Hinze C*, Ruffert J*, Walentin K*, Himmerkus N, Nikpey E, Tenstad O, Wiig H, Mutig K, Yurtdas ZY, Klein JD, Sands JM, Branchi F, Schumann M, Bachmann S, Bleich M, Schmidt-Ott KM. GRHL2 is required for collecting duct epithelial barrier function and renal osmoregulation. J Am Soc Nephrol 2018;29:857-868. | * contributed equally

Ming Q, Roske Y, Schuetz A, Walentin K, Ibraimi I, Schmidt-Ott KM, Heinemann U. Structural basis of gene regulation by the Grainyhead/CP2 transcription factor family. Nucleic Acids Research 2018;46:2082-2095.

Aue A, Hinze C, Walentin K, Ruffert J, Yurtdas ZY, Werth M, Chen W, Rabien A, Kilic E, Schulzke JD, Schumann M, Schmidt-Ott KM. A grainyhead-like 2/ovo-like 2 pathway regulates renal epithelial barrier function and lumen expan-sion. J Am Soc Nephrol 2015;26:2704-15.

Walentin K, Hinze C, Werth M, Haase N, Varma S, Morell R, Aue A, Pötschke E, Warburton D, Qiu A, Barasch J, Purfürst B, Dieterich C, Popova E, Bader M, Dechend R, Staff AC, Yurtdas ZY, Kilic E, Schmidt-Ott KM. A Grhl2-dependent gene network controls trophoblast branching morphogenesis. Development 2015;142:1125-36.

Werth M, Walentin K, Aue A, Schonheit J, Wuebken A, Pode-Shakked N, Vilianovitch L, Erdmann B, Dekel B, Bader M, Barasch J, Rosenbauser F, Luft FC, Schmidt-Ott KM. The transcription factor grainyhead-like 2 (Grhl2) regulates the molecular composition of the epithelial apical junctional complex. Development 2010;137:3835-45.