Simon Erlendsson

Simon Erlendsson

Assistant professor

  • Montoya Group

    Blegdamsvej 3B, 2200 København N., Bygning 4, Building: 04-1-21

    Phone: +45 35 33 71 50Mobile: +45 26 84 31 12


The research is centred on structural neurobiology with the overall aim of understanding molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal communication. In particularly, the research focuses on synaptic transmission in the brain i.e. how we learn and how memories are formed and maintained. Recent and ongoing work addresses the structure and function of domesticated endogenous retroviral elements and how these have evolved and influence neuronal communication. Many of these still form retroviral-like capsids when expressed in cells, and it has also been shown that these endogenous capsids are capable of protecting and transporting genetic and enzymatic material between cells in a retroviral-like manner. While these pathways are still poorly understood, endogenous retroviral element are important in many aspects of cellular function and may also provide a platform for targeted delivery of medicine. 


A wide range of cell biological methods combined with structural and biophysical techniques are used. In particular, cryo electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is used to study molecular complexes and capsids in detail. Combined with cryo electron tomography (cryo-ET) and subtomogram averaging even highly heterogenous complexes can be investigated in their native cellular environment. 

Selected publications

  1. Structures of virus-like capsids formed by the Drosophila neuronal Arc proteins

    Erlendsson, Simon, Morado, D. R., Cullen, H. B., Feschotte, C., Shepherd, J. D. & Briggs, J. A. G., 2020, In : Nature Neuroscience. 23, p. 172-175

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Published

    Mechanisms of PDZ domain scaffold assembly illuminated by use of supported cell membrane sheets

    Erlendsson, Simon, Thorsen, Thor Seneca, Vauquelin, G., Ammendrup-Johnsen, I., Wirth, V., Martinez, Karen Laurence, Teilum, Kaare, Gether, Ulrik & Madsen, Kenneth Lindegaard, 2019, In : eLife. 8, p. 1-27 e39180.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. Published

    The Capsid Domain of Arc Changes Its Oligomerization Propensity through Direct Interaction with the NMDA Receptor

    Nielsen, L. D., Pedersen, Christian Parsbæk, Erlendsson, Simon & Teilum, Kaare, 2019, In : Structure. 27, 7, p. 1071-1081, e1-e5

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  4. Published

    The Neuronal Gene Arc Encodes a Repurposed Retrotransposon Gag Protein that Mediates Intercellular RNA Transfer

    Pastuzyn, E. D., Day, C. E., Kearns, R. B., Kyrke-Smith, M., Taibi, A. V., McCormick, J., Yoder, N., Belnap, D. M., Erlendsson, Simon, Morado, D. R., Briggs, J. A. G., Feschotte, C. & Shepherd, J. D., 2018, In : Cell. 172, 1-2, p. 275-288, E18 33 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  5. The native structure of the assembled matrix protein 1 of influenza A virus

    Peukes, J., Xiong, X., Erlendsson, Simon, Qu, K., Wan, W., Calder, L., Schraidt, O., Kummer, S., M.V. Freund , S., Kräusslich, H. & A.G. Briggs, J., Sep 2020, In : Nature.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  6. Published

    Direct assessment of substrate binding to the Neurotransmitter:Sodium Symporter LeuT by solid state NMR

    Erlendsson, Simon, Gotfryd, Kamil, Larsen, F. H., Mortensen, J. S., Geiger, M., van Rossum, B., Oschkinat, H., Gether, Ulrik, Teilum, Kaare & Loland, Claus Juul, 2017, In : eLife. 6, 9 p., e19314.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

ID: 37722958