Carsten Schmitz
Assistant Professor

Special Interests

Research Interests

The Role of Magnesium in B-lymphocytes. As opposed to Ca2+, the role of change in intracellular Mg2+-concentrations, [[]Mg2+]i, in lymphocyte activation remains unclear. Yet Mg2+ is the most abundant intracellular cation, and an essential cofactor for many cellular enzymes, as well as a critical regulator of cell growth and differentiation. A main difficulty in studying the relevance of [[]Mg2+]i in B-cell activation has been the very poor understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying Mg2+-homeostasis regulation in vertebrates. The Mg2+-permeable ion channel TRPM7, a member of the newly discovered TRPM-subfamily of cation channels, plays an essential role in Mg2+-homeostasis in DT40 B-lymphocytes in such that TRPM7 deficient DT40 B-cells become Mg2+-deficient, experience growth arrest within 24 hr and eventually die. Both, viability and proliferation of TRPM7 deficient DT40 B-cells are rescued by supplementation of Mg2+ to the growth media.For a better understanding of Mg2+-physiology and of Mg2+-dependent signaling events in immune cells, the focus of my research is to investigate the role of TRPM7 and the newly discovered mitochondrial Mg2+-transporter Mrs2 in B-lymphocytes after receptor stimulation, and to analyze their involvement in Mg2+-homeostasis as well as Mg2+-dependent signaling events including PLCg activation.


Bonn, Marburg and Wuerzburg, MD
University of Mainz, Germany, Dermatology
Division of Immunology, University of Washington, Seattle, Postdoctoral Fellow Pediatrics
Beth Israel Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Postdoctoral Fellow Pathology


Perraud AL, Knowles HM, Schmitz C.: Novel aspects of signaling and ion-homeostasis regulation in immunocytes. The TRPM ion channels and their potential role in modulating the immune response. Mol Immunol.; 41(6-7):657-73, 2004.

Ryuichi Takezawa, Carsten Schmitz, Philippe Demeuse, Andrew M. Scharenberg, Reinhold Penner and Andrea Fleig: Receptor-mediated regulation of TRPM7 channel through its endogenous protein kinase domain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 101(16): 6009-14, 2004.

Carsten Schmitz, Anne-Laure Perraud, Andrea Fleig and Andrew M. Scharenberg: Dual function ion channel/protein kinases: novel components of vertebrate Mg2+ regulatory mechanisms. Pediatric Research, 55: 734-737, 2004.

Anne-Laure Perraud, Carsten Schmitz and Andrew M. Scharenberg: TRPM2 Ca2+ permeable cation channels: from gene to biological function. Cell Calcium 33, 519-531, 2003.

Carsten Schmitz, Anne-Laure Perraud, Kazunori Inabe, Catherine O. Johnson, Megan K. Smith, Reinhold Penner, Tomohiro Kurosaki, Andrea Fleig, and Andrew M. Scharenberg: Regulation of vertebrate cellular Mg2+ -homeostasis by TRPM7. Cell (114), 191-200, 2003.

Academic Affiliations

Assistant Professor - Immunology Department, University of Colorado Denver

Contact Information

  • Office: 303.270.2072
  • Fax: 303.270.2325
  • Email:



  • National Jewish Health Main Campus
    1400 Jackson St.
    Denver, CO 80206

Patient Ratings

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to care provider related questions on our independent rating system, the Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Learn more about our patient satisfaction survey.


Comments are collected in our Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Surveys. Patients are de-identified to protect confidentiality and patient privacy. Learn more about our patient satisfaction survey.