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Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology
Institute of Botany and Microbiology
Welcome to the website of the Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology (K.U.Leuven).

The Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology is part of the Department of Biology (section Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology) and the Faculty of Science and is located in the Institute of Botany and Microbiology.

Our laboratory is also a department, the Department of Molecular Microbiology, in the VIB, Flanders Institute for Biotechnology.

VIB is a non-profit scientific research institute.  Using advanced gene technology, VIB studies the functioning of the human body, plants and microorganisms.

The main topic of the fundamental research in our laboratory are the nutrient-sensing mechanisms involved in control of the cAMP - protein kinase A and other major nutrient signaling pathways in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).

Using the power of yeast genetics and molecular biology, we are unravelling the nature of the nutrient sensors for sugars, amino acids, ammonium, phosphate, sulfate and other essential nutrients, the signaling pathways leading from these sensors to activation of protein kinase A and other related regulators, as well as the downstream events linking protein kinase A as well as connected regulatory systems to important cellular targets: e.g. storage carbohydrate metabolism (trehalose, glycogen), stress tolerance (trehalose, Hsp expression), growth and cell cycle control (ribosomal gene expression, protein synthesis), fermentation rate.
Applied research and industrial valorisation is focussed on several biotechnological applications with yeast:
  1. development of superior industrial yeast strains (bioethanol production with first and second generation substrates, brewing, wine production, baking),
  2. identification of antifungal targets in the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans,
  3. yeast trehalose metabolism as model and tool for investigation of plant trehalose metabolism and for improvement of stress resistance in crop plants,
  4. use of yeast as a tool for studying mammalian proteins with medical interest (cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, peripheral neuropathies).
Latest Publication
Peeters E., Hooyberghs G., Robijns S., Waldrant K., De Weerdt A., Delattin N., Liebens V., Kucharíková S., Tournu H., Verstraeten N., Dovgan B., Girandon L., Fröhlich M., De Brucker K., Van Dijck P., Michiels J., Cammue B.P., Thevissen K., Vanderleyden J., Van der Eycken E. and Steenackers H.P.

Modulation of the substitution pattern of 5-aryl-2-aminoimidazoles allows fine-tuning of their anti-biofilm activity spectrum and toxicity.

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy [In Press]




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