The Functional Biology group focusses on two major research lines. In the first research line, the target is to understand the regulatory network that links the sensing of different nutrients to the control of gene expression, metabolism, stress resistance and growth in yeast. Special focus is directed to the mechanisms allowing to integrate information from different signaling pathways in order to produce an appropriate response to the prevailing nutrient status. The second line of research originated from the finding that yeast nutrient-sensitive signaling cascades are at the origin of the more sophisticated pathways found in higher eukaryotes. This led us to develop humanized yeast models to study fundamental aspects associated with human diseases, where our current focus is on neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as on cancer. These humanized yeast models have proven to be valuable tools for the identification of molecular pathways and processes contributing to these disorders and to document the cellular responses involved. Moreover, these models have shown to be ideal systems for compound and chemogenetic screenings allowing to identify potential drugs and perform mode-of-action studies.
- Rosseels J., Van den Brande J., Violet M., Jacobs D., Grognet P., Lopez J., Huvent I., Caldara M., Swinnen E., Papegaey A., Caillierez R., Buée-Scherrer V., Engelborghs S., Lippens G., Colin M., Buée L., Galas M., Vanmechelen E., Winderickx J. 2015. Tau Monoclonal Antibody Generation based on Humanized Yeast Models: Impact on Tau Oligomerization and Diagnostics. Journal of Biological Chemistry. vol.290 (7) , pp. 4059-4074
- Buttner S., Faes L., Wieland R., Broeskamp F., Habernig L., Stefan B., Nektarios S., Sigrist S., Ruli D., D'hooge P., Ghillebert R., Eisenberg T., Carmona-Gutierrez D., Hollmann C., Franssens V., Harger A., Pieber T., Freudenberger P., Kroemer G., Winderickx J., Callewaert G., Tavernarakis N., Madeo F. 2013. The Ca2+/Mn2+ ion-pump Pmr1 links elevation of cytosolic Ca2+ levels to a-synuclein toxicity in Parkinson's disease models. Cell Death and Differentiation. vol.20 (3) , pp. 465-477
- Liu B., Larsson L., Franssens V., Hao X., Hill S., Andersson V., Höglund D., Song J., Yang X., Oling D., Grantham J., Winderickx J., Nyström T. 2011. Segregation of protein aggregates involves actin and the polarity machinery. Cell. vol.147 (5) , pp. 959-61
- Franssens V., Boelen E., Anandhakumar J., Vanhelmont T., Büttner S., Winderickx J. 2010. Yeast unfolds the road map toward alpha-synuclein-induced cell death. Cell Death and Differentiation. vol.17 (5) , pp. 746-753
- Mager W., Winderickx J. 2005. Yeast as a model for medical and medicinal research. Trends in pharmacological sciences. vol.26 (5) , pp. 265-273