Cell growth and Transcription regulation

Research overview

The fate of each cell is determined by programs of gene expression, which are strictly controlled spatial-temporally. This research section takes a multidisciplinary and complementary approach to study each phase of this process. Our window of interest links the control of gene expression by transcription factors to the role of the nuclear architecture in regulating both the location of and the appropriate timing of these activities. Specifically, we aim to understand the role of nuclear organization and common regulatory post-translational modifications of chromatin and transcription factors in the control of gene expression.

This section houses the Light Microscopic Imaging Facility (coordinated by Lennard Voortman). In addition the subgroup Dr. Karoly Szuhai provides research and diagnostic support concerning molecular cytogenetics (multi colour FISH technology-mouse/human).

Research is performed  by six related groups:

  • How do signal transduction pathways regulate the highly specific transcriptional response during cell growth and differentiation? (Dr. David Baker)
  • Structural and functional organization of the cell nucleus, with special focus on induced pluripotent stem cells. (Dr. Roeland Dirks)
  • The functions of post-translational modifications of Mdmx and Mdm2, especially by ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like molecules, in their control of p53. (Dr. AG Jochemsen)
  • Identification and functional analysis of SUMO-target proteins that play a role in gene expression and genome integrity. (Dr. Alfred Vertegaal)
  • The recently found role of the transcription factor NFATc2 , essential for T-cell differentiation and immune response, in oncogenesis (particularly Ewing sarcoma). (Dr. Karoly Szuhai)