E lucidate the molecular mechanisms how eukaryotic cells move and navigate in gradients of diffusive molecules (chemotaxis) .
Chemotaxis is one of the fascinating processes in modern cell biology. Chemotaxis or directional movement towards extracellular gradient of chemicals is fundamentally important for processes as diverse as finding nutrients, tracking bacterial infections, and organising the embryonic structure. Defects in chemotaxis are critically linked to the progression of many diseases including asthma, atherosclerosis, cancer and other chronic inflammatory diseases. Therefore, it is important to gain further insight into the mechanisms involved in chemotaxis.
We study chemotaxis in Dictyostelium, because the organism is genetically tractable with the ease of making gene disruptions and inducible expression, and at the same time the possibility to grow large quantities of cells for biochemical analysis. Most importantly, the key pathways regulating chemotaxis are conserved between Dictyostelium and human. The central question in our research is to understand how the cell responds to such minute chemical signals and which signalling pathways are involved.
Prof. Dr. Peter J.M. van Haastert
Dr. Arjan Kortholt
Dr. Maarten Linskens
Dr. Douwe Veltman
|Last modified:||02 February 2016 10.02 a.m.|