22 December 2020

The board of the Dutch Research Council (NWO) Domain Science has approved sixteen proposals in the Science-KLEIN Open Competition.

The topics vary from research into the functions of proteins in the cell walls of the tuberculosis bacterium to research into the use of light to build fast computers. KLEIN grants are intended for innovative, high-quality, fundamental research and/or studies involving matters of scientific urgency.

Topic: Molecular mechanisms of actin isoform usage in cancer cell migration

Koen van den Dries, theme Nanomedicine
Metastases occur when cancer cells move from the original tumour to another tissue. Although we know that metastases are caused by the mobility of cancer cells, ways to prevent metastases are limited. More knowledge is therefore needed about the means by which cancer cells move. The movement of cancer cells is regulated by their skeletons and this project will investigate the role small differences in the building blocks of this skeleton play in the movement of cancer cells. We expect better definition of these differences to lead to more options for preventing metastases in the future.

Topic: Synthetic affinity-based probes for proteome-wide identification of poly(ADP-ribosyl)-binding proteins

Michiel Vermeulen, theme Cancer development and immune defence (RIMLS-faculty of science) and Dmitri Filippov (Leiden University)
Adenosine diphosphate ribosylation is a common post-translational protein modification that is involved in various pathological processes such as cancer, age-related diseases and viral infections. It is important that we know what proteins can interact with adenosine diphosphate ribose chains if we are to design better medicines. In this study, different molecules that contain adenosine diphosphate ribose will be synthesized and subsequently used for interaction tests in extracts from human cells. Follow-up tests will also be carried out to identify proteins that bind with adenosine diphosphate ribose and that play a role in the cellular response to damage to DNA.

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