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Molecular Biology of the gene


Regulation of gene expression is fundamental for cell homeostasis and invariably leads to severe human pathogenesis when defective. Therefore, novel treatment strategies for a number of different diseases may depend on our ability to exploit mechanisms that normally alter the expression of endogenous genes.

While historically, gene regulation studies have mostly focused on transcription, it has recently become evident that post-transcriptional levels of control play an equally important role. From the very onset of transcription, mRNAs have a complex existence: they are bound by the abundant shuttling hnRNPs proteins, processed at their 5’- and 3’ ends (capping, poly-adenylation), internally processed and modified (splicing, editing,…), subjected to various nuclear quality controls (tested for the absence of premature stops,…), routed to the nuclear pore complex, translocated to the cytoplasm, translated (and/or stored) and eventually degraded. All these events are intimately fine-tuned and co-ordinated to ensure that Only 'proper' mRNAs are translated at the correct time and place.

Our laboratory studies different aspects of postranscriptional gene regulation with a particular focus on the translation and stability control of mRNA containing so called AU-rich elements.


Members of the group


Post-transcriptional regulation mediated by the AU-rich elements located in the 3'untranslated region of cytokines messenger RNA

Regulation of the Tumor Necrosis Factor-a (TNF-a) mRNA translation and stability by the AU-rich sequences

Characterization of TIAR and TIA-1 nucleo-cytoplasmic trafficking

Characterization of the AU-rich dependent mecanism of messenger RNAs degradation in Drosophila melanogaster.


IBMM - Molecular Biology of the gene
tel +32 2 650 98 01, fax +32 2 650 98 00, vkruys@ulb.ac.be
Rue des Professeurs Jeener et Brachet 12
6041 Gosselies