Lab members
Administrative and technical personnel: 
Research interest: 
  • The team is jointly led by Johan Van Lint (head, CV, focusing on kinases), Veerle Janssens (focusing on phosphatases), and Etienne Waelkens (focusing on mass spec methodology to study protein phosphorylation), who each contribute their complementary expertise which makes the lab a hotbed for discoveries in protein phosphorylation research
  • The mission of our team is to investigate the regulation of (patho)physiological processes via reversible protein phosphorylation, an indispensable post-translational modification enabling proper cell signaling. Within this context, we explore the therapeutic potential of the kinases and phosphatases involved as well as the technology to monitor the modifications and the effects of these modifications using –omics approaches.The focus of our research is on Protein Kinase D (PKD) and Protein Phosphatase 2A (PP2A), two biochemically challenging enzyme families, offering several unexploited opportunities for translational research. 
  • The Protein Kinase D family (PKD1, 2 & 3) is a family of enzymes that is intricately linked with several hallmarks of cancer (angiogenesis, metastasis,…). We are elucidating the molecular mechanisms for PKD regulation, as well as the signaling pathways in which these enzymes are involved (via a variety of proteomic methods). Moreover, we are also developing PKD inhibitors as potential anti-cancer drugs.
  • For PP2A, the focus is on cell signaling diseases linked to PP2A dysfunction. PP2A phosphatases are also important human tumor suppressors which are dysfunctional in many different cancer types. We are currently focusing on lung cancer (NSCLC), liver cancer (HCC), endometrial cancer (Type II) and head and neck squamous carcinoma (HNSCC) to investigate both the therapeutic potential of PP2A reactivation, as well as the stratification marker potential of the PP2A status of the tumor for improvement of cancer therapies (personalized medicine).
  • The third LPPP focus is on state-of-art expertise in (differential) proteomics serving applications like interactomics and serum/plasma proteomics, together with a long-standing expertise in unbiased and targeted phosphoproteomics. For these applications, we have a close link with SyBioMa (KU Leuven Systems Biology Mass Spectrometry Centre) as one of the steering groups. More recently, we have also implemented a high-throughput (phospho)lipidomics workflow as well as tissue-imaging mass spectrometry. Together with a lot of resources in data processing, these techniques enable us to be implicated in many research projects, also beyond the boundaries of our own laboratory and department, and to be part of translational research with the hospital (biomarker discovery studies).
Key publications: