Laboratory for the Molecular Biology of Leukemia
The Molecular Biology of Leukemia (MBL) lab is part of the Center for Human Genetics at the KU Leuven, and also part of the Center for the Biology of Disease of VIB, a life sciences research institute in Flanders.
We try to understand the genetic causes of leukemia, with the aim to use that information to develop novel treatment strategies.
Molecular analysis of leukemias has identified a large number of specific chromosomal defects and oncogenes. This information is used for diagnostic purposes and for risk stratification, but the translation of current genetic insights into therapeutic applications is limited. The general aim of our projects is to identify novel oncogenic mutations, to study the potential of targeting these deregulated pathways for leukemia therapy, and to study the cooperation of oncogenes during leukemogenesis in order to further improve therapeutic strategies.
- We aim to identify novel oncogenic events in leukemia using next-generation sequencing (exome sequencing, RNA-sequencing, targeted re-sequencing).
- The main focus of our work is on T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), an aggressive T-cell malignancy that is most common in children and adolescents.
- We have identified several new drivers of T-ALL, which we are studying in cell-based assays, mouse leukemia models, and fly cancer models.
- In collaboration with the laboratory of Prof. Peter Vandenberghe, we are trying to implement the new sequencing technologies in molecular diagnostics.
- Comprehensive analysis of transcriptome variation uncovers known and novel driver events in T-ALL. Kalender et al. PLoS Genetics 2013.
- Exome sequencing identifies mutation in CNOT3 and ribosomal genes RPL5 and RPL10 in T-ALL. De Keersmaecker et al. Nature Genetics 2013.
- Explore the somatic mutations identified in our T-ALL cases using this BioMart tool developed by the Stein Aerts lab: http://lcbmart.aertslab.org/
- Mutation of the receptor tyrosine phosphatase PTPRC (CD45) in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Porcu et al. Blood 2012.
- IUAP project: www.canepi.be
- FP7 project: Next-generation sequencing in leukemia
- SymBioSys: http://www.kuleuven.be/symbiosys/
- ERC-Consolidator grant: ART - Aberrant RNA degradation in T-cell leukemia
- past: ERC-Starting grant: MOLTALL - Molecular genetics of T-ALL