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Galjart, Niels

Back to List Niels GaljartNiels Galjart received his PhD from the Erasmus MC, where he studied the molecular basis for the lysosomal storage disorder galactosialidosis, and characterized the proteins involved in specific lysosomal degadation pathways. He then did his postdoctoral training at the National Institute for Medical Research (London). Subsequently he moved back to the Erasmus MC, where he started his own research group.

The central aim of his research is to understand how cells control structure, shape and size. He focusses on two research themes, each of which is involved in mammalian cell size/shape regulation:

Regulation of the microtubule cytoskeleton
Microtubules are dynamic cytoskeletal elements with an essential role in many cellular processes. We are interested in how the dynamic behaviour of microtubules is regulated in vitro, in cells and in vivo. We have focussed on a set of proteins that specifically associates with the ends of growing microtubules. These proteins are called microtubule plus end tracking proteins (+TIPs) and control many aspects of microtubule behaviour. We study the roles of selected +TIPs in the regulation of microtubule dynamics in relation to cell polarity, cell shape and size, and neuronal differentiation.

Nuclear structure and chromatin organization
It is generally accepted that the architectural organisation of the nucleus and regulation of transcription are functionally linked, but how this occurs precisely is still unresolved. We are interested in describing the constituents of nuclear and nucleolar chromatin. We focus our research on the multi-zinc finger transcription factor CTCF and its relative CTCF-L, proteins that are thought to mediate long range chromatin interactions and to regulate epigenetic modifications.

Techniques used
In both lines of research we use genetically manipulated mouse models as in vivo model systems and derive cell lines from these mice to perform in vitro studies. For our research we use a range of molecular biology and biochemistry approaches as well as fluorescence-based live imaging techniques.


Stepanova, T., Smal, I., van Haren, J., Akinci, U., Liu, Z., Miedema, M., Lim-pens, R., van Ham, M., van der Reijden, M., Poot, R., Grosveld, F., Mom-maas, M., Meijering, E., and Galjart, N. (2010)
History-dependent catastro-phes regulate axonal microtubule behavior
Curr Biol 20:1023-1028

Galjart, N. (2010)
Plus-end tracking proteins and their interactions at micro-tubule ends
Curr Biol 20:R528-R537

Boisset, J.C., van Cappellen, W., Andrieu-Soler, C., Galjart, N., Dzierzak, E., and Robin, C. (2010)
In vivo imaging of haematopoietic cells emerging from the mouse aortic endothelium
Nature 464:116-120

Ribeiro de Almeida, C., Heath, H., Krpic, S., Dingjan, G.M., van Hamburg, J.P., Bergen, I., van de Nobelen, S., Sleutels, F., Grosveld, F., Galjart, N., and Hendriks, R.W. (2009)
Critical role for the transcription regulator CCCTC-binding factor in the control of Th2 cytokine expression
J Immunol 182:999-1010

Dragestein, K.A., van Cappellen, W.A., van Haren, J., Tsibidis, G.D., Akh-manova, A., Knoch, T.A., Grosveld, F., and Galjart, N. (2008)
Dynamic be-havior of GFP-CLIP-170 reveals fast protein turnover on microtubule plus ends
The Journal of cell biology 180:729-737

Heath, H., de Almeida, C.R., Sleutels, F., Dingjan, G., van de Nobelen, S., Jonkers, I., Ling, K.W., Gribnau, J., Renkawitz, R., Grosveld, F., Hendriks, R.W., and Galjart, N. (2008)
CTCF regulates cell cycle progression of alpha-beta T cells in the thymus
The EMBO journal 27:2839-2850

Splinter, E., Heath, H., Kooren, J., Palstra, R.J., Klous, P., Grosveld, F., Gal-jart, N., and de Laat, W. (2006)
CTCF mediates long-range chromatin loop-ing and local histone modification in the beta-globin locus
Genes Dev 20:2349-2354
Drabek, K., van Ham, M., Stepanova, T., Draegestein, K., van Horssen, R., Sayas, C.L., Akhmanova, A., Ten Hagen, T., Smits, R., Fodde, R., Grosveld, F., and Galjart, N. (2006)
Role of CLASP2 in Microtubule Stabilization and the Regulation of Persistent Motility
Curr Biol 16:2259-2264

Galjart, N. (2005)
CLIPs and CLASPs and cellular dynamics
Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 6:487-498

Akhmanova, A., Mausset-Bonnefont, A. L., van Cappellen, W., Keijzer, N., Hoogenraad, C. C., Stepanova, T., Drabek, K., van der Wees, J., Mommaas, M., Onderwater, J., van der Meulen, H., Tanenbaum, M. E., Medema, R. H., Hoogerbrugge, J., Vreeburg, J., Uringa, E. J., Grootegoed, J. A., Grosveld, F., and Galjart, N. (2005)
The microtubule plus-end-tracking protein CLIP-170 associates with the spermatid manchette and is essential for spermato-genesis
Genes Dev 19:2501-2515