Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

The role of 14-3-3 proteins in ion homeostasis in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

We aim to understand ion homeostasis in the model eukaryote S. cerevisiae.

Paul van Heusden
Generade Generade

In this project we investigate the role of 14-3-3 proteins in ion homeostasis, especially in the regulation of potassium and phosphate uptake.

Ion homeostasis

Ion homeostasis is essential for every living cell. The intracellular concentration of ions must be tightly regulated because ions participate in numerous cellular processes. Aberrant cellular ion homeostasis is related to human neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, apoptosis, and diseases like hypo- and hyperkalemia and Crohn's disease. Properties of ion homeostasis in plants determine their ability to grow in environments with very low or high concentrations of salts and nutrients.

Visualization of the binding of the 14-3-3 protein Bmh2 to the Nha1 transporter using bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC)

14-3-3 proteins

14-3-3 proteins bind to hundreds of different phosphorylated intracellular proteins. In this way, 14-3-3 proteins are  involved in many cellular processes like apoptosis, the cell cycle, stress response and signal transduction.


In this project we investigate the role of 14-3-3 proteins in yeast ion homeostasis. We especially focus on the regulation by 14-3-3 proteins of potassium and phosphate uptake.

In a side project funded by Generade we investigate the role of non-coding RNA in ion homeostasis. We collaborate with Fons Verbeek (LIACS, Leiden University) for the development of image analysis software

Connection with other research

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