Alfred Vertegaal is professor of Cell Biology and faculty member of the department of Cell and Chemical Biology of the Leiden University Medical Center.
Cell and Chemical Biology
Functional activity of proteins is tightly controlled via reversible post-translational modifications including phosphorylation, acetylation and ubiquitylation. These modifications enable the orchestration of cellular responses to a wide variety of stimuli. Due to these modifications, proteomes are overwhelmingly complex. Progress in the field has been greatly accelerated by the development of novel approaches to study these post-translational modifications at a proteome-wide scale using the sensitivity and robustness of mass spectrometry (MS). This has enabled the identification of thousands of dynamically regulated modification sites by MS.
We are studying post-translational modification by the ubiquitin-like protein SUMO, predominantly found in nuclei of proliferating cells. SUMOylation is critical for eukaryotic life and regulates a wide variety of cellular processes including transcription, pre-mRNA splicing, translation, transport, replication and DNA repair. SUMO inhibition leads to loss of genome integrity and blocks cell cycle progression. Inhibitors of SUMO signal transduction are currently tested for their potential as novel anti-cancer agents. We are developing proteomics approaches to identify thousands of targets of this post-translational modification. Selected SUMO substrates are studied at the functional level to increase our understanding of the critical roles of SUMO in cell cycle progression and genome maintenance.
Alfred Vertegaal studied Biomedical Sciences and carried out his PhD project at the Leiden University. He received his PhD in 2001 for his thesis ‘Molecular analysis of antigen presentation in Ad5- and Ad12-transformed cells’. His academic career is as follow:
2019 – professor Leiden University Medical Center, afdeling Cel en Chemische Biologie.
2011 – 2019 associate professor LUMC, afdeling Moleculaire Celbiologie.
2008 – 2011 assistant professor LUMC, afdeling Moleculaire Celbiologie.
2004 – 2008 senior scientist LUMC, afdeling Moleculaire Celbiologie.
2001 – 2003 KWF fellow, Wellcome Trust Biocentre, Dundee, U.K.
No relevant ancillary activities