Jansen, Gert

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Dr Gert JansenGert Jansen received his PhD in Medical Sciences from Nijmegen University where he studied the molecular basis of the human disease Myotonic Dystrophy. He did his postdoctoral training at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam where he studied the pim kinases in the nematode C. elegans, and developed a new method to inactivate genes in C. elegans. Subsequently, as a PULS post doctoral fellow, he used the new gene-inactivation method to analyse the functions of all heterotrimeric G proteins (21 G-alpha, 2 G-beta and 2 G-gamma genes) in C.elegans. In 2000 he continued the analysis of G protein signalling as a "young promising scientist" appointed by the Centre for Biomedical Genetics at the Department of Cell Biology and Genetics at the Erasmus MC. He received a KNAW fellowship to study the molecular mechanisms that regulate the behavioural response to salts in the nematode C.elegans.

Research interests:
Primary cilia. Primary cilia are cellular extensions that function as signaling organelles. Their presence on almost all vertebrate cells and their involvement in more than 17 human diseases illustrates their importance. The development, maintenance and function of cilia depend on a specialised transport system, called intraflagellar transport (IFT). In the past five years we have identified several proteins that regulate IFT and the length of cilia. We use molecular genetic and biochemical techniques and in vivo imaging of IFT in cultured mammalian cells and the nematode C. elegans to identify additional proteins that regulate cilia length and IFT, and characterize their functions.

Salt taste and its plasticity. Despite its importance in our everyday life not much is known about the molecular mechanisms of salt taste. We use a multidisciplinary approach in the nematode C. elegans, involving behavioural assays, molecular genetics and in vivo imaging to unravel the molecular mechanisms that regulate the response to salts. Since many processes have been conserved from worms to mammals, we expect that our analyses in C. elegans will also shed light on the mechanisms of salt taste in mammals.


Jansen group webpage


Selected publications

Broekhuis, J.R., Rademakers, S., Burghoorn, J. & Jansen, G. (2013)
SQL-1, homologue of the Golgi protein GMAP210, modulates Intraflagellar Transport in C. elegans
J Cell Sci, in press

Beets, I., Janssen, T., Meelkop, E., Temmerman, L., Suetens, N., Rademakers, S., Jansen, G., Schoofs, L. (2012)
Vasopressin/oxytocin related signaling regulates gustatory associative learning in Caenorhabditis elegans
Science 338:543-545

Burghoorn, J., Dekkers, M.P.J., Rademakers, S., de Jong, T., Willemsen, R. Swoboda, P., & Jansen, G. (2010)
Environmental cues and G protein signalling modulate the coordination of intraflagellar transport kinesin motor proteins in C. elegans
J Cell Sci 123:2077-2084

Lans H, Dekkers MPJ, Hukema RK, Bialas NJ, Leroux MR and Jansen G (2009)
Signaling proteins that regulate NaCl chemotaxis responses modulate longevity in C. elegans
Ann NY Acad Sci 1170:682-687

Hukema RK, Rademakers S and Jansen G (2008)
Gustatory plasticity in C. elegans involves integration of negative cues and NaCl taste mediated by dopamine, serotonin, and glutamate
Learn Mem 15:829-836