Olivier Destrée

Ghent University, Gand, Flanders, Belgium

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Publications (32)246.56 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: TCF1 belongs to the family of LEF1/TCF transcription factors that regulate gene expression downstream of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, which is crucial for embryonic development and is involved in adult stem cell regulation and tumor growth. In early Xenopus embryos, tcf1 plays an important role in mesoderm induction and patterning. Foxd3 emerged as a potential tcf1 target gene in a microarray analysis of gastrula stage embryos. Because foxd3 and tcf1 are coexpressed during gastrulation, we investigated whether foxd3 is regulated by tcf1. By using morpholino-mediated knockdown, we show that during gastrulation foxd3 expression is dependent on tcf1. By chromatin immunoprecipitation, we also demonstrate direct interaction of β-catenin/tcf complexes with the foxd3 gene locus. Hence, our results indicate that tcf1 acts as an essential activator of foxd3, which is critical for dorsal mesoderm formation in early embryos.
    The International journal of developmental biology 01/2013; 57(1):49-54. · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tcf/Lef HMG box transcription factors are nuclear effectors of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway, which function in cell fate specification. Lef1 is required for the development of tissues and organs that depend on epithelial mesenchymal interactions. Here, we report the effects of lef1 loss of function on early development in X. tropicalis. Depletion of lef1 affects gene expression already during gastrulation and results in abnormal differentiation of cells derived from ectoderm and mesoderm. At tail bud stages, the epidermis was devoid of ciliated cells and derivatives of the neural crest, e.g. melanocytes and cephalic ganglia were absent. In the Central Nervous System, nerve fibers were absent or underdeveloped. The development of the paraxial mesoderm was affected; intersomitic boundaries were not distinct and development of the hypaxial musculature was impaired. The development of the pronephros and pronephric ducts was disturbed. Most striking was the absence of blood flow in lef1 depleted embryos. Analysis of blood vessel marker genes demonstrated that lef1 is required for the development of the major blood vessels and the heart.
    The International journal of developmental biology 02/2009; 53(1):81-9. · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wnt proteins function as morphogens that can form long-range concentration gradients to pattern developing tissues. Here, we show that the retromer, a multiprotein complex involved in intracellular protein trafficking, is required for long-range signaling of the Caenorhabditis elegans Wnt ortholog EGL-20. The retromer functions in EGL-20-producing cells to allow the formation of an EGL-20 gradient along the anteroposterior axis. This function is evolutionarily conserved, because Wnt target gene expression is also impaired in the absence of the retromer complex in vertebrates. These results demonstrate that the ability of Wnt to regulate long-range patterning events is dependent on a critical and conserved function of the retromer complex within Wnt-producing cells.
    Science 06/2006; 312(5775):921-4. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Wnt-signaling cascade is required for several crucial steps during early embryogenesis, and its activity is modulated by various agonists and antagonists to provide spatiotemporal-specific signaling. Naked cuticle is a Wnt antagonist that itself is induced by Wnt signaling to keep Wnt signaling in check. Little is known about the regulation of this antagonist. We have recently shown that the protein phosphatase 2A regulatory subunit PR72 is required for the inhibitory effect of Naked cuticle on Wnt signaling. In the present study, we show that PR130, which has an N terminus that differs from that of PR72 but shares the same C terminus, also interacts with Naked cuticle but instead functions as an activator of the Wnt-signaling pathway, both in cell culture and during development. We find that PR130 modulates Wnt signal transduction by restricting the ability of Naked cuticle to function as a Wnt inhibitor. Our data establish PR130 as a modulator of the Wnt-signaling pathway and suggest a mechanism of Wnt signal regulation in which the inhibitory activity of Naked cuticle is determined by the relative level of expression of two transcripts of the same protein phosphatase 2A regulatory subunit.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2006; 103(14):5397-402. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wnt signaling pathways have essential roles in developing embryos and adult tissue, and alterations in their function are implicated in many disease processes including cancers. The major nuclear transducers of Wnt signals are the Tcf/LEF family of transcription factors, which have binding sites for both the transcriptional co-repressor groucho, and the co-activator beta-catenin. The early Xenopus embryo expresses three maternally inherited Tcf/LEF mRNAs, and their relative roles in regulating the expression of Wnt target genes are not understood. We have addressed this by using antisense oligonucleotides to deplete maternal XTcf1 and XTcf4 mRNAs in oocytes. We find that XTcf1 represses expression of Wnt target genes ventrally and laterally, and activates their expression dorsally. Double depletions of XTcf1 and XTcf3 suggest that they act cooperatively to repress Wnt target genes ventrally. In contrast, XTcf4 has no repressive role but is required to activate expression of Xnr3 and chordin in organizer cells at the gastrula stage. This work provides evidence for distinct roles for XTcfs in regulating Wnt target gene expression.
    Developmental Biology 02/2006; 289(2):318-28. · 3.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tcf/Lef transcription factors and beta-catenin mediate canonical Wnt signalling, which plays remarkably diverse roles in embryonic development, stem cell renewal and cancer progression. To investigate the molecular mechanisms allowing for these diverse yet specific functions, we studied the several distinct roles for Wnt/beta-catenin signalling in early Xenopus development: establishing the dorsal body axis; regulating mesoderm induction; and subsequent ventrolateral patterning. Our previous experiments and the expression patterns of Tcf/Lef factors during these embryonic stages led us to examine whether different Tcf/Lef factors mediate these distinct events downstream of canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signalling. By manipulating gene expression with morpholino-driven gene knockdown and capped RNA-mediated rescue, we show that genes encoding different Tcf/Lef transcription factors mediate distinct responses to Wnt signalling in early Xenopus development: Tcf1 and Tcf3 genes are non-redundantly required in mesoderm induction for mediating primarily transcriptional activation and repression, respectively; while ventrolateral patterning requires both Tcf1 and Lef1 genes to express sufficient levels of transcription-activating Tcf factors. Our investigation further identifies that motifs within their central domain, rather than their C-terminus, determine the particular molecular function of Tcf/Lef factors. These findings suggest that Tcf/Lef genes encode factors of different activities, which function together in antagonistic or synergistic ways to modulate the intensity and outcome of Wnt/beta-catenin signalling and to trigger tissue-specific responses.
    Development 01/2006; 132(24):5375-85. · 6.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the intestine, the canonical Wnt signaling cascade plays a crucial role in driving the proliferation of epithelial cells. Furthermore, aberrant activation of Wnt signaling is strongly associated with the development of colorectal cancer. Despite this evidence, little is known about the precise identity and localization of Wnts and their downstream effectors in the adult intestine. To address this issue, we examined the expression pattern of all Wnts, Frizzleds (Fzs), low-density lipoprotein receptor-related proteins, Wnt antagonists, and T-cell factors in the murine small intestine and colon and adenomas. Embryonic, postnatal, and adult intestinal samples were subjected to in situ hybridization by using specific RNA probes for the various genes tested. Our analysis showed high expression of several signaling components (including Wnt-3, Wnt-6, Wnt-9b, Frizzled 4, Frizzled 6, Frizzled 7, low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5, and secreted Frizzled-related protein 5) in crypt epithelial cells. We also detected Wnt-2b, Wnt-4, Wnt-5a, Wnt-5b, Frizzled 4, and Frizzled 6 in differentiated epithelial and mesenchymal cells of the small intestine and colon. Finally, several factors (Frizzled 4, T-cell factor 1, lymphoid enhancer factor, Dickkopf 2, Dickkopf 3, and Wnt-interacting factor) displayed differential expression in normal vs neoplastic tissue. Our study predicts a much broader role for Wnt signaling in gut development and homeostasis than was previously anticipated from available genetic studies and identifies novel factors likely involved in promoting canonical and noncanonical Wnt signals in the intestine.
    Gastroenterology 08/2005; 129(2):626-38. · 12.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Wnt signaling cascade is a central regulator of cell fate determination during embryonic development, whose deregulation contributes to oncogenesis. Naked cuticle is the first Wnt-induced antagonist found in this pathway, establishing a negative-feedback loop that limits the Wnt signal required for early segmentation. In addition, Naked cuticle is proposed to function as a switch, acting to restrict classical Wnt signaling and to activate a second Wnt signaling pathway that controls planar cell polarity during gastrulation movements in vertebrates. Little is known about the biochemical function of Naked cuticle or its regulation. Here we report that PR72, a Protein Phosphatase type 2A regulatory subunit of unknown function, interacts both physically and functionally with Naked cuticle. We show that PR72, like Naked cuticle, acts as a negative regulator of the classical Wnt signaling cascade, establishing PR72 as a novel regulator of the Wnt signaling pathway. Our data provide evidence that the inhibitory effect of Naked cuticle on Wnt signaling depends on the presence of PR72, both in mammalian cell culture and in Xenopus embryos. Moreover, PR72 is required during early embryonic development to regulate cell morphogenetic movements during body axis formation.
    Genes & Development 03/2005; 19(3):376-86. · 12.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Fxr gene family is composed of three members, FMR1, FXR1 and FXR2. The FMR1 gene is involved in the fragile X syndrome, whereas for the other two members, no human disorder has been identified yet. An appropriate animal model to study in vivo gene function is essential to unravel the cellular function of the gene products FMRP, FXR1P and FXR2P, respectively. In Xenopus tropicalis both Fmr1 and Fxr1 were identified; however, unexpectedly Fxr2 was not. Here we describe the characterization of both Fmrp and Fxr1p in Xenopus tropicalis. Fmrp is expressed ubiquitously throughout the embryo during embryonic development, whereas Fxr1p shows a more tissue-specific expression particularly during late embryonic development. In adult frogs both proteins are highly expressed in most neurons of the central nervous system and in all spermatogenic cells in the testis. In addition, Fxr1p is also highly expressed in striated muscle tissue. Western blotting experiments revealed only one prominent isoform for both proteins using different tissue homogenates from adult frogs. Thus, for in vivo gene function studies, this relative simple animal model may serve as a highly advantageous and complementary model.
    The International Journal of Developmental Biology 02/2005; 49(4):437-41. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: XTcf-3 functions as a transcriptional regulator in the canonical Wnt signaling cascade and can repress or activate downstream target genes. Expression of XTcf-3 is differentially regulated in time and place during development (Molenaar et al. [1998] Mech Dev. 75:151-154), but little is known about the mechanisms that control transcriptional activation and repression. A 15-kb genomic fragment of Tcf-3 sequences from Xenopus tropicalis was cloned, including the 5' untranslated region; exons 1, 2, and 3; and intron sequences. We used 5' deletion constructs for transgenesis and episomal luciferase assays in Xenopus to examine temporal and spatial regulation of the promoter during early development. A -3054/+34-bp Tcf-3 upstream region was identified that drives a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter transgene in a pattern similar to endogenous expression of XtTcf-3 from gastrula to tail bud stages. At stage 12, expression of the reporter is restricted to the middle and posterior neurectoderm. At stage 22, expression is strongest in the neural plate, the eye anlagen and branchial arches. At stage 35/36, expression is found in the head mesenchyme, the branchial arches, the heart, the mesencephalon, eyes, otic vesicles, notochord, somites and the lateral plate mesoderm. Part of the cis-acting elements driving this GFP reporter transgene expression map between -372 and -95 bp of the transcription start site. Furthermore, two TCF/LEF sites are necessary for full activity of the promoter during gastrula stages in episomal luciferase assays.
    Developmental Dynamics 12/2004; 231(3):510-7. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wnt-1 belongs to the Wnt family of secreted glycoproteins inducing an intracellular signaling pathway involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, and pattern formation. The canonical branch is one of three known branches. This is also valid in vitro, and Wnts can be considered beneficial for culturing primary cells from organs, provided Wnts are available and applicable even with cells of different species. It was shown here that internally c-myc-tagged murine Wnt-1 produced in the heterologous host Escherichia coli was appropriate for inducing intracellular signaling of the canonical Wnt pathway in eukaryotic cells via stabilization of cytosolic beta-catenin. The pioneering injection of the protein into the blastocoels of Xenopus laevis embryos led to axis duplication and suppression of head formation. Applying the recombinant murine Wnt-1 to metanephric mesenchyme activated the tubulogenic program. The signal-inducing activity of the recombinant protein was also positively demonstrated in the TOP-flash reporter assay. Although Wnts were purified recently from the growth media of stably transfected eukaryotic cell lines, the production of active Wnt proteins in pro- or eukaryotic microorganisms reportedly has never been successful. Here soluble production in E. coli and translocation into the oxidizing environment of the periplasm were achieved. The protein was purified using the internal c-myc tag. The effect on the eukaryotic cells implies that activity was retained. Thus, this approach could make recombinant murine Wnt-1 available as a good starting point for other Wnts needed, for example, for maintaining and differentiating stem cells, organ restoration therapy, and tissue engineering.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2004; 279(46):47520-7. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the cloning and expression of Xenopus Tcf-1. The amino acid sequence of Tcf-1 of Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis is closely related to that of chicken, mouse and man. Thus, the family of Tcf/Lef proteins in the amphibian Xenopus comprises four members as in higher vertebrates. RT-PCR analysis revealed that Tcf-1 RNA encoding a beta-catenin binding isoform is maternally present as well as throughout early development. Different transcripts are expressed by alternative splicing. In cleavage and blastula stage embryos, Tcf-1 RNA is present at high levels in the animal hemisphere. During gastrulation Tcf-1 is differentially expressed with high levels in the animal cap and most of the marginal zone except for a narrow domain around the blastopore. At neurula stages expression is predominant in the neural plate. At tailbud stages expression is localized in specific areas of the brain, in the eyes, the otic vesicle, branchial arches and head mesenchyme, somites, tailbud, pronephros and pronephric duct.
    Gene Expression Patterns 06/2003; 3(2):123-6. · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wnt signaling functions repeatedly during embryonic development to induce different but specific responses. What molecular mechanisms ensure that Wnt signaling triggers the correct tissue-specific response in different tissues? Early Xenopus development is an ideal model for addressing this fundamental question, since there is a dramatic change in the response to Wnt signaling at the onset of zygotic gene transcription: Wnt signaling components encoded by maternal mRNA establish the dorsal embryonic axis; zygotically expressed Xwnt-8 causes almost the opposite, by promoting ventral and lateral and restricting dorsal mesodermal development. Although Wnt signaling can function through different signal transduction cascades, the same beta-catenin-dependent, canonical Wnt signal transduction pathway mediates Wnt signaling at both stages of Xenopus development. Here we show that, while the function of the transcription factor XTcf-3 is required for early Wnt signaling to establish the dorsal embryonic axis, closely related XLef-1 is required for Wnt signaling to pattern the mesoderm after the onset of zygotic transcription. Our results show for the first time that different transcription factors of the Lef/Tcf family function in different tissues to bring about tissue-specific responses downstream of canonical Wnt signaling.
    Current Biology 12/2002; 12(22):1941-5. · 9.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the early Xenopus embryo, the dorsal axis is specified by a Wnt signal transduction pathway, involving the movement of beta-catenin into dorsal cell nuclei and its functional association with the LEF-type transcription factor XTcf3. The subsequent function of XTcf3 is uncertain. Overexpression data has suggested that it can be both an activator and repressor of downstream genes. XTcf3 mRNA is synthesized during oogenesis in Xenopus and is stored in the egg. To identify its role in dorsal axis specification, we depleted this maternal store in full-grown oocytes using antisense deoxyoligonucleotides, and fertilized them. The developmental effects of XTcf3 depletion, both on morphogenesis and the expression of marker genes, show that primarily, XTcf3 is an inhibitor, preventing both dorsal and ventral cells of the late blastula from expressing dorsal genes. We also show that simple relief from the repression is not the only factor required for dorsal gene expression. To demonstrate this, we fertilized eggs that had been depleted of both XTcf3 and the maternal transcription factor VegT. Dorsal genes normally repressed by XTcf3 are not activated in these embryos. These data show that normal dorsal gene expression in the embryo requires the transcriptional activator VegT, whilst XTcf3 prevents their inappropriate expression on the ventral side of the embryo.
    Development 10/2002; 129(17):4015-25. · 6.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Xenopus laevis type XVIII collagen occurs in three variants, 22 + 1285 amino acid residues (signal peptide + mature protein), 23 + 1581 residues and 23 + 1886 residues in length, differing in their N-terminal non-collagenous domains. The region showing highest homology to mammalian counterparts is the C-terminal endostatin domain. All three variants are expressed, at different levels, during early and late stages of development, as demonstrated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Whole-mount in situ hybridization shows that the short variant is expressed at high levels in the developing eye, the central nervous system, the otic vesicle, the head mesenchyme, the branchial arches and the pronephros, and at the boundaries between somites. The middle variant is expressed in the head mesenchyme, the branchial arches, the peripheral nervous system, the pronephros and the pronephric duct, and at the somite boundaries. The longest variant is weakly expressed in the head mesenchyme and branchial arches.
    Mechanisms of Development 07/2002; 114(1-2):109-13. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The embryonic kidney is a classic developmental model system for studying inductive tissue interactions that govern organogenesis. We report here that Wnt-6 is expressed in the ureter bud, and that cell lines expressing Wnt-6 induce nephrogenesis in vitro. Wnt-6 cells induce tubules with similar kinetics to spinal cord (SPC) and lead to induced expression of Pax2, Pax8, Sfrp2, and E-cadherin genes, early markers of tubulogenesis. Moreover, Wnt-6 signaling rescues tubulogenesis in mesenchyme separated from Wnt-4 mutant embryos and leads to activation of Wnt-4 transcription. Wnt-6 also induces a secondary axis in early Xenopus embryos. We conclude that Wnt-6 is a candidate for the ureter epithelium-derived signal that leads to activation of kidney tubulogenesis via Wnt-4.
    genesis 05/2002; 32(4):259-68. · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence that Wnts and other genes in the Wnt signaling pathway are expressed in embryonic and adult mouse lung suggests that this pathway is important for cell fate decisions and differentiation of lung cell types. We therefore examined the expression and protein distribution of several Wnt pathway components during prenatal mouse lung development using whole-mount in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Between embryonic days 10.5 and 17.5 (E10.5-E17.5), beta-catenin was localized in the cytoplasm, and often also the nucleus, of the undifferentiated primordial epithelium (PE), differentiating alveolar epithelium (AE; present from E14.5 onward), and adjacent mesenchyme. Tcf1, Lef1, Tcf3, Tcf4, sFrp1, sFrp2 and sFrp4 were also expressed in the PE, AE, and adjacent mesenchyme in specific spatio-temporal patterns.
    Mechanisms of Development 01/2002; 109(2):437-40. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence that Wnts and other genes in the Wnt signaling pathway are expressed in embryonic and adult mouse lung suggests that this pathway is important for cell fate decisions and differentiation of lung cell types. We therefore examined the expression and protein distribution of several Wnt pathway components during prenatal mouse lung development using whole-mount in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Between embryonic days 10.5 and 17.5 (E10.5–E17.5), β-catenin was localized in the cytoplasm, and often also the nucleus, of the undifferentiated primordial epithelium (PE), differentiating alveolar epithelium (AE; present from E14.5 onward), and adjacent mesenchyme. Tcf1, Lef1, Tcf3, Tcf4, sFrp1, sFrp2 and sFrp4 were also expressed in the PE, AE, and adjacent mesenchyme in specific spatio-temporal patterns.
    Mechanisms of Development. 01/2001;
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, we demonstrated that the Xenopus Wnt effector XTcf-3 interacts with Groucho-related transcriptional repressors (Roose et al., 1998. Nature 395, 608-612). A long form of the Groucho-related genes, XGrg-4, was shown to repress axis formation in the Xenopus embryo, whereas a short form, XGrg-5, acted as a potentiator. In this study, the temporal and spatial expression of XGrg-4 and XGrg-5 is described in Xenopus laevis embryos. Both genes are maternally expressed. In the gastrula, transcripts of both genes are present in the animal as well as the vegetal region. At later stages, XGrg-4 and XGrg-5 show specific patterns of expression in the central nervous system (CNS), cranial ganglia, eyes, otic vesicles, stomodeal-hypophyseal anlage, cement gland, head mesenchyme, branchial arches, neural crest and derivatives, somites, pronephros, pronephric duct, heart and tailbud. Differences in the expression of XGrg-4 and XGrg-5 were found in the CNS, cranial ganglia, olfactory placodes, stomodeal-pharyngeal anlage, cement gland, head mesenchyme and ectoderm.
    Mechanisms of Development 04/2000; 91(1-2):311-5. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Frat1 gene was first identified as a proto-oncogene involved in progression of mouse T cell lymphomas. More recently, FRAT/GBP (GSK-3beta Binding Protein) family members have been recognized as critical components of the Wnt signal transduction pathway. In an attempt to gain more insight into the function of Frat1, we have generated Frat1-deficient mice in which most of the coding domain was replaced by a promoterless beta-galactosidase reporter gene. While the pattern of LacZ expression in Frat1(lacZ)/+ mice indicated Frat1 to be expressed in various neural and epithelial tissues, homozygous Frat1(lacZ) mice were apparently normal, healthy and fertile. Tissues of homozygous Frat1(lacZ) mice showed expression of a second mouse Frat gene, designated Frat3. The Frat1 and Frat3 proteins are structurally and functionally very similar, since both Frat1 and Frat3 are capable of inducing a secondary axis in Xenopus embryos. The overlapping expression patterns of Frat1 and Frat3 during murine embryogenesis suggest that the apparent dispensability of Frat1 for proper development may be due to the presence of a second mouse gene encoding a functional Frat protein.
    Mechanisms of Development 12/1999; 88(2):183-94. · 2.38 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
246.56 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • Ghent University
      Gand, Flanders, Belgium
  • 2009
    • Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
    • Hubrecht Institute
      Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 1989–2005
    • Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Utrecht
      Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 2002
    • University of Oulu
      Uleoborg, Oulu, Finland
  • 1993–1999
    • University Medical Center Utrecht
      • Department of Immunology
      Utrecht, Provincie Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 1998
    • University of Amsterdam
      • Department of Anatomy and Embryology
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands