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Leuven, Belgium

The Leuven Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, was a branch of the Catholic University of Leuven. The faculty traces its history back to its founding in 1432, however it was abolished in 1797 due to the French Revolution. The current faculty was established in 1834, as a part of the Catholic University of Leuven. Following the Belgian Revolution of 1830, which has established the freedom of teaching, this New Catholic University was founded in 1834 in Mechelen by the private initiative of the Belgian bishops. In 1967 the faculty was divided into Flemish and French speaking departments, and they exist today as two separate faculties. Wikipedia.

Spaepen S.,Catholic University of Leuven
Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology | Year: 2011

Microbial synthesis of the phytohormone auxin has been known for a long time. This property is best documented for bacteria that interact with plants because bacterial auxin can cause interference with the many plant developmental processes regulated by auxin. Auxin biosynthesis in bacteria can occur via multiple pathways as has been observed in plants. There is also increasing evidence that indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), the major naturally occurring auxin, is a signaling molecule in microorganisms because IAA affects gene expression in some microorganisms. Therefore, IAA can act as a reciprocal signaling molecule in microbe-plant interactions. Interest in microbial synthesis of auxin is also increasing in yet another recently discovered property of auxin in Arabidopsis. Down-regulation of auxin signaling is part of the plant defense system against phytopathogenic bacteria. Exogenous application of auxin, e.g., produced by the pathogen, enhances susceptibility to the bacterial pathogen.

Rossion B.,Catholic University of Leuven
Trends in Cognitive Sciences | Year: 2014

Electrophysiological recordings on the human scalp provide a wealth of information about the temporal dynamics and nature of face perception at a global level of brain organization. The time window between 100 and 200. ms witnesses the transition between low-level and high-level vision, an N170 component correlating with conscious interpretation of a visual stimulus as a face. This face representation is rapidly refined as information accumulates during this time window, allowing the individualization of faces. To improve the sensitivity and objectivity of face perception measures, it is increasingly important to go beyond transient visual stimulation by recording electrophysiological responses at periodic frequency rates. This approach has recently provided face perception thresholds and the first objective signature of integration of facial parts in the human brain. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Depoortere I.,Catholic University of Leuven
Gut | Year: 2014

Recent progress in unravelling the nutrient-sensing mechanisms in the taste buds of the tongue has triggered studies on the existence and role of chemosensory cells in the gut. Indeed, the gastrointestinal tract is the key interface between food and the human body and can sense basic tastes in much the same way as the tongue, through the use of similar G-protein-coupled taste receptors. These receptors 'taste' the luminal content and transmit signals that regulate nutrient transporter expression and nutrient uptake, and also the release of gut hormones and neurotransmitters involved in the regulation of energy and glucose homeostasis. Hence, they play a prominent role in the communication between the lumen, epithelium, smooth muscle cells, afferent nerve fibres and the brain to trigger adaptive responses that affect gastrointestinal function, food intake and glucose metabolism. This review summarises how sensing of nutrients by taste receptors along the gut plays a key role in the process of digestion, and how disturbances or adaptations of these chemosensory signalling pathways may contribute to the induction or resolution of a number of pathological conditions related to diabetes, obesity, or diet-induced symptom generation in irritable bowel syndrome. Targeting these receptors may represent a promising novel route for the treatment of a number of these diseases.

Covens K.,Catholic University of Leuven
Blood | Year: 2013

Controversy has arisen about the nature of circulating human CD20(+)CD27(+)CD43(+)CD70(-)CD69(-) B cells. Although originally described as being the human counterpart of murine B-1 B cells, some studies have raised the possibility that these might instead be plasmablasts. In this article, we have further characterized the putative B-1 cells and compared them directly with memory B cells and plasmablasts for several functional characteristics. Spontaneous antibody production of different isotypes as well as the induced production of antigen-specific antibodies after vaccination with a T-cell-dependent antigen did not reveal differences between the putative B-1 cells and genuine CD20(-) plasmablasts. Gene expression profiling of different B-cell subsets positioned the phenotype of putative B-1 cells closer to CD20(-) plasmablasts than to memory B cells. Moreover, putative B-1 cells could be differentiated into CD20(-) plasmablasts and plasma cells in vitro, supporting a pre-plasmablast phenotype. In conclusion, characterization of the putative B-1 cells revealed a functional phenotype and a gene expression profile that corresponds to cells that differentiate into CD20(-) plasmablasts. Our data offer perspectives for the investigation of differentiation of B cells into antibody secreting cells.

Lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF/p75) is a cellular cofactor of HIV-1 integrase (IN) that interacts with IN through its IN binding domain (IBD) and tethers the viral pre-integration complex to the host cell chromatin. Here we report the generation of a human somatic LEDGF/p75 knockout cell line that allows the study of spreading HIV-1 infection in the absence of LEDGF/p75. By homologous recombination the exons encoding the LEDGF/p75 IBD (exons 11 to 14) were knocked out. In the absence of LEDGF/p75 replication of laboratory HIV-1 strains was severely delayed while clinical HIV-1 isolates were replication-defective. The residual replication was predominantly mediated by the Hepatoma-derived growth factor related protein 2 (HRP-2), the only cellular protein besides LEDGF/p75 that contains an IBD. Importantly, the recently described IN-LEDGF/p75 inhibitors (LEDGINs) remained active even in the absence of LEDGF/p75 by blocking the interaction with the IBD of HRP-2. These results further support the potential of LEDGINs as allosteric integrase inhibitors.

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