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Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

The Catholic University of Leuven, , was the largest, oldest and most prominent university in Belgium. The university was founded in 1425 as the University of Leuven by John IV, Duke of Brabant and approved by a Papal bull by Pope Martin V.During France's occupation of Belgium in the French Revolutionary Wars, the French Republic closed the university. After Belgium was annexed by the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, the State University of Louvain was founded in 1816, lasting until 1835. In 1834, a few years after Belgium gained its independence, the university was "re-founded", and would become known as the Catholic University of Leuven, and it is usually identified with the Old University.In 1968, the university split to form two institutions: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Dutch-speaking, situated primarily in Leuven; and Université catholique de Louvain, French-speaking, situated primarily in nearby Louvain-la-Neuve.This entry deals with the historic university, 1425–1797 and 1834–1968. For the current successor institutions and their separate development since 1968, see the individual articles linked above. Wikipedia.

Charette N.,Catholic University of Louvain
Cell death & disease | Year: 2013

Ras activation is a frequent event in human hepatocarcinoma that may contribute to resistance towards apoptosis. Salirasib is a ras and mTOR inhibitor that induces a pro-apoptotic phenotype in human hepatocarcinoma cell lines. In this work, we evaluate whether salirasib sensitizes those cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Cell viability, cell death and apoptosis were evaluated in vitro in HepG2, Hep3B and Huh7 cells treated with DMSO, salirasib and YM155 (a survivin inhibitor), alone or in combination with recombinant TRAIL. Our results show that pretreatment with salirasib sensitized human hepatocarcinoma cell lines, but not normal human hepatocytes, to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Indeed, FACS analysis showed that 25 (Huh7) to 50 (HepG2 and Hep3B) percent of the cells treated with both drugs were apoptotic. This occurred through activation of the extrinsic and the intrinsic pathways, as evidenced by a marked increase in caspase 3/7 (five to ninefold), caspase 8 (four to sevenfold) and caspase 9 (eight to 12-fold) activities in cells treated with salirasib and TRAIL compared with control. Survivin inhibition had an important role in this process and was sufficient to sensitize hepatocarcinoma cells to apoptosis. Furthermore, TRAIL-induced apoptosis in HCC cells pretreated with salirasib was dependent on activation of death receptor (DR) 5. In conclusion, salirasib sensitizes hepatocarcinoma cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis by a mechanism involving the DR5 receptor and survivin inhibition. These results in human hepatocarcinoma cell lines and primary hepatocytes provide a rationale for testing the combination of salirasib and TRAIL agonists in human hepatocarcinoma.

Gohy J.-F.,Catholic University of Louvain | Zhao Y.,Universite de Sherbrooke
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2013

Stimuli-responsive block copolymer micelles are the topic of intense research since they are able to show sharp and eventually reversible responses to various environmental changes and find applications in various fields including controlled drug delivery. Among all the available stimuli, light has recently attracted much attention since it can be localized in time and space, and it can also be triggered from outside of the system. In this tutorial review, we highlight the progress realized in recent years. More precisely, we provide some guidelines towards the rational design of photo-responsive block copolymers and we present the different photo-responsive moieties that have been used so far. We also discuss the different types of irreversible and reversible responses encountered by photo-responsive block copolymer micelles. Finally, we suggest possible future developments including the design of biocompatible systems operating at excitation wavelengths compatible for biomedical applications. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Nesterov Yu.,Catholic University of Louvain
SIAM Journal on Optimization | Year: 2012

In this paper we propose new methods for solving huge-scale optimization problems. For problems of this size, even the simplest full-dimensional vector operations are very expensive. Hence, we propose to apply an optimization technique based on random partial update of decision variables. For these methods, we prove the global estimates for the rate of convergence. Surprisingly, for certain classes of objective functions, our results are better than the standard worst-case bounds for deterministic algorithms. We present constrained and unconstrained versions of the method and its accelerated variant. Our numerical test confirms a high efficiency of this technique on problems of very big size. © 2012 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Lemaigre F.P.,Catholic University of Louvain
Hepatology | Year: 2015

Slow renewal of the epithelial cells by proliferation ensures homeostasis of the liver, but extensive proliferation may occur upon injury. When proliferation is impaired, transdifferentiation of mature cells or differentiation of stem cells allows production of new hepatocytes and cholangiocytes. While lineage tracings using cyclization recombinase (Cre) recombinase-mediated cell labeling represent the gold standard for defining cell fate, there are more variables than was initially realized. This led to controversies about the capacity of liver cells to switch their fate. Here, I review how cells are traced in the liver and highlight the experimental pitfalls that may cause misinterpretations and controversies. © 2015 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Marszalek P.E.,Duke University | Dufrene Y.F.,Catholic University of Louvain
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2012

The past years have witnessed remarkable advances in our use of atomic force microscopy (AFM) for stretching single biomolecules, thereby contributing to answering many outstanding questions in biophysics and chemical biology. In these single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) experiments, the AFM tip is continuously approached to and retracted from the biological sample, while monitoring the interaction force. The obtained force-extension curves provide key insight into the molecular elasticity and localization of single molecules, either on isolated systems or on cellular surfaces. In this tutorial review, we describe the principle of such SMFS experiments, and we survey remarkable breakthroughs made in manipulating single polysaccharides and proteins, including understanding the conformational properties of sugars and controlling them by force, measuring the molecular elasticity of mechanical proteins, unfolding and refolding individual proteins, probing protein-ligand interactions, and tuning enzymatic reactions by force. In addition, we show how SMFS with AFM tips bearing specific bioligands has enabled researchers to stretch and localize single molecules on live cells, in relation with cellular functions. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2012.

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