The Individual Fellowship aims to enhance the creative and innovative potential of experienced researchers wishing to diversify their individual competence in terms of skills acquisition at multi- or interdisciplinary level. The fellowship particularly supports the return and reintegration of researchers from outside Europe who have previously worked here.
In UbiBranch, dr. Clijsters will study the cell cycle regulator APC/C that controls cell division by targeting regulatory proteins for degradation by the Ubiquitin-Proteasome-System. Intriguingly, APC/C substrates that are degraded at the metaphase-to-anaphase transition have binding partners, which are not degraded. It remains a mystery how the APC/C controls degradation of the substrates and leaves the binding partners undisturbed. Clijsters aims to clarify the molecular mechanism of substrate-binding partner disengagement, and determine the impact of disengagement on substrate degradation, to ensure controlled sister chromatid separation and genome integrity. She will employ a multi-disciplinary approach, combining molecular biology, proteomics, and in vivo cell biology approaches to resolve this fundamental biological question. The identified mechanism may provide insights into ternary complex formation of the APC/C and its substrates, which will enable translation to develop targeted-protein-degradation drugs.