The NWO Domain Science has awarded prof. Peter Hordijk in the NWO Open Competition Domain Science – KLEIN. KLEIN grants are intended for innovative, high-quality, fundamental research and/or studies involving matters of scientific urgency.
His project is about ‘cellular decision-making in the control of small GTPases: GTP hydrolysis vs. ubiquitylation’.
Cells, too, make choices and decisions. This project will study cells (taken from the walls of blood vessels) that exhibit the ability to choose. The choice in question involves two different ways of controlling small regulatory proteins (Rho GTPases). This is important, because these proteins mediate contacts between endothelial cells. It is this which ultimately determines the formation, permeability and proper functioning of blood vessels. There has been no previous research on this topic. The project should, therefore, generate new ideas and models about how, where and when cells make molecular choices, and how those choices impact the way they function.