NOD-like Receptor and Inflammasome Lab

Inflammasomes and NOD-like receptors (NLRs) play critical roles in in autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases and in host responses against invading pathogens.


Supervisor: Prof. dr. Mohamed Lamkanfi

Staff Members and
Post-doctoral Researchers

Doctoral Students

Technical Staff

Dr. Dieter Demon
Dr. Nina Van Opdenbosch
Dr. Lieselotte Vande Walle
Dr. Hanne Van Gorp
Dr. Anna Kuchmiy
Dr. Andy Wullaert

Daniel Jiménez Fernandez
Magdalena Matusiak
Pedro Saveedra
Hanne Dubois
Michail Mamantopoulos

Amélie Fossoul
Maarten Verdonckt

Research Focus

NOD-like receptors (NLRs) represent a family of intracellular receptors by which immune cells detect and mount immune responses against invading pathogens. Mutations in NLR genes are associated with auto-inflammatory and -immune disorders, including Crohn’s disease, arthritis, diabetes, period fever syndromes, asthma, atopic eczema, Blau syndrome and vitiligo. While some NLRs regulate NF-κB signaling and interferon responses, another subset of the 22 NLR proteins encoded in the human genome is responsible for production of interleukin (IL)-1ß and IL-18 through activation of the cysteine proteases caspases-1 and -11 in protein complexes termed ‘inflammasomes’.

A major challenge in NLR and inflammasome research is that our current knowledge of NLR signaling pathways and disease function is highly fragmented. The long-term aim of the “NLR and inflammasome signaling” research unit is to gain insight into the role of NLRs and inflammasomes in human disease. To achieve our goal, we integrate enabling proteomics and genomics technologies for pathway discovery with detailed biochemical, cell biological and in vivo studies of NLR function. Translation of newly gained knowledge will contribute to the development of innovative diagnostics and therapeutic approaches for autoimmune and infectious diseases.

Selected Publications

Lamkanfi M., Dixit V.M.  (2012) Inflammasome signaling in health and disease. Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology 28:137-61

Anand P.K., Malireddi R.K.S., Lukens J.R., Vogel P., Bertin J., Lamkanfi M.*, Kanneganti T-D.* (2012)  NLRP6 Negatively Regulates Innate Immunity and Host Defense Against Bacterial Pathogens. Nature 488(7411):389-93 (* contributed equally)

Qu Y.*, Misaghi S.*, Izrael-Tomasevic A., Newton K., Gilmour L. L., Lamkanfi M., Louie S., Kayagaki N., Liu J., Kömüves L., Cupp J. E., Arnott D., Monack D., Dixit V.M. (2012) Phosphorylation of NLRC4 is critical for inflammasome activation. Nature in press (* contributed equally)

Lamkanfi M. (2011) Emerging inflammasome effector mechanisms. Nature Reviews Immunology 11(3):213-220

Kayagaki N., Warming S., Lamkanfi M., Vande Walle L., Louie S., Dong J., Newton K., Qu Y., Liu J., Heldens S., Zhang J., Lee W. P., Roose-Girma M., Dixit V.M. (2011) Non-canonical inflammasome activation targets caspase-11. Nature 479(7371):117-121

Zaki Md. H., Vogel P., Malireddi R. K. S., Anand P. K., Body-Malapel M., Bertin J., Green D. R., Lamkanfi M. , Kanneganti T-D. (2011) The NOD-like receptor Nlrp12 attenuates colon inflammation and tumorigenesis. Cancer Cell 20(5):649-60

Lamkanfi M., Sarkar A., Vande Walle L., Vitari A. C. , Amer A. O., Wewers M. D., Tracey K. J., Kanneganti T-D., Dixit V. M. (2010) Inflammasome-dependent release of the alarmin HMGB1 in endotoxemia. Journal of Immunology 185(7):4385-4392