Lamkanfi Unit - NOD-like Receptor and Inflammasome Laboratory

Research field: Pathogen sensing and inflammation

Group leader: Prof. Dr. Mohamed Lamkanfi

Tel:  +32 9 33 13730 -  Fax:+32 9 221 76 73

Research topic

The major research interest of the NOD-like Receptor and Inflammasome Laboratory is how NOD-like receptors (NLRs) and inflammasomes modulate immune responses. 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’.

Area of expertise

  • NOD-like receptors
  • Inflammasomes
  • Pyroptosis
  • Innate immunity
  • Inflammation

Technology transfer potential

  • Assays and therapeutic targets in inflammation and autoimmunity
  • Mouse models of inflammasome-driven diseases



    Macrophage undergoing pyroptotic cell death

    Intestinal inflammation in caspase-11-deficient mice



    Selected publications

    1. Lamkanfi M., Dixit V.M.D. The inflammasome turns 15.
      Nature, 548(7669):534-535,2017.
    2. Mamantopoulos M.*, Ronchi F.*, et al. Nlrp6- and ASC-dependent inflammasomes do not shape the commensal gut microbiota composition. (* contributed equally)
      Immunity, 47(2):339-348,2017.
    3. Van Gorp H.*, Saavedra P. H. V.*, et al. Familial Mediterranean Fever mutations lift the obligatory requirement for microtubules in Pyrin inflammasome activation.
      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 113(50):14384-14389, 2016.
    4. Kuchmiy A.A., et al. NLRP2 controls age-associated maternal fertility.
      Journal of Experimental Medicine 213(13):2851-2860, 2016.
    5. Vande Walle L.*, Jiménez Fernández D.*, et al. Does caspase-12 suppress inflammasome activation?
      Nature 534(7605):E1-4, 2016.(* Contributed equally)

    Web of Science highly cited researchers 2017

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