As part of the VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology, the Eyckerman team aims to develop and implement novel tools for the study of protein complexes. Within the UGent Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, we focus mainly on human cell systems and pathways implicated in disease areas such as cancer and inflammation. We recently pioneered the trapping of protein complexes inside virus-like particles as an innovative and elegant way to study protein complexes. Our Virotrap platform delivers overlapping and complementary data with existing technologies such as classical affinity purification-mass spectrometry and BioID. The lab also aims at improving design (iMixPro) and analysis (SFINX) of MS-based protein complex analysis. Another active area of research involves the implementation of protein complex analysis methods on the endogenous level. Many approaches still rely on the forced expression of tagged bait proteins. By hitchhiking on the genome engineering revolution which is mainly driven by CRISPR-Cas9 developments, we are now introducing epitope tags on the endogenous protein and we are evaluating proximal labeling approaches (i.e. BioID) using endogenous baits. It is clear that these endogenous approaches pose unique challenges but we believe that the data obtained will provide a better picture of the protein complexes that are actually formed. As a final addition, we mention a collaborative effort focused on endogenous protein complexes that associate with genomic loci and with RNA molecules (e.g. lncRNAs).

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