Aarhus Universitets segl

Daan van Aalten


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Daan van Aalten


  • Institut for Molekylærbiologi og Genetik - Cellulær sundhed, intervention og ernæring
Adressetype: Postaddresse.
Universitetsbyen 81
1872, 658
Aarhus C

E-mail: daan@mbg.au.dk

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Information

Daniel (Daan) Marinus Ferdinand van Aalten, born January 4, 1971 in Zevenaar, The Netherlands.

E-mail: daan@mbg.au.dk

Homepage: Daan van Aalten (au.dk) and http://sites.google.com/site/vanaaltenlab     

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AaltenDaan


University education

09-1989/01-1994: BSc Chemistry, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
02-1994/01-1997: PhD in Biochemistry/Biophysics. Prof. John Findlay, Leeds, U.K.

Professional history

02-1997/03-1999: Postdoc in the lab of Dr. Leemor Joshua-Tor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, funded by an EMBO Long-term Fellowship.
05-1999/10-1999: Postdoc in the lab of Prof. Rik Wierenga, Oulu University, Finland.

Lecturer (1999), Reader (2002) and Professor of Biological Chemistry (2006 - present) in the Division of Biological Chemistry & Drug Discovery (1999 – 2009), the Division of Molecular Microbiology (2009 – 2015) and the Division of Gene Regulation and Expression (2015 – present), College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland.

Since 2018, guest professor at the Institute for Molecular Precision Medicine, Xiangya Hospital, Changsha, Hunan Province, China.


Fellowships, Prizes & Awards

EMBO long-term fellowship, 1997
Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship, 2000
EMBO Young Investigator Award, 2002
Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship, 2004
Lister Institute for Preventive Medicine Research Prize, 2006
Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship, 2009
Elected Fellow of The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2010
Royal Society of Chemistry’s Dextra Laboratories Carbohydrate Award, 2011

Hunan Province 100 Talent Award (China), 2018


Past research

The key contributions I have made over the past 20 years as a PI lie in three areas.

Enzymes involved in fungal cell wall assembly/modification. I have produced novel insights into the reaction mechanism/substrate binding of chitinases, enzymes that remodel fungal cell wall chitin (PNAS 2000,2001). My work on inhibitors of these enzymes has provided new tools (Chem.Biol. 2005) as well as an understanding of the mode of action of some fascinating, peptide-based, natural products (PNAS 2002, Chem.Biol. 2010). My group has also provided the first insights into the structure and mechanism of fungal transglycosylases that are important for cell wall remodelling (JBC, 2004, Nat.Comms. 2019). Recently we have published the structural/genetic validation of key enzymes of UDP-GlcNAc biosynthesis (Mol.Micro. 2013, Biochem.J. 2018) and mechanistic insights into cell wall chitin & mannan synthesis (Open Biol. 2014, JBC 2014, ACS.Chem.Bio. 2015, Nat.Comm. 2019). This work was funded by MRC Programme Grants (2009-2019).


Signalling with sugars - O-GlcNAc. Over the past 12 years, I have transformed our molecular understanding of O-GlcNAcylation - a sugar posttranslational modification that is essential for development in vertebrates. We have published the first structures and mechanisms of the O- GlcNAcase (EMBO J. 2006) and O-GlcNAc transferase (EMBO J. 2008, Nat.Chem.Biol. 2012,2014). We have used these to design specific inhibitors (JACS 2006, Chem.Biol. 2010) that we have then applied to study biological mechanisms of O-GlcNAc signalling (EMBO J. 2011, Nat.Chem.Biol. 2017). Recently we have used CRISPR/Cas9 and proteomic methods to study the role of O-GlcNAc in fly development (Nat.Chem.Biol. 2017, JBC 2018, Nat.Struct.Mol.Biol. 2019) and described intellectual disability patients with mutations in O-GlcNAc transferase (JBC 2017, Cell Chem.Biol. 2018, PNAS 2019, Eur.J.Hum.Gen. 2020). This work was funded by Wellcome Trust Fellowships/Investigator Award (2009-2021).


Molecular mechanisms of eukaryotic signal transduction. I have studied the structural biology of nodes in the insulin signalling pathway downstream of PI-3 kinase. A landmark in this field was the structure of the PDK1 kinase domain (EMBO J. 2002), explaining the dependence of this kinase on phosphorylated hydrophobic motifs for substrate recognition. More recently, I have embarked on a structural characterization of the LKB1 tumour suppressor consisting of the kinase LKB1, the pseudokinase STRAD and the scaffolding protein MO25 (Nat.Struct.Biol. 2004, PLOS Biol. 2009, Science 2009) and described the structural defects in PINK1 that lead to Parkinson’s disease (eLife 2017). This work was funded by a CRUK project grant (2009-2012) and a Parkinson’s UK grant (2013-2016).


Future research


Mechanisms of O-GlcNAc signalling in neurodevelopment

Protein O-GlcNAcylation, catalysed by O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT), is a post-translational modification that is indispensable for embryogenesis. Early onset intellectual disability (ID) is characterised by limitations in cognitive function and adaptive behaviour. Recently we have discovered families where OGT missense mutations segregate with syndromic ID ("OGT-CDG") including developmental delay, behavioural problems, ataxia, clinodactyly and microcephaly.

My long-term vision is to uncover the O-GlcNAc-dependent biological mechanisms that are affected in these patients and, in the longer term, use these findings to inform and develop treatment strategies.

I have three complementary, independent aims:

1) Introduce OGT-CDG mutations in mESCs, Drosophila and mice to quantify biochemical, cellular, structural and behavioural phenotypes, and modulate these using genetic, chemical and metabolic approaches.

2) Use these model systems to uncover candidate O-GlcNAc proteins that link to OGT-CDG phenotypes, using a combination of proteomics, transcriptomics, bioinformatics and
genetic screens.

3) Dissect the biological functions and molecular consequences of site-specific O-
GlcNAcylation, including a new method to site-specifically increase O-GlcNAc stoichiometry in vivo.

This work will deliver tools to model and study OGT-CDG, transform our understanding of the role of site-specific O-GlcNAcylation in neurodevelopment and provide a springboard for the future development of treatments.


Genetic, structural and chemical validation of Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall targets

The fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the leading causes of invasive fungal disease. The incidence of invasive aspergillosis has remained high due to a combination of a rising population of immunocompromised patients and the emergence of resistance against a small arsenal of only partially effective antifungal drugs. There is thus an urgent need for novel, properly genetically and chemically validated, drug targets. The Aspergillus cell wall consists of chitin, glucan and mannan. Despite an emerging understanding of the complex membrane proteins involved in the synthesis of these polymers, targeting them has proven difficult. Instead, in this proposal we aim to target "Achilles heels" of cell wall synthesis - the production of the sugar nucleotide precursors UDP-Glc, UDP-GlcNAc, GDP-Man and regulators of glucan synthase, that will cut deep into the essential cell wall biosynthetic machinery. Building on a significant body of unpublished preliminary data, I will use a multidisciplinary approach (covering genetics, biochemistry, structural biology, fragment-based inhibitor discovery, synthetic chemistry and cell biology) to genetically, structurally and chemically validate A. fumigatus enzymes from these pathways as antifungal targets. The output will be:

1)    A significant increase in our molecular understanding of these enzymes,

  • A collection of novel chemical tools for use by the fungal scientific community, and

  • A portfolio of targets (and associated chemical starting points) that serve as a springboard for novel antifungal drug discovery.


Previously held grants

  • EMBO long-term fellowship (12/1997 - 2/1999)
  • `Structure, flexibility & drug design of PAS domains, human siglecs and trypanosomal acyl-CoA binding protein', Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship (6/2000 - 5/2004), 385296 GBP
  • `Structure & dynamics of the PAS domain', Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship (summer 2000), 1100 GBP
  • `Molecular characterisation of siglec-7 and its interaction with novel, synthetic sialic acid based inhibitors', BBSRC project grant, co-applicant with Dr. Paul Crocker (11/2000 - 10/2003), 178440 GBP
  • `Cloning, expression, and crystallisation of mutated FabI, an antibiotic resistant form of an essential gene in coli', Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship (summer 2001), 1100 GBP
  • `Expanding drug docking algorithms to include an accurate description of receptor flexibility, and application to development of inhibitors of enzymes with chemotherapeutic potential', CASE industrial partnership with Cyclacel Ltd. (10/2001-9/2004), 22500 GBP
  • `Structural analysis of the 3-phosphoinositide dependent protein kinase-1', Diabetes UK Research Studentship, principal applicant with Dr. Dario Alessi (10/2002-9/2005), 65610 GBP
  • `Structural analysis of the 3-phosphoinositide dependent protein kinase-1', MRC Predoctoral Fellowship for D. Komander, co-applicant with Dr. Dario Alessi (5/2002-4/2005), 70000 GBP
  • `Cloning, expression and crystallization of chitinases from the human pathogens Leishmania donovani and Candida albicans', Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship (summer 2002), 1100 GBP
  • `Structure-based anti-microbial drug design', EMBO Young Investigator Award (10/2002-9/2005), 30000 GBP
  • `Structural analysis of novel peptide-based chitinase inhibitors', Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship (summer 2003), 1240 GBP
  • `Structural and biochemical studies of persicae chitinases', CASE industrial partnership with Syngenta (03/2003-02/2006), 18000 GBP
  • `Structure-based design and synthesis of carbohydrate-mimetic peptides as chitinase inhibitors and potential chemotherapeutic agents', Wellcome Trust Project Grant, co-applicant with Ian Eggleston (09/2004 - 08/2007), 307468 GBP
  • `Design and synthesis of PDK1 inhibitors', NESTech partnership, co-applicant with Dario Alessi, (12/2004 - 06/2006), 48386 GBP/
  • `The fungal cell wall as a target for antifungal therapies', European Union Framework Project, (12-2004 - 11-2007), 295200 EU.
  • `Structural analysis of AMCase - the human chitinase involved in asthma', Collaborative research contract with Merck USA, (10/2005 - 09/2006), 70000 GBP.
  • `Cloning, expression and crystallisation of fumigatus GNA1', Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship (summer 2005), 1240 GBP.
  • `Development of a chitinase inhibitor into a pre-clinical candidate for the treatment of invasive aspergillosis', Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery Initiative Interim Award, (12/2006 - 11/2007), 227595 GBP
  • `Identification of O-GlcNAc transferase substrates', Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship (summer 2007), 1400 GBP.
  • `Structural biology and inhibitor design on chitin metabolism', Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship, (06/2004 - 05/2009), 1129909 GBP.
  • `Structural analysis of the LKB1 signalling pathway', Tenovus Scotland Studentship, (10/2005 - 09/2008), 48380 GBP.
  • `Molecular probes for mammalian chitinases', BBSRC Studentship, co-applicant with Ian Eggleston (10/2005 - 09/2008), 50000 GBP.
  • `Scottish facility for compound screening and library synthesis - exploiting modern chemical biology for drug discovery', SHEFC Strategic Research Development Grant, consortium member with Mike Ferguson as lead application, (08/2005 – 08/2010), 1442026 GBP.
  • `Drug Discovery for Tropical Diseases', Wellcome Trust, co-applicant with Alan Fairlamb, Mike Ferguson, Bill Hunter, Ian Gilbert and Julie Frearson, (10/2005 - 9/2010), 8100000 GBP.
  • `De-N-acetylation of cell wall chitin/peptidoglycan as a defence mechanism against the mammalian immune system - structures, mechanisms and inhibitor development', principal applicant with Ian Eggleston, Wellcome Trust Project Grant, (9/2006 - 8/2009, 205371 GBP.
  • `Structural mechanisms and specificity of O-GlcNAc signalling in the eukaryotic cell', Lister Institute for Preventive Medicine Research Prize (2/2007-1/2010), 175000 GBP.
  • `Molecular mechanisms of assembly, regulation and substrate recognition of the heterotrimeric LKB1 tumour suppressor', principal applicant with Dario Alessi, Cancer Research UK project grant, 11/2009 - 10/2012, 178806 GBP.
  • `Translating a Portfolio of Novel Biological Targets Towards Therapeutics', co-applicant with Julie Frearson, Julian Blow, Angus Lamond, Tracy Palmer, Kevin Read, Paul Wyatt, John Hayes, Roland Wolf, David Lane, Irwin McLean and Susan Schweiger, Medical Research Council Development Pathway Funding Scheme, 6/2009 - 5/2010, 869656 GBP.
  • `The role of O-GlcNAc in bacterial signal transduction and virulence', principal applicant, EU FP7 Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant (ESR268388), 11/2010 - 10/2012, 89270 GBP.
  • `The hit validation and structure guided optimisation of O-GlcNAcase (OGA) fragment inhibitors as potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease', co-applicant with Paul Wyatt and Andrew Woodland, SULSA Catalyst Chemistry Fund, 7/2011-10/2011, 20997 GBP.
  • `High throughput screening for small molecule O-GlcNAc transferase inhibitors', principal applicant with Andrew Woodland and David Gray, SULSA High Throughput and Fragment Screening Fund, 8/2011 - 10/2011, 23900 GBP.
  • `Molecular mechanisms of O-GlcNAc signalling', Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship (WT087590MA), 6/2009 - 5/2014, 1933920 GBP.
  • `Understanding the mechanism of chitooligosaccharide synthesis', co-applicant (supervisor) with Helge Dorfmueller, Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship (WT049105), 11/2010 - 10/2014, 250000 GBP.
  • `Molecular mechanisms of O-GlcNAc signalling', Supplement to Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship (WT087590MA), 6/2014 - 2/2016, 422242 GBP.
  • 'Molecular mechanisms of fungal cell wall assembly', Medical Research Council Programme Grant, 11/2009 - 10/2014, 2212278 GBP.
  • `Discovery and development of drug candidates for neglected diseases', co-applicant with Paul Wyatt, Ruth Brenk, Alan Fairlamb, Mike Ferguson, Ian Gilbert, Andrew Hopkins and Kevin Read, Wellcome Trust, 2/2011 - 1/2016, 8460971 GBP.
  • `Building a biofilm - the involvement of a cell wall protein', co-applicant with Nicola Stanley-Wall, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Project Grant (BB/I019464/1), 8/2011 - 7/2014, 348072 GBP.
  • `Sugar-coated armour: exploring UDP-galactopyranose mutase (UGM) as a potential antifungal target', co-applicant (supervisor) with Deborah Lockhart, (G1100430), Medical Research Council Clinical PhD Fellowship 9/2011 - 8/2014, 217015 GBP.
  • `State-of-the-art facilities for structural biology at the University of Dundee', co-applicant with Bull Hunter, David Lilley, Tom Owen-Hughes and Paul Wyatt, Wellcome Trust Project Grant (WT050558), 10/2011 - 9/2016, 1190612 GBP.
  • 'Genetic, structural and chemical validation of Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall targets', Medical Research Council Programme Grant, 11/2014 - 10/2019, 1755686 GBP.


Currently held/recently applied for grants

  • ‘Mechanisms of O-GlcNAc signalling’, Wellcome Trust Investigator Award (WT110061), 3/2016-8/2021, 1527933 GBP.
  • ‘Genetic and chemical validation of sugar nucleotide biosynthesis as a target against Candida albicans’, Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award (WT200208), 3/2017 – 2/2022, 1332087 GBP.
  • ‘Chemical and genetic validation of Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall targets’, Medical Research Council Programme Grant (V001094), 3/2021-2/2026, 1577548

Lectures at universities/institutes/companies since 2007

  • 10/2007 Aberdeen University, "Protein phosphorylation versus O-GlcNAcylation - Yin & Yang?"
  • 11/2007 Complex Carbohydrate Research Centre, University of Athens, Georgia, US, "Protein phosphorylation versus O-GlcNAcylation - Ying & Yang?"
  • 12/2007 Institut Pasteur, Paris, "Targetting fumigatus chitinases"
  • 01/2008 A*STAR Singapore, "Protein phosphorylation versus O-GlcNAcylation - Yin & Yang?"
  • 04/2008 NIMR, London, "Protein phosphorylation versus O-GlcNAcylation - Yin & Yang?"
  • 08/2008 University of Tokyo, "Chitinase inhibitors"
  • 08/2008 Niigata University, Japan, "Chitozymes - structures, mechanisms and inhibition"
  • 08/2008 Kitasato Institute, Tokyo, Japan, "Chitinase inhibitors"
  • 11/2008 University of York, "Protein phosphorylation versus O-GlcNAcylation - Yin & Yang?"
  • 02/2009 University of Porto, Portugal, "Protein phosphorylation versus O-GlcNAcylation - Yin & Yang?"
  • 03/2009 Annual Retreat of the College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Crieff.
  • 09/2009 Free University of Amsterdam, "Molecular mechanisms of O-GlcNAc signalling"
  • 10/2009 Beijing University Microbiology Key State Laboratory, "Molecular mechanisms of fungal cell wall assembly"
  • 02/2010 Cancer Research UK Lincoln's Inn Fields London, "Molecular mechanisms of O-GlcNAc signalling"
  • 09/2010 EMD Merck Serono, Boston, US.
  • 10/2010 Biochemistry Department, Oxford, UK.
  • 11/2010 Annual Retreat of the Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery, University of Dundee.
  • 01/2011 Dept. of Microbiology, University of Freiburg, Germany.
  • 03/2011 School of BioSciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.
  • 03/2011 Summit Plc, Abingdon, UK.
  • 05/2011 Faculty of Medicine, University of Pecs, Hungary.
  • 08/2011 Bio21 Institute, University of Melbourne, Australia.
  • 08/2011 Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia.
  • 03/2012 Annual Retreat of the College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Crieff.
  • 05/2012 Chemistry Department, Cambridge, UK.
  • 09/2012 CRUK Beatson Institute, Glasgow, UK.
  • 10/2012 University of Lille, France.
  • 02/2013 Dept. of Life Sciences, Warwick, UK.
  • 06/2013 BIFI, University of Zaragoza, Spain.
  • 02/2014 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, US.
  • 02/2014 The Biochemical Society Lecture, John Innis Centre, Norwich UK.
  • 03/2014 Queens University, Belfast, UK.
  • 05/2014 College of Life Sciences; Capital Normal University, Beijing, China.
  • 11/2015 University of Bangalore, India
  • 11/2015 Xiamen University, Xiamen, China
  • 11/2015 Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  • 02/2016 Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
  • 02/2016 Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • 04/2016 Dept. of Biochemistry, Oxford University, UK
  • 05/2016 Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
  • 05/2016 Dept. of Biochemistry, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
  • 06/2016 University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
  • 09/2016 Dalian University, Dalian, China
  • 11/2016 Janssen Pharmaceutica, Beerse, Belgium
  • 03/2017 Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine, Edinburgh, UK
  • 09/2017 School of Life Sciences, Central South University, Changsha, China
  • 10/2017 Max Planck Institute for the Biology of Ageing, Cologne, Germany
  • 08/2018 Clinical Genetics Department, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow, UK
  • 10/2018 Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • 01/2019 Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  • 05/2019 Department of Chemical Biology, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China
  • 10/2019 School of Cardiovascular Medicine and Sciences, King's College London, UK
  • 08/2020 Dept. of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus, DK

Lectures at conferences (invited, unless stated otherwise) since 2000

Over the past few years I have given an average of 6 seminars per year at universities and companies (not listed below). Since my arrival in Dundee, I have given the following (invited, unless stated otherwise) lectures at international meetings:

  • `Computer simulation & crystallography, an unhappy marriage?', at `Proteins: From Structures to Properties with Biocomputing Approaches', Oulu, Finland, 06/2000.
  • `Engineering photocycle dynamics of the photoactive yellow protein', at `Royal Dutch Academy Colloquium on Photoreceptor Proteins', Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 11/2000.
  • `Genomes, structures, dynamics & drug design', at `Inaugural Symposium of the Netherlands Chemical Society Bioinformatics Group', Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 01/2001.
  • `Structural basis of acyl-CoA responsive transcription in coli', 4th Nordic Meeting on Medical and Biochemical Aspects of Lipid Metabolism, Rokua, Finland, 10/2001.
  • `Structural biology downstream of PI-3 kinase', at the Gordon conference on 2nd Messengers and Phosphorylation, Meriden NH, USA, 06/2002.
  • `Chitinases - reaction mechanism and structure-based drug design', Cairns, Australia, 07/2002 (oral presentation).
  • `Structural biology downstream of PI-3 kinase', BioFocus Protein kinases in drug discovery, Cambridge, 07/2002.
  • `From chitinases to chitinase-like lectins (Chi-lectins), structure of 39 kD human cartilage glycoprotein', Gordon Conference on Glycobiology, Ventura CA, USA, 03/2003.
  • `Chitinases - reaction mechanism and structure-based drug design', 2003 EMBO YIP meeting, Heidelberg, Germany, 05/2003.
  • `Structure and rational drug design with PDK1', BioFocus protein kinase & GPCR meeting, Nice, France, 06/2003.
  • `From chitinases to chitinase-like lectins (Chi-lectins), structure of 39 kD human cartilage glycoprotein', 9th International chitin-chitosan conference, Montreal, Canada, 08/2003.
  • `Structure and rational drug design with PDK1', American Chemical Society meeting, New York, US, 09/2003.
  • `Structural biology downstream of PI-3 kinase', XXVIIIth symposium on hormones and regulation: protein kinases in health and disease, Mont Sainte Odile, France, 09/2003.
  • `Structure of LKB1', Workshop on novel strategies in anti-cancer treatments, Fondation Les Treilles, France, 05/2004.
  • `Structures of the PH domains of PKB and PDK1', Upstate Cell Signalling Symposium, Dundee, Scotland, 06/2004.
  • `Structures of the PH domains of PKB and PDK1', BioScience 2004, Glasgow, Scotland, 07/2004.
  • `Structure of siglec7 and complexes with ganglioside fragments', Sialobiology 2004, St. Andrews, Scotland, 07/2004.
  • `Protein flexibility in structure-based drug design', EMBO Course "Protein simulations and drug design", Shanghai, China, 09/2004.
  • `More drug-like inhibitors of family 18 chitinases', International Workshop - New Approaches in Drug Discovery & Design, Marburg, 03/2005.
  • `More drug-like inhibitors of family 18 chitinases', Evolving Methods in Macromolecular Crystallography, Erice, 05/2005.
  • `Family 4 Carbohydrate Esterases - Structures, Mechanisms and Inhibitors', Gordon Conference on Carbohydrates, Tilton NH, 06/2006.
  • Keynote Lecture: `Mechanisms of Eukaryotic O-GlcNAc signalling', International Carbohydrate Symposium 2006, Vancouver, 07/2006.
  • `Structure and function of chitin deacetylases', FEBS meeting: Cell wall polysaccharides of fungi and plants, Biarritz, 03/2007.
  • `Molecular mechanisms of O-GlcNAcase and its inhibitors', Gordon Conference on Glycobiology, Ventura CA, 03/2007 (oral presentation.
  • `Structural dissection of the LKB1 complex`, NCRI Cancer Conference 2007, 10/2007.
  • "Molecular mechanism of O-GlcNAc transferase and the role of the TPR repeats", GlycoT2008, Athens GA, 05/2008.
  • "Phosphorylation versus O-glycosylation: yin and yang?", 1st Portuguese-Spanish-British Joint Biophysics Congress 2008, 07/2008.
  • "Chitozymes - structures, mechanisms and inhibition", Annual conference of the Japanese Chitin Society, Niigata (Japan), 08/2008.
  • "Phosphorylation versus O-glycosylation: yin and yang?", Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance inaugural meeting, New Delhi, India, 09/2008.
  • "Chitozymes - structures, mechanisms and inhibition", EU NanoBioSaccharides Dissemination Conference, Hyderabad, India, 09/2008.
  • "Phosphorylation versus O-glycosylation: yin and yang?", 2009 National Carbohydrate Symposium, Banff, Canada, 05/2009.
  • "Phosphorylation versus O-glycosylation: yin and yang?", 15th European Carbohydrate Symposium, Vienna, Austria, 07/2009.
  • "Molecular mechanisms of yeast cell wall glucan remodelling". 25th European Crystallography Meeting, Istanbul, Turkey, 08/2009.
  • "Molecular mechanisms of fungal cell wall assembly", 2009 British Mycological Society Meeting, Dundee, Scotland, 09/2009.
  • "Molecular mechanisms of fungal cell wall assembly", 2009 Society for General Microbiology Meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland, 09/2009.
  • "Molecular mechanisms of O-GlcNAc signalling", 2009 Dutch Society for Glycobiology Meeting, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 09/2009.
  • "Molecular mechanisms of O-GlcNAc signalling", GlycoXX, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 12/2009.
  • "The hetero-trimeric LKB1 tumour suppressor complex", LKB1-AMPK Cancer Cell Signalling Meeting, Marseilles, France, 06/2010.
  • 26th European Association of Crystallography Meeting, Darmstad, Germany, 09/2010.
  • Annual Conference of the Society of Glycobiology, St. Pete Beach, FL, USA, 11/2010.
  • PacifiChem, Honolulu, USA, 12/2010.
  • Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology meeting, Perth, Australia, 07/2011.
  • 21st International Symposium on Glycoconjugates, Vienna, Austria, 08/2011.
  • Cold Spring Harbour Asia Conference on Drug Discovery, Suzhou, China, 09/2011.
  • The Netherlands Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Leiden, 10/2011.
  • 10th Jenner Symposium, The Hague, NL, 04/2012.
  • Lister Institute for Preventive Medicine AGM, Cambridge UK, 09/2012.
  • GlycoT 2012, Hannover, Germany, 06/2012.
  • Society for Glycobiology Annual Meeting, St. Petersburg, FL, USA (oral presentation), 11/2013.
  • FASEB meeting on Microbial Glycobiology, Itasca, IL, USA, 06/2014.
  • Fungal Cell Wall meeting, Paris, 09/2015.
  • Bijvoet Symposium 2016, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 06/2016
  • 1st International O-GlcNAc meeting, London, UK, 07/2016
  • XXVIII International Carbohydrate Symposium (ICS) 2016, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 07/2016
  • 2016 meeting of the Dutch Glycobiology Society, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 10/2016
  • Dutch Society for Biomolecular Modelling annual meeting, Lunteren, The Netherlands, 04/2017
  • International Scientific CDG Symposium 2017 on Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation and related disorders, Leuven, Belgium, 07/2017
  • 2017 Joint Workshop of the International Associated Laboratory Nancy-Dundee, Nancy, France, 10/217
  • Mini-symposium on neurodegeneration, Hengyang, China, 10/2017
  • Baltic Metabolic Group Meeting, Tartu, Estonia, 4/2018
  • The 64th BenzonSymposium on Glycotherapeutics, Copenhagen, Denmark, 8/2018
  • Wellcome Trust Researchers Meeting, London, 9/2018
  • Keynote speaker at Chinese Society for Medical Genetics annual conference, Shanghai, China, 10/2018


Teaching experience

Supervision of MSc/MRes/MSci students:

  • Francesco Rao, M.Sc. : "Structural studies of human chitotriosidase and C. elegans glucosamine 6-phosphate N-acetyl transferase", 04/2002-01/2003. Now: CEO of Dundee Cell Products
  • Vincent Rao, M.Sc., "Structural studies of peptidoglycan deacetylases", 10/2004 - 04/2008. Now: Postdoctoral Researcher in Newcastle
  • Andrew Clarke, M.Sc., "Structure of Xanthomonas campestris O-GlcNAc transferase", 10/2007 - 10/2008. Now: Patent Lawyer in Melbourne, Australia.

Supervision of PhD students:

  • Christine Milburn : "Structural Studies of Novel Pleckstrin Homology Domains and MO25", 10/2000-09/2003. Now: University of Dundee’s Principal’s Office
  • Douglas Houston : "Structures and inhibitors of the Serratia marcescens chitinolytic system and related proteins", 10/2001-04/2004. Now: Lecturer at Edinburgh University
  • David Komander : "Structural studies of 3-phosphoinositide dependent protein kinase 1 (PDK1)", 05/2002-01/2005. Now: Group Leader at the MRC LMB Cambridge
  • Fabrizio Villa : "Structural studies of the PTPL1, MAK2 and OSR1 signalling molecules", 10/2002 - 7/2006. Now: Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Dundee
  • David Blair : "Structural and mechanistic studies on family 4 carbohydrate esterases", 10/2002-11/2006. Now: unknown
  • Francesco Rao : "Structural studies of family 18 and 84 glycoside hydrolases", 02/2003 - 12/2006. Now: CEO of Dundee Cell Products
  • Helge Dorfmueller : "Structural and mechanistic exploration of inhibitors that modulate cellular O-GlcNAc levels", 09/2005 - 09/2009. Now: Group Leader at the University of Dundee
  • Elton Zeqiraj : "Molecular mechanism of LKB1 signalling", 09/2005 - 08/2009. Now: Group Leader at Leeds University
  • Olawale Raimi : "Structures, mechanisms and inhibitors of Aspergillus fumigatus UDP-GlcNAc biosynthetic enzymes", 10/2006 - 10/2009. Now: Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Dundee
  • Marianne Schimpl : "Molecular mechanisms and inhibitors of human O-GlcNAcase", 09/2007 - 11/2010. Now: Senior Staff Scientist at Astra Zeneca
  • Christina Rush : "Structural and mechanistic exploration of chitinases, chilectin and novel inhibitors of fungal chitinases", 10/2007 - 12/2011. Now: Head of Department at Salish Kootenai College, Pablo MT, USA.
  • Alexander Striebeck : “Structural and biochemical characterisation of enzymes involved in mannan biosynthesis“, 01/2009 – 12/2012. Now: Postdoctoral Researcher at the Carlsberg Institute, Copenhagen
  • Xiaowei Zheng : “Molecular Characterisation of O-GlcNAc Transferase”, 03/2009 – 02/2013. Now: Postdoctoral Researcher at Oxford University
  • Helen Woodroof : “Biochemical characterisation of the Parkinson’s disease-associated kinase PINK1 : insights from the insect world”, 09/2010 – 11/2015. Now: Medical Writer in Glasgow
  • Deborah Lockhart : “Sugar coat : genetic and chemical validation of Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall targets”, 09/2011 – 09/2014. Now: WT Clinical Postdoctoral Fellow in Dundee/Aberdeen
  • Nithya Selvan : “Reductionist animal models to probe protein O-GlcNAcylation”, 09/2011 – 09/2015. Now: Postdoctoral Researcher at the CCRC, Athens GA, USA.
  • Riccardo Trappanone : “Function and inhibition
 of the mitochondrial O-GlcNAc transferase isoform”, Ph.D., 09/2012 – 09/2015. Now: Postdoctoral Researcher at Vienna University
  • Wenfan Wei : “Targeting the Rho1 GTPase signalling pathway in Aspergillus fumigatus”, Ph.D., 09/2013 – 09/2017. Now: Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Mehmet Gundogdu : “Understanding tetratricopeptide repeats of O-GlcNAc transferase”, Ph.D., 09/2013 – 09/2017. Now: Postdoctoral Researcher at Glasgow University.
  • Karim Rafie : “Developing O-GlcNAc transferase inhibitors
– insights from substrate recognition”, Ph.D., 09/2013 – 09/2017. Now: Postdoctoral Researcher at Umea University.
  • Andrii Gorelik : “Genetic encoding of a stable O-GlcNAc analogue“,D., 09/2015 – 8/2018. Now: Postdoctoral Researcher at Dundee University.
  • Xiping Chen : “Investigating the role of UDP-N-acetylhexosamine pyrophosphorylases in regulating O-GlcNAcylation in human disease“, Ph.D., 09/2016 – 12/2020.
  • Kaizhou Yan, 09/2016 –
  • Veronica Pravata, Ph.D., 09/2017 –
  • Michaela Omelkava, Ph.D., 09/2018 –
  • Conor Mitchell, Ph.D., 09/2019 –
  • Ignacy Czajewski, Ph.D. 01/2020 –


Supervision of >30 summer/project students over the past 20 years.
Lectures/practicals for 3rd year students Genome Science on the principles of protein structure. Practicals in diffraction / drug docking for 3rd year students Pharmaceutical Chemistry.
Lectures on protein structure, O-GlcNAc signalling and molecular microbiology for 4th year honours students.

Training record

One of the real pleasures of being a group leader is working with young budding scientists and helping them shape their careers. The following are just some of the successful people that have come through my group:

Prof. David Komander: former PhD student (2002-2005), was until recently a tenured Group Leader at the MRC LMB and is now Head of the Ubiquitin Signalling Division at the WEHI in Melbourne. I trained David during the early stages of his career and supported subsequent fellowship applications.

Dr. Helge Dorfmueller: former PhD student (2005-2009), currently a Principal Investigator and Sir Henry Dale Fellow in Dundee. I trained Helge as a scientist and supported his Henry Wellcome/Dale fellowship applications.

Prof. Ramon Hurtado-Guerrero: former postdoc (2005-2009), currently Group Leader at the Institute for Biocomputation and Physics of Complex Systems, Zaragoza, Spain. I supported Ramon in developing a research theme that helped him make the transition to independence.

Dr. Elton Zeqiraj: former PhD student (2005-2009), currently a Principal Investigator and Sir Henry Dale Fellow in Leeds. I trained Elton as a scientist and supported his Henry Wellcome/Dale fellowship applications.

Dr. Deborah Lockhart: former Clinician PhD student (2011-2015), currently a Principal Investigator and Senior Clinical Lecturer in Aberdeen. I gave Deborah her basic science training and supported her application to the Wellcome Trust Clinical Postdoctoral Fellow scheme to move to an independent position in Aberdeen.

Prof. Wenxia Fang: former postdoc (2010-2017), currently Principal Investigator at Guangxi Academy of Sciences, Nanning, China. I supported Wenxia in developing a research theme that helped her make the transition to independence.

Dr. Daniel Mariyappa: former postdoc (2012-2019), currently Principal Investigator at the Bloomington Research Institute, Indiana University, US. I supported Daniel in developing research themes that helped him make the transition to independence.


There are currently several other students and postdocs in/from my lab that I am supporting in their applications for independent posts and fellowships, both by helping strengthen their publication records as well as giving them space to develop their own ideas for their future labs.

Other professional duties/activities

  • PhD viva external examiner for Marc van der Kamp (Bristol), 28/7/2008.
  • Director of the Singapore/Dundee A*STAR PhD programme, 2008-2009.
  • Consultant for a drug development programme at Merck USA, 2009.
  • Interview/site visit panel member for SFI-funded glycobiology consortium in Galway, Ireland, 2009 and 2011.
  • Interview panel member of the Wellcome Trust-India Alliance Fellowship scheme 2009 – 03/2018.
  • Deputy Chair of Biochemical Journal, 2011 - 2016.
  • Set up GlycoBioChem, a University of Dundee spin out company, 2011.
  • Ad hoc interview panel member of the Wellcome Trust Henry Dale fellowship programme 2012.
  • Mid-term review panel member at the Beatson Institute, Glasgow, 2012.
  • PhD viva external examiner for Tommi Carstensen, Dublin, 10/7/2012.
  • Member of Wellcome Trust Peer Review College, 7/2012 - present.
  • Member of Wellcome Trust Basic Science Interview Panel, 11/2013 – 03/2018.
  • Member of ESRF synchrotron beamline time allocation panel, 10/2016 – 10/2018.
  • PhD viva external examiner for Qiong Fan, University of Oslo, Norway, 9/2016
  • Member of the International Research Scholars Interview Panel at the Wellcome Trust, 02/2017
  • Member of the site visit panel of the CNRS Lille Glycobiology Unit, 02/2019.
  • Member of the advisory board for a project at the Living Sciences Institute, Exeter, 03/2019 –
  • PhD viva external examiner for, Oulu University, Findland, 8/2020

Institutional responsibilities

·         Deputy Head of Division of Molecular Microbiology, 2009-2012

·         Associate Dean for Research, 2009-2012

·         Member of >30 PhD thesis committees, 2001 – present

·         Division of Molecular Microbiology Athena Swan representative 2016-2017

·         Participant in University of Dundee Outreach/recruitment event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2/2018

·         Member of School of Life Sciences recruitment interview committee


Scientific society membership

2004 -                                 The Biochemical Society

2008 -                                 Society for Glycobiology

2009 -                                 Society for General Microbiology
2011 -                                 Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

2012 -                                 Member of the Lister Institute for Preventive Medicine


  1. Thomas, C.C., Alessi, D.R. & van Aalten D.M.F. (2001). "TAPP1 Methods". ADP1305010.
  2. Thomas, C.C., Alessi, D.R. & van Aalten D.M.F. (2002). "PKB-PH protein structure". GB0207652.9.
  3. Biondi, R.M., Komander D., Alessi, D.R. & van Aalten D.M.F. (2002). "Methods for designing PDK1 modulators". US10/517225, EU03730356.7.
  4. Eggleston, I. and van Aalten D.M.F. (2005). "Family 18 chitinase inhibitors". GB0512626.3.
  5. Borodkin, V. and Dorfmueller H. and van Aalten D.M.F. (2007). "Selective glycosidase inhibitors". GB0622702.9.



Full list of publications in peer reviewed scientific journals

My current H-factor is 62, with an average of 58 citations each for my 194 peer-reviewed publications, 118 of which have been cited at least 25 times each.



  1. M.F. van Aalten, A. Amadei, A.B.M. Linssen, V.G.H. Eijsink, G. Vriend, and H.J.C. Berendsen, "The essential dynamics of thermolysin - confirmation of the hinge-bending motion and comparison of simulations in vacuum and water", Proteins(1995), 22, 45-54.
  2. M.F. van Aalten, J.B.C. Findlay, A. Amadei, and H.J.C. Berendsen, "Essential dynamics of the cellular retinol-binding protein - evidence for ligand-induced conformational changes", Prot. Engng.(1995), 8, 1129-1135.



  1. M.F. van Aalten, A. Amadei, R. Bywater, J.B.C. Findlay, H.J.C. Berendsen, C. Sander, and P.F.W. Stouten, "A comparison of structural and dynamic properties of different simulation methods applied to SH3", Biophys. J.(1996), 70, 684-692.
  2. Amadei, A.B.M. Linssen, B.L. de Groot, D.M.F. van Aalten, and H.J.C. Berendsen, "An efficient method for sampling the essential subspace of proteins", J. Biomol. Str. Dyn.(1996), 13, 615-625.
  3. L. de Groot, A. Amadei, D.M.F. van Aalten, and H.J.C. Berendsen, "Towards an exhaustive sampling of the configurational spaces of the two forms of the peptide hormone guanylin", J. Biomol. Str. Dyn.(1996), 13, 741-751.
  4. M.F. van Aalten, R. Bywater, J.B.C. Findlay, M. Hendlich, R.W.W. Hooft, and G. Vriend, "PRODRG, a program for generating molecular topologies and unique molecular descriptors from coordinates of small molecules", JCAMD(1996), 10, 255-262.
  5. L. de Groot, D.M.F. van Aalten, A. Amadei, and H.J.C. Berendsen, "The consistency of large concerted motions in proteins in molecular dynamics simulations", Biophys. J.(1996), 71, 1707-1713. 
  6. M.F. van Aalten, B.L. de Groot, H.J.C. Berendsen, and J.B.C. Findlay, "Conformational analysis of retinoids and restriction of their dynamics by retinoid-binding proteins", Biochem. J.(1996), 319, 543-550. 
  7. H. Peters, D.M.F. van Aalten, O. Edholm, S. Toxvaerd, and R. Bywater, "Dynamics of proteins in different solvent systems: Analysis of essential motion in lipases", Biophys. J.(1996), 71, 2245-2255.



  1. M.F. van Aalten, B.L. de Groot, J.B.C. Findlay, H.J.C. Berendsen, and A. Amadei, "A comparison of techniques for calculating protein essential dynamics", J. Comp. Chem.(1997), 18, 169-181. 
  2. M.F. van Aalten, P.C. Jones, M. de Sousa, and J.B.C. Findlay, "Engineering protein mechanics: inhibition of concerted motions of the cellular retinol binding protein by site-directed mutagenesis", Prot. Engng.(1997), 10, 31-37. 
  3. H. Peters, D.M.F. van Aalten, A. Svendsen, and R. Bywater, "Essential dynamics of lipase binding sites: the effect of inhibitors of different chain length", Prot. Engng.(1997), 10, 149-158. 
  4. V. Mello, D.M.F. van Aalten, and J.B.C. Findlay, "Comparison of ras-p21 bound to GDP and GTP: differences in protein and ligand dynamics", Prot. Engng.(1997), 10, 381-387. 
  5. L. de Groot, D.M.F. van Aalten, R.M. Scheek, A. Amadei, G. Vriend, and H.J.C. Berendsen, "Prediction of protein conformational freedom from distance constraints", Proteins(1997), 29, 240-251. 
  6. M.F. van Aalten, D.A. Conn, B.L. de Groot, H.J.C. Berendsen, J.B.C. Findlay, and A. Amadei, "Protein dynamics derived from clusters of crystal structures",Biophys. J.(1997), 73, 2891-2896. 



  1. V. Mello, D.M.F. van Aalten, and J.B.C. Findlay, "Dynamic properties of the guanine nucleotide binding protein alpha subunit and comparison of its guanosine triphosphate hydrolase domain with that of ras-p21", Biochemistry(1998), 37, 3137-3142. 
  2. L. de Groot, S. Hayward, D.M.F. van Aalten, A. Amadei, and H.J.C. Berendsen, "Domain motions in bacteriophage T4 lysozyme: A comparison between molecular dynamics and crystallographic data", Proteins(1998), 31, 116-127.
  3. Yamaguchi, D.M.F. van Aalten, M. Pinak, A. Furukawa, and R. Osman, "Essential dynamics of DNA containing a cis.syn cyclobutane thymine dimer lesion", Nucl. Acids Res.(1998), 26, 1939-1946. 
  4. M.F. van Aalten, E. Grotewold, and L. Joshua-Tor, "Essential dynamics from NMR clusters: dynamic properties of the Myb DNA-binding domain and a hinge-bending enhancing variant", Methods(1998), 14, 318-328. 
  5. Kort, M.K. Phillips-Jones, D.M.F. van Aalten, A. Haker, S.M. Hoffer, K.J. Hellingwerf, and W. Crielaard, "Sequence, chromophore extraction and 3-D model of the photoactive yellow protein from Rhodobacter sphaeroides", Biochim. Biophys. Acta(1998), 1385, 1-6. 
  6. Sundaram, A. Sivaprasadarao, D.M.F. van Aalten, and J.B.C. Findlay, "Expression, characterization and engineered specificity of rat epididymal retinoic acid-binding protein", Biochem. J.(1998), 334, 155-160. 
  7. M.F. van Aalten, W.D. Hoff, J.B.C. Findlay, W. Crielaard, and K.J. Hellingwerf, "Concerted motions in the photoactive yellow protein", Prot. Engng.(1998), 11, 873-879. 



  1. -L. Chau, D.M.F. van Aalten, J.B.C. Findlay, and R.P. Bywater, "Functional concerted motions in the bovine serum retinol-binding protein", JCAMD(1999), 13, 11-20.
  2. M.F. van Aalten, D.A. Erlanson, G.L. Verdine, and L. Joshua-Tor, "A structural snapshot of base-pair opening in DNA", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA(1999), 96, 11809-1814. 



  1. M.F. van Aalten, W. Crielaard, K.J. Hellingwerf, and L. Joshua-Tor, "Conformational substates in different crystal forms of the photoactive yellow protein - correlation with theoretical and experimental flexibility", Protein Science(2000), 9, 64-72. 
  2. J.L. Werten, B. Roll, D.M.F. van Aalten, and W.W. de Jong, "Gecko iota-crystallin: How cellular retinol-binding protein became an eye lens ultraviolet filter",Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2000), 97, 3282-3287. 
  3. M.F. van Aalten, J.Knudsen, C.C. DiRusso, T. Kokko, and R. Wierenga, "Crystallization and X-ray diffraction studies of the fatty acid responsive transcription factor FadR from Escherichia coli", Acta Cryst.(2000), D56, 469-471. 
  4. M.F. van Aalten, B. Synstad, M.B. Brurberg, E. Hough, B.W. Riise, V.G.H. Eijsink, and R.K. Wierenga, "Structure of a two-domain chitotriosidase fromSerratia marcescensat 1.9 Å resolution", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2000), 97, 5842-5847. 
  5. M. Mursula, D.M.F. van Aalten, Y. Modis, J. K. Hiltunen, and R.K. Wierenga, "Crystallization and X-ray diffraction analysis of peroxisomal D3-D2-enoyl-CoA isomerase from Saccharomyces cerevisiae", Acta Cryst.(2000), D56, 1020-1023.
  6. M.F. van Aalten, C.R. Chong, and L. Joshua-Tor, "Crystal structure of carboxypeptidase A complexed with D-cysteine at 1.75 Å - Inhibitor-induced conformational changes", Biochemistry(2000), 39, 10082-10089. 
  7. M.F. van Aalten, C.C. DiRusso, J. Knudsen, and R.K. Wierenga, "Crystal structure of FadR, a fatty acid-responsive transcription factor with a novel acyl coenzyme A-binding fold", EMBO J.(2000), 19, 5167-5177. 



  1. M.F. van Aalten, K.G. Milne, J. Y. Zou, G.J. Kleywegt, T. Bergfors, M.A.J. Ferguson, J. Knudsen, and T.A. Jones, "Binding site differences revealed by crystal structures of Plasmodium falciparumand bovine acyl-CoA binding protein", J. Mol. Biol. (2001), 309, 181-192. 
  2. M.F. van Aalten, C.C. DiRusso, and J. Knudsen, "The structural basis of acyl coenzyme A-dependent regulation of the transcription factor FadR", EMBO J.(2001), 20, 2041-2050. 
  3. A.M. van Boekel, D.M.F. van Aalten, G.-J. Caspers, B. Roll, and W.W. de Jong, "Evolution of the aldose reductase-related gecko eye lens protein rho-B-crystallin: a sheep in wolf's clothing", J. Mol. Evol.(2001), 52, 239-248. 
  4. M. Mursula, D.M.F. van Aalten, J.K. Hiltunen, and R.K. Wierenga, "The crystal structure of D3-D2-enoyl-CoA isomerase", J. Mol. Biol.(2001), 309, 845-853. 
  5. M.F. van Aalten, D. Komander, B. Synstad, S. Gåseidnes, M.G. Peter, and V.G.H. Eijsink, "Structural insights into the catalytic mechanism of a family 18exo-chitinase", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA(2001), 98, 8979-8984. 
  6. B. Brurberg, B. Synstad, S.S. Klemsdal, D.M.F. van Aalten, L. Sundheim, and V.G.H. Eijsink, "Chitinases from Serratia marcescens", Recent Res. Devel. Microbiology(2001), 5, 187-204. 
  7. C. Thomas, S.J. Dowler, M. Deak, D.R. Alessi, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Crystal structure of the phosphatidylinositol (3,4)-bisphosphatebinding PH domain of TAPP1 - molecular basis of lipid specificity", Biochem. J.(2001), 358, 287-294.
  8. M. Haapalainen, D.M.F. van Aalten, G. Meriläinen, J.E. Jalonen, R.K. Wierenga, J.K. Hiltunen, and T. Glumoff, "Crystal structure of the liganded SCP-2 like domain of humanperoxisomal multifunctional enzyme type 2 at 1.75 Å resolution", J. Mol. Biol.(2001), 313, 1127-1138. 



  1. Kolstad, B. Synstad, V.G.H. Eijsink, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Crystal structure of the D140N mutant of chitinase B from Serratia marcescensat 1.45 Å resolution", Acta Cryst. (2002), D58, 377-379. 
  2. N. Tabudravu, V.G.H. Eijsink, G.W. Gooday, M. Jaspars, D.Komander, M. Legg, B. Synstad, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Psammaplin A, a chitinase inhibitor isolated from the Fijian marinesponge Aplysinella rhax", Bioorg. Med. Chem.(2002), 10, 1123-1128. 
  3. M.F. van Aalten, A. Haker, J. Hendriks, K.J. Hellingwerf, L. Joshua-Tor, and W. Crielaard, "Engineering photocycle dynamics - crystal structures and kinetics of three photoactive yellow protein hinge-bending mutants", J. Biol. Chem.(2002), 277, 6463-6468. 
  4. Sundaram, D.M.F. van Aalten, J.B.C. Findlay, and A. Sivaprasadarao, "The transfer of transthyretin and receptor-binding properties from the plasma retinol-binding protein to the epididymal retinoic acid-binding protein", Biochem. J.(2002), 362, 265-271. 
  5. M.F. van Aalten, W. Crielaard, K.J. Hellingwerf, and L. Joshua-Tor, "Structure of the photoactive yellow protein reconstituted with caffeic acid at 1.16 Å resolution", Acta Cryst.(2002), D58, 585-590. 
  6. R. Houston, K. Shiomi, N. Arai, S. Omura, M.G. Peter, A. Turberg, B. Synstad, V.G.H. Eijsink, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "High-resolution structures of a chitinase complexed with natural product cyclopentapeptide inhibitors: Mimicry of carbohydrate substrate", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA(2002), 99, 9127-9132. 
  7. Fusetti, H. von Moeller, D. Houston, H.J. Rozeboom, B.W. Dijkstra, R.G. Boot, J.M.F.G. Aerts, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structure of human chitotriosidase - implications for specific inhibitor design and function of mammalian chitinase-like lectins", J. Biol. Chem.(2002), 277, 25537-25544. 
  8. C. Thomas, M. Deak, D.R. Alessi, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "High-resolution structure of the pleckstrin homology domain of protein kinaseB/Akt bound to phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate", Curr. Biol.(2002), 12, 1256-1262. 
  9. M. Biondi, D. Komander, C.C. Thomas, J.M. Lizcano, M. Deak, D.R. Alessi, andD.M.F. van Aalten, "High resolution crystal structure of the human PDK1 catalytic domain defines the regulatory phosphopeptide docking site", EMBO J.(2002), 21, 4219-4228. 
  10. R. Houston, I. Eggleston, B. Synstad, V.G.H. Eijsink, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "The cyclic dipeptide CI-4 inhibits family 18 chitinases by structural mimicry of a reaction intermediate", Biochem. J.(2002), 368, 23-27. 



  1. S. Alphey, H. Attrill, P.R. Crocker, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "High resolution crystal structures of Siglec-7 - insights into ligand specificity in the Siglec family", J. Biol. Chem.(2003), 278, 3372-3377. 
  2. V. Rao, D.R. Houston, R.G. Boot, J.M.F.G. Aerts, S. Sakuda, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Crystal structures of allosamidin derivatives in complex with human macrophage chitinase", J. Biol. Chem.(2003), 278, 20110-20116. 
  3. Vreede, M.A. van der Horst, K.J. Hellingwerf, W. Crielaard, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "PAS domains - common structure, common flexibility?", J. Biol. Chem.(2003), 278, 18434-18439. 
  4. R. Houston, A.D. Recklies, J.C. Krupa, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structure and ligand-induced conformational change of the 39 kD glycoprotein from human articular chondrocytes", J. Biol. Chem.(2003), 278, 30206-30212. 
  5. J. Kleywegt, K. Henrick, E.J. Dodson, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Pound-wise but penny-foolish: How well do micromolecules fare in macromolecular refinement?", Structure(2003), 11, 1051-1059. 
  6. Komander, G.S. Kular, J. Bain, M. Elliott, D.R. Alessi, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structural basis for UCN-01 (7-hydroxystaurosporine) specificity and PDK1 (3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1) inhibition", Biochem. J.(2003), 375, 255-262. 
  7. C. Milburn, M. Deak, S.M. Kelly, N.C. Price, D.R. Alessi, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Binding of phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate to the Pleckstrin Homology domain of protein kinase B induces a conformational change", Biochem. J.(2003), 375, 531-538. 



  1. Vaaje-Kolstad, D.R. Houston, F.V. Rao, M.G. Peter, B. Synstad, D.M.F. van Aalten, and V.G.H. Eijsink, "Structure of the D142N mutant of the family 18 chitinase ChiB from Serratia marcescensand its complex with allosamidin",Biochim. Biophys. Acta (2004), 1696, 103-111. 
  2. C. Milburn, J. Boudeau, M. Deak, D.R. Alessi, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Crystal structure of MO25α in complex with the C terminus of the pseudo kinase STE20-related adaptor", Nature Struct. Mol. Biol.(2004),11, 192-200. 
  3. Komander, G.S. Kular, A.W. Schüttelkopf, M. Deak, K.R.C. Prakash, J. Bain, M. Elliott, M. Garrido-Franco, A.P. Kozikowski, D.R. Alessi, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Interactions of LY333531 and other bisindolyl maleimide inhibitors with PDK1",Structure(2004), 12, 215-226. 
  4. Vaaje-Kolstad, A. Vasella, M.G. Peter, C. Netter, D.R. Houston, B. Westereng, B. Synstad, V.G.H. Eijsink, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Interactions of a family 18 chitinase with the designed inhibitor HM508 and its degradation product, chitobiono-δ-lactone", J. Biol. Chem.(2004), 279, 3612-3619. 
  5. Synstad, S. Gåseidnes, D.M.F. van Aalten, G. Vriend, J.E. Nielsen, and V.G.H. Eijsink, "Mutational and computational analysis of the role of conserved residues in the active site of a family 18 chitinase", Eur.J.Biochem.(2004), 271, 253-262.
  6. Komander, M. Deak, N. Morrice, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Purification, crystallisation and preliminary X-ray diffraction of aproteolytic fragment of PDK1 containing the pleckstrin homology domain", Acta Cryst.(2004), D60, 314-316.
  7. Mora, D. Komander, D.M.F. van Aalten, and D.R. Alessi, "PDK1, the master regulator of AGC kinase signal transduction", Semin. Cell Dev. Biol.(2004), 15, 161-170. 
  8. Dimasi, H. Attrill, D.M.F. van Aalten, A. Moretta, L. Moretta, R. Biassoni, and R. Mariuzza, "Structure of the saccharide-binding domain of the human natural killer cell inhibitory receptor p75/AIRM1", Acta Cryst.(2004), D60, 620. 
  9. W. Schuettelkopf and D.M.F. van Aalten, "PRODRG: a tool for high-throughput crystallography of protein-ligandcomplexes", Acta Cryst.(2004), D60, 1355-1363.
  10. E. Blair and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structures of Bacillus subtilisPdaA, a family 4 carbohydrate esterase, and a complex with N-acetyl-glucosamine", FEBS Lett.(2004), 570, 13-19. 
  11. Komander, A. Fairservice, M. Deak, G.S. Kular, A.R. Prescott, C.P. Downes, S.T. Safrany, D.R. Alessi, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structural insights into the regulation of PDK1 by phosphoinositides and inositol phosphates", EMBO J.(2004), 23, 3918-3928. 
  12. R. Houston, B. Synstad, V.G.H. Eijsink, M.J.R. Stark, I.M. Eggleston, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structure-based exploration of cyclic dipeptide chitinase inhibitors", J. Med. Chem.(2004), 47, 5713-5720. 
  13. Boudeau, J.W. Scott, N. Resta, M. Deak, A. Kieloch, D. Komander, D.G. Hardie, A.R. Prescott, D.M.F. van Aalten, and D.R. Alessi, "Analysis of the LKB1:STRAD:MO25 complex", J. Cell. Sci.(2004), 117, 6365-6375. 



  1. V. Rao, D.R. Houston, R.G. Boot, J.M.F.G. Aerts, M. Hodkinson, D.J. Adams, K. Shiomi, S. Omura, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Specificity and affinity of natural product cyclopentapeptide inhibitors against Aspergillus fumigatus, human and bacterial chitinases", Chem. Biol.(2005), 12, 65-76. 
  2. Villa, M. Deak, G.B. Bloomberg, D.R. Alessi, and D. M.F. van Aalten, "Crystal structure of the PTPL1/FAP-1 human tyrosine phosphatase mutated in colorectal cancer: evidence for a second phosphotyrosine substrate recognition pocket", J. Biol. Chem.(2005), 280, 8180-8187. 
  3. Vaaje-Kolstad, D.R. Houston, A.H.K. Riemen, V.G.H. Eijsink, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Crystal structure and binding properties of the Serratia marcescenschitin-binding protein CBP21", J. Biol. Chem.(2005), 280, 11313-11319. 
  4. Komander, G. Kular, M. Deak, D.R. Alessi, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Role of T-loop phosphorylation in PDK1 activation, stability and substrate binding", J. Biol. Chem.(2005), 280, 18797-11802. 
  5. D. Urbaniak, A. Crossman, T. Chang, T.K. Smith, D.M.F. van Aalten, and M.A.J. Ferguson, "The N-acetyl-D-glucosaminylphosphatidylinositol de-N-acetylase of glycosylphosphatidylinositol biosynthesis is a zinc metalloenzyme",J. Biol. Chem.(2005), 280, 22831-22838. 
  6. Vaaje-Kolstad, S.J. Horn, D.M.F. van Aalten, B. Synstad, and V.G.H. Eijsink, "The non-catalytic chitin-binding protein CBP21 from Serratiamarcescensis essential for chitin degradation", J. Biol. Chem. (2005), 280, 28492-28497.  
  7. V. Rao, O.A. Andersen, K.A. Vora, J.A. DeMartino, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Methylxanthine drugs are chitinase inhibitors: investigation of inhibition and binding modes", Chem. Biol.(2005), 12, 973-980. 
  8. J. Dixon, O.A. Andersen, D.M.F. van Aalten, and I.M. Eggleston, "An efficient synthesis of argifin: A natural product chitinase inhibitor with chemotherapeutic potential", Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett.(2005), 15, 4717-4721. 
  9. A. Andersen, M.J. Dixon, I.M. Eggleston, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Natural product family 18 chitinase inhibitors", Nat. Prod. Rep.(2005), 22, 563-579. 
  10. E. Blair, A.W. Schuettelkopf, J.I. MacRae, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structure and metal-dependent mechanism of peptidoglycan deacetylase, a streptococcal virulence factor", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA(2005), 102, 15429-15434. 



  1. R. Wickramasinghe, K.A. Inglis, J.E. Urch, S. Mueller, D.M.F. van Aalten, and A.H. Fairlamb, "Kinetic, inhibition and structural studies on 3-oxoacyl-ACP reductase from Plasmodium falciparum, a key enzyme in fatty acid biosynthesis", Biochem. J.(2006), 393, 447-457. 
  2. Jaleel, F. Villa, M. Deak, R. Toth, A.R. Prescott, D.M.F. van Aalten, and Dario R. Alessi, "The ubiquitin-associated domain of AMPK-related kinases regulates conformation and LKB1-mediated phosphorylation and activation", Biochem. J.(2006), 394, 545-555. 
  3. V. Rao, H.C. Dorfmueller, F. Villa, M. Allwood, I.M. Eggleston, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structural insights into mechanism and inhibition of eukaryotic O-GlcNAc hydrolysis", EMBO J.(2006), 25, 1569-1578. 
  4. Attrill, H. Takazawa, S. Witt, S. Kelm, R. Isecke, R. Brossmer, T. Ando, H. Ishida, M. Kiso, P.R. Crocker, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "The structure of Siglec-7 in complex with sialosides: leads for rational structure-based inhibitor design",Biochem. J.(2006), 397, 271-278. 
  5. W. Schuettelkopf, G. Hamilton, C. Watts, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structural basis of reduction-dependent activation of human Cystatin F", J. Biol. Chem.(2006), 281, 16570-16575. 
  6. E. Blair, O. Hekmat, A.W. Schuettelkopf, B. Shrestha, K. Tokuyasu, S.G.Withers, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structure and mechanism of chitin deacetylase from the fungal pathogen Colletotrichum lindemuthianum", Biochemistry(2006), 45, 9416-9426. 
  7. W. Schuettelkopf, O.A. Andersen, F.V. Rao, M. Allwood, C. Lloyd, I.M.Eggleston, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Screening-based discovery and structural dissection of a novel family 18 chitinase inhibitor", J. Biol. Chem.(2006), 281, 27278-27285.
  8. H. Conner, G. Kular, M. Peggie, S. Shepherd, A.W. Schuettelkopf, P. Cohen, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "TAK1-binding protein 1 is a pseudophosphatase",Biochem. J.(2006), 399, 427-434. 
  9. J. Dixon, O.A. Andersen, D.M.F. van Aalten, and Ian M. Eggleston, "First synthesis of argadin: a nanomolar inhibitor of family-18 chitinases", Eur. J. Org. Chem.(2006), 22, 5002-5006. 
  10. Attrill, A. Imamura, R.S. Sharma, M. Kiso, P.R. Crocker, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Siglec-7 undergoes a major conformational change when complexed with the α2,8-disialylganglioside GT1b", J. Biol. Chem.(2006), 281, 32774-32783. 
  11. C. Dorfmueller, V.S. Borodkin, M. Schimpl, S.M. Shepherd, N.A. Shpiro, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "GlcNAcstatin: a picomolar, selective O-GlcNAcase inhibitor that modulates intracellular O-GlcNAcylation levels", J. Am. Chem. Soc.(2006), 128, 16484-16485.  



  1. Taskinen, D.M.F. van Aalten, J. Knudsen, and R.K. Wierenga, "High resolution crystal structures of unliganded and liganded human liver ACBP reveal a new mode of binding for the acyl-CoA ligand", Proteins(2007), 66, 220-238. 
  2. J. Mills, D. Komander, M.N. Trusselle, S.T. Safrany, D.M.F. van Aalten, and B.L.V. Potter, "Novel inositol phospholipid headgroup surrogate crystallized in the pleckstrin homology domain of protein kinase Bα", ACS Chem. Biol.(2007), 2, 242-246. 
  3. Hurtado-Guerrero and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structure of Saccharomyces cerevisiaechitinase 1 and screening-based discovery of potent inhibitors",Chem. Biol. (2007), 14, 589-599. 
  4. Villa, J. Goebel, F.H. Rafiqi, M. Deak, J. Thastrup, D.R. Alessi, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structural insights into the recognition of substrates and activators by the OSR1 kinase", EMBO Rep.(2007), 8, 839-845. 
  5. B. Allwood, B. Cannan, D.M.F. van Aalten, and I.E. Eggleston, "Efficient synthesis of 1,3,7-substituted xanthines by a safety-catch protection strategy",Tetrahedron(2007), 50, 12294-12302. 
  6. Hurtado-Guerrero, O. Raimi, S. Shepherd, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Glucose-6-phosphate as a probe for the glucosamine-6-phosphate N-acetyltransferase Michaelis complex", FEBS Lett. (2007), 581, 5597-5600. 



  1. A. Andersen, A. Nathubhai, M.J. Dixon, I.M. Eggleston, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structure-based dissection of the natural product cyclopentapeptide chitinase inhibitor argifin", Chem. Biol.(2008), 15, 295-301. 
  2. R. Bayascas, S. Wullschleger, K. Sakamoto, J.M. Garcia-Martinez, C. Clacher, D. Komander, D.M.F. van Aalten, K.M. Boini, F. Lang, C. Lipina, L. Logie, C. Sutherland, J.A. Chudek, J. van Diepen, P.J. Voshol, J.M. Lucocq, and D.R. Alessi, "Mutation of PDK1 PH domain inhibits PKB/Akt leading to small size and insulin-resistance", Mol. Cell. Biol.(2008), 28, 3258-3272. 
  3. Pathak, H.C. Dorfmueller, V.S. Borodkin, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Chemical dissection of the link between streptozotocin, O-GlcNAc and pancreatic cell death", Chem. Biol.(2008), 15, 799-807. 
  4. Hurtado-Guerrero, O.G. Raimi, J. Min, H. Zeng, L. Vallius, S.M. Shepherd, A.F.M. Ibrahim, H. Wu, A.N. Plotnikov, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structural and kinetic differences between human and Aspergillus fumigatusD-glucosamine-6-phosphate N-acetyltransferase", Biochem. J. (2008), 415, 217-223. 
  5. Lamb, A.W. Schuettelkopf, D.M.F. van Aalten, and D.W. Brighty, "Highly specific inhibition of leukaemia virus membrane fusion by interaction of peptide antagonists with a conserved region of the coiled coil of envelope", Retrovirology (2008), 5, 70. 
  6. Villa, M. Deak, D.R. Alessi, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structure of the OSR1 kinase, a hypertension drug target", Proteins(2008), 73, 1082-1087. 
  7. Clarke, R. Hurtado-Guerrero, S. Pathak, A.W. Schuettelkopf, V. Borodkin, S.M. Shepherd, A.F.M. Ibrahim, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structural insights into mechanism and specificity of O-GlcNAc transferase", EMBO J.(2008), 27, 2780-2788. 
  8. Hurtado-Guerrero, H.C. Dorfmueller, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Molecular mechanisms of O-GlcNAcylation", Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol.(2008), 18, 551-557.
  9. M.F. van Aaltenand N.C.J. Strynadka, "Putting glycobiology on a structural footing", Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. (2008), 18, 525-526. 



  1. J. Dixon, A. Nathubhai, O.A. Andersen, D.M.F. van Aalten, and I.M. Eggleston, "Solid-phase synthesis of cyclic peptide chitinase inhibitors: SAR of the argifin scaffold", Org. Biomol. Chem.(2009), 7, 259-268.  
  2. M. Deng, J.E. Urch, J.M. ten Cate, V.A. Rao, D.M.F. van Aalten, and W. Crielaard, "Streptococcus mutansSMU.623c codes for a functional, metal-dependent polysaccharide deacetylase that modulates interactions with salivary agglutinin", J. Bact. (2009), 191, 392-402.  
  3. Hurtado-Guerrero, A.W. Schuettelkopf, I. Mouyna, A.F.M. Ibrahim, S. Shepherd, T. Fontaine, J.P. Latge, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Molecular mechanisms of yeast cell wall glucan remodeling", J.Biol.Chem.(2009), 284, 8461-8469.   
  4. C. Dorfmueller, V.S. Borodkin, M Schimpl, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "GlcNAcstatins are nanomolar inhibitors of human O-GlcNAcase inducing cellular hyper-O-GlcNAcylation", Biochem.J.(2009), 420, 221-227.   
  5. E. Urch, R. Hurtado-Guerrero, D. Brosson, Z. Liu, V.G.H. Eijsink, C. Texier, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structural and functional characterization of a putative polysaccharide deacetylase of the human parasite Encephalitozoon cuniculi", Prot.Sci.(2009), 18, 1197-1209.   
  6. Zeqiraj, B.M. Filippi, S. Goldie, I. Navratilova, J. Boudeau, M. Deak, D.R. Alessi, and D.M.F. van Aalten, "ATP and MO25α regulate the conformational state of the STRADα pseudokinase and activation of the LKB1 tumour suppressor", PLoS Biol.(2009), 7, e1000126.   
  7. Zeqiraj, B.M. Filippi, M. Deak, D.R. Alessi and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structure of the LKB1-STRAD-MO25 complex reveals an allosteric mechanism of kinase activation", Science(2009), 326, 1707-1711.   



  1. C. Dorfmueller and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Screening-based discovery of drug-like O-GlcNAcase inhibitor scaffolds", FEBS Lett.(2010), 584, 694-700.  
  2. Hurtado-Guerrero, T. Zusman, S. Pathak, A.F.M. Ibrahim, S. Shepherd, A. Prescott, G. Segal and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Molecular mechanism of elongation factor 1A inhibition by a Legionella pneumophilaglycosyltransferase", Biochem.J. (2010), 426, 281-292.   
  3. A. Frearson, S. Brand, S.P. McElroy, L.A.T. Cleghorn, O. Smid, L. Stojanovski, H.P. Price, M.L.S. Guther, L.S. Torrie, D.A. Robinson, I. Hallyburton, C.P. Mpamhanga, J.A. Brannigan, A.J. Wilkinson, M. Hodgkinson, R. Hui, W. Qiu, O.G. Raimi, D.M.F. van Aalten, R. Brenk, I.H. Gilbert, K.D. Read, A.H. Fairlamb, M.A.J. Ferguson, D.F. Smith and P.G. Wyatt, "N-myristoyltransferase inhibitors as new leads to treat sleeping sickness", Nature(2010), 464, 728-732.   
  4. S. Borodkin and D,M.F. van Aalten, "An efficient and versatile synthesis of GlcNAcstatins - potent and selective O-GlcNAcase inhibitors built on the tetrahydroimidazo[1,2-a]pyridine scaffold", Tetrahedron(2010), 66, 7838-7849.  
  5. L. Rush, A.W. Schuettelkopf, R. Hurtado-Guerrero, D.E. Blair, A.F.M. Ibrahim, S. Desvergnes, I.M. Eggleston and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Natural product-guided discovery of a fungal chitinase inhibitor", Chem.Biol.(2010), 17, 1275-1281.  
  6. C. Dorfmueller, V.S. Borodkin, M. Schimpl, X. Zheng, R. Kime, K. D. Read and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Cell-penetrant, nanomolar O-GlcNAcase inhibitors selective against lysosomal hexosaminidases", Chem.Biol.(2010), 17, 1250-1255.  
  7. W. Schuettelkopf, L. Gros, D.E Blair, J.A. Frearson, D.M.F. van Aaltenand I. Gilbert, "Acetazolamide-based fungal chitinase inhibitors", Bioorg.Med.Chem.(2010), 18, 8334-8340.   
  8. Schimpl, A.W. Schuettelkopf, V.S. Borodkin and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Human O-GlcNAcase binds substrates in a conserved peptide recognition groove", Biochem.J.(2010), 432, 1-7.   
  9. Zeqiraj and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Pseudokinases - remnants of evolution or key allosteric regulators?", Curr.Opin.Struct.Biol.(2010), 20, 772-781.   



  1. Lamb, A.W. Schuettelkopf, D.M.F. van Aaltenand D.W. Brighty, "Charge-surrounded pockets and electrostatic interactions with small ions modulate the activity of retroviral fusion proteins", PLOS Pathog. (2011), 7, e1001268.  
  2. C. Dorfmueller, V.S. Borodkin, D.E. Blair, S. Pathak, I. Navratilova and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Substrate and product analogues as human O-GlcNAc transferase inhibitors", Amino Acids(2011), 40, 781-792.   
  3. M. Gay, X. Zheng and D.M.F. van Aalten, "O-GlcNAc transfer : size matters",Nature Chem.Biol.(2011), 7, 134-135.   
  4. W. Schuettelkopf, O.A. Andersen, F.V. Rao, M. Allwood, C.L. Rush, I.M. Eggleston and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Bisdionin C – a rationally designed, submicromolar inhibitor of family 18 chitinases", ACS Med.Chem.Lett.(2011), 2, 428-432. 
  5. E. Sutherland, O.A. Andersen, M. Betou, I.M. Eggleston, R.M. Maizels, D.M.F. van Aalten*and J.E. Allen*, "Analysing airway inflammation with chemical biology: dissection of acidic mammalian chitinase function with a selective drug-like inhibitor", Chem.Biol. (2011), 18, 569-579. (* co-corresponding authors).  
  6. Mariappa, K. Sauert, K. Mariño, D. Turnock, R. Webster, D.M.F. van Aalten, M.A.J. Ferguson and H.A.J. Mueller, "Protein O-GlcNAcylation is required for Fibroblast Growth Factor signaling in Drosophila", Sci.Signal.(2011), 4, ra89. 
  7. I. Woodroof, J.H. Pogson, M. Begley, L.C. Cantley, M. Deak, D.G. Campbell,D.M.F. van Aalten, A.J. Whitworth, D.R. Alessi and M.M.K. Muqit, "Discovery of catalytically active orthologues of the Parkinson’s disease kinase PINK1: analysis of substrate specificity and impact of mutations", Open Biol.(2011), 1, 110012.  



  1. Wong, G. Vaaje-Kolstad, A. Ghosh, R. Hurtado-Guerrero, P.V. Konarev, A.F.M. Ibrahim, D.I. Svergun, V.G.H. Eijsink, N.S. Chatterjee and D.M.F. van Aalten, “TheVibrio choleraecolonization factor GbpA possesses a modular structure that governs binding to different host surfaces”, PLOS Pathog. (2012), 8, e1002373.  
  2. Schimpl, V.S. Borodkin, L.J. Gray and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Synergy of peptide and sugar in O-GlcNAcase substrate recognition", Chem.Biol.(2012), 19, 173-176.   
  3. Pathak, V.S. Borodkin, O. Albarbarawi, D.G. Campbell, A. Ibrahim and D.M.F. van Aalten, "O-GlcNAcylation of TAB1 modulates TAK1-mediated cytokine release", EMBO J.(2012), 31, 1394-1404.   
  4. J. Dixon, A. Gray, M. Schenning, M. Agacan, W. Tempel, Y. Tong, L. Nedyalkova, H.-W. Park, N.R. Leslie, D.M.F. van Aalten, C.P. Downes and I.H. Batty, "IQGAP proteins reveal an atypical phosphoinositide (aPI) binding domain with a pseudo C2 domain fold", J.Biol.Chem.(2012), 287, 22483-22496.  
  5. A. Penman, D.E.A. Lockhart, A. Ferenbach and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction data of UDP-galactopyranose mutase from Aspergillus fumigatus", Acta Cryst. F(2012), F68, 705-708.   
  6. C. Dorfmueller, W. Fang, F.V. Rao, D.E. Blair, H. Attrill and D.M.F van Aalten, "Structural and biochemical characterization of a trapped coenzyme A adduct of Caenorhabditis elegansglucosamine-6-phosphate N-acetyltransferase", Acta Cryst. D (2012), D68, 1019-1029.   
  7. Schimpl, C.L. Rush, M. Betou, I.M. Eggleston, A.D. Recklies and D.M.F van Aalten, "Human YKL-39 is a pseudo-chitinase with retained chitooligosaccharide-binding properties", Biochem.J.(2012), 446, 149-157.  
  8. Schimpl, X. Zheng, V.S. Borodkin, D.E. Blair, A.T. Ferenbach, A.W. Schuettelkopf, I. Navratilova, T. Aristotelous, O. Albarbarawi, D.A. Robinson, M.A. MacNaughtan and D.M.F. van Aalten, "O-GlcNAc transferase invokes nucleotide sugar pyrophosphate participation in catalysis", Nature Chem.Biol.(2012), 8, 969-974. 



  1. Hahne, N. Sobotzki, T. Nyberg, D. Helm, V.S. Borodkin, D.M.F. van Aalten, B. Agnew and B. Kuster, "Proteome wide purification and identification of O-GlcNAc-modified proteins using click chemistry and mass spectrometry", J.Proteome Res.(2013), 12, 927-936.   
  2. Mariappa, S. Pathak and D.M.F. van Aalten, "A sweet TET-à-tête - synergy of TET proteins and O-GlcNAc transferase in transcription", EMBO J.(2013), 32, 612-613.   
  3. Fang, T. Du, O.G. Raimi, R. Hurtado-Guerrero, M.D. Urbaniak, A.F.M. Ibrahim, M.A.J. Ferguson, C. Jin and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Genetic and structural validation of Aspergillus fumigatusUDP-N-acetylglucosamine pyrophosphorylase as an antifungal target", Mol.Microbiol. (2013), 89, 479-493.   
  4. Hobley, A. Ostrowski, F.V. Rao, K.M. Bromley, M. Porter, A.R. Prescott, C. MacPhee, D.M.F. van Aaltenand N.R. Stanley-Wall, "BslA is a self-assembling bacterial hydrophobin that coats the Bacillus subtilis biofilm", Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.USA (2013), 110, 13600-13605.  
  5. Fang, T. Du, O.G. Raimi, R. Hurtado-Guerrero, K, Marino, A.F.M. Ibrahim, O. Albarbarawi, M.A.J. Ferguson, C. Jin and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Genetic and structural validation of Aspergillus fumigatusN-acetylphosphoglucosamine mutase as an antifungal target", Biosci.Rep. (2013), 33, 689-699.   
  6. D. Urbaniak, I.T. Collie, W. Fang, T. Aristotelous, S. Eskilsson, O.G. Raimi, J. Harrison, I. Hopkins Navratilova, J.A. Frearson, D.M.F. van Aaltenand M.A.J. Ferguson, "A novel allosteric inhibitor of the uridine diphosphate N-acetylglucosamine pyrophosphorylase from Trypanosoma brucei", ACS Chem.Biol. (2013), 8, 1981-1987.   
  7. Striebeck, D.A. Robinson, A.W. Schuettelkopf and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Yeast Mnn9 is both a priming glycosyltransferase and an allosteric activator of mannan biosynthesis", Open Biol.(2013), 3, 130022.   
  8. V. Rao, A.W. Schuettelkopf, H.C. Dorfmueller, A.T. Ferenbach, I. Navratilova and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Structure of a bacterial putative acetyltransferase defines the fold of the human O-GlcNAcase C-terminal domain", Open Biol. (2013), 3, 130021. 
  9. Ostrowski and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Chemical tools to probe cellular O-GlcNAc signalling", Biochem.J.(2013), 456, 1-12.  



  1. S. Borodkin, M. Schimpl, M. Gundogdu, K. Rafie, H.C. Dorfmueller, D.A. Robinson and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Bisubstrate UDP-peptide conjugates as human O-GlcNAc transferase inhibitors", Biochem.J.(2013), 457, 497-502. 
  2. E.A. Lockhart, A.W. Schuettelkopf, D.E. Blair andD.M.F. van Aalten, "Screening-based discovery of Aspergillus fumigatus plant-type chitinase inhibitors", FEBS Lett. (2014), 588, 3282-3290. 
  3. C. Dorfmueller, A.T. Ferenbach, V.S. Borodkin andD.M.F. van Aalten, "A structural and biochemical model of processive chitin synthesis", J.Biol.Chem.(2014), 289, 23020-23028. 
  4. M. Speakman, T.C.E. Domke, W. Wongpaiboonwattana, K.L. Sanders, M. Mudaliar,D.M.F. van Aalten, G.J. Barton, and M.P. Stavridis, "Elevated O-GlcNAc levels activate epigenetically repressed genes and delay mouse ESC differentiation without affecting naive to primed cell transition", Stem Cells (2014), 32, 2605-2615. 
  5. Alonso, M. Schimpl andD.M.F. van Aalten, "O-GlcNAcase : promiscuous hexosaminidase or key regulator of O-GlcNAc signalling?", J.Biol.Chem. (2014), 289, 34433-34439. 
  6. Brand, N.R. Norcross, S. Thompson, J.R. Harrison, V.C. Smith, D.A. Robinson, L.S. Torrie, S.P. McElroy, I. Hallyburton, S. Norval, P. Scullion, L. Stojanovski, F.R.C. Simeons,D.M.F van Aalten, J.A. Frearson, R. Brenk, A.H. Fairlamb, M.A.J. Ferguson, P.G. Wyatt, I.H. Gilbert and K.D. Read, "Lead optimization of a pyrazole sulfonamide series of Trypanosoma brucei N‐myristoyltransferase inhibitors: identification and evaluation of CNS penetrant compounds as potential treatments for Stage 2 human African trypanosomiasis", J.Med.Chem. (2014), 57, 9855−9869. 



  1. Zhang, S.L. Gordon, M.J. Fritsch, N. Esoof, D.G. Campbell, R. Gourlay, S. Velupillai, T. Macartney, M. Peggie,D.M.F. van Aalten, M.A. Cousin and D.R. Alessi, "Phosphorylation of synaptic vesicle protein 2A at Thr84 by casein kinase 1 family kinases controls the specific retrieval of Synaptotagmin-1", J.Neurosci.(2015), 35, 2492–2507. 
  2. Selvan, D. Mariappa, H.W.P. van den Toorn, A.J.R. Heck, A.T. Ferenbach and D.M.F. van Aalten, "The early metazoanTrichoplax adhaerens possesses a functional O-GlcNAc system", J.Biol.Chem. (2015), 290, 11969-11982. 
  3. Fang, D.A. Robinson, O.G. Raimi, D.E. Blair, J.R. Harrison, D.E.A. Lockhart, L.S. Torrie, G.F. Ruda, P.G. Wyatt, I.H. Gilbert andD.M.F. van Aalten, "N-myristoyltransferase is a cell wall target in Aspergillus fumigatus", ACS Chem.Biol. (2015), 10, 1425−1434. 
  4. Jank, S. Eckerle, M. Steinemann, C. Trillhaase, M. Schimpl, S. Wiese,D.M.F. van Aalten, W. Driever and K. Aktories, "Tyrosine glycosylation of Rho by Yersinia toxin impairs blastomere cell behaviour in zebrafish embryos", Nature Comms. (2015), 6, 7807. 
  5. Kazlauskaite, R.J. Martinez-Torres, S. Wilkie, A. Kumar, J. Peltier, A. Gonzalez, C. Johnson, J. Zhang, A.G. Hope, M. Peggie, M. Trost,D.M.F. van Aalten, D.R. Alessi, A.R. Prescott, A. Knebel, H. Walden and M.M.K. Muqit, "Binding to serine 65-phosphorylated ubiquitin primes Parkin for optimal PINK1-dependent phosphorylation and activation", EMBO Rep. (2015), 16, 939-954. 
  6. Pathak, J. Alonso, M. Schimpl, K. Rafie, D.E. Blair, V.S. Borodkin, A.W. Schuettelkopf, O. Albarbarawi andD.M.F. van Aalten, "The active site of O-GlcNAc transferase imposes constraints on substrate sequence", Nature Struct.Mol.Biol. (2015), 22, 744-750. 
  7. Mariyappa, N. Selvan, V.S. Borodkin, J. Alonso, A.T. Ferenbach, C. Shepherd, I. Hopkins-Navratilova andD.M.F. van Aalten, "A mutant O-GlcNAcase as a probe to reveal global dynamics of protein O-GlcNAcylation during Drosophila embryonic development", Biochem.J. (2015), 470, 255-262. 
  8. L. van der Beek, Y. Le Breton, A.T. Ferenbach, R.N. Chapman,D.M.F. van Aalten, I. Navratilova, G.J. Boons, K.S. McIver, N.M. van Sorge and H.C. Dorfmueller, "GacA is essential for Group A Streptococcus and defines a new class of monomeric dTDP-4-dehydrorhamnose reductases (RmlD)", Mol.Micro. (2015), 98, 946–962.
  9. Ostrowski, M. Gundogdu, A.T. Ferenbach, A.A. Lebedev and M.F. van Aalten, "Evidence for a functional O-GlcNAc system in the thermophilic bacterium Thermobaculum terrenum", J.Biol.Chem. (2015), 51, 30291–30305.
  10. Mariappa, X. Zheng, M. Schimpl, O. Raimi, A.T. Ferenbach, H.A.J. Mueller and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Dual functionality of O-GlcNAc transferase is required for Drosophila development", Open Biol. (2015), 5, 150234.



  1. Trapannone, K. Rafie and D.M.F. van Aalten, "O-GlcNAc transferase inhibitors: current tools and future challenges", Biochem.Soc.Trans. (2016), 44, 88-93.
  2. Raich, V.S. Borodkin, W. Fang, J. Castro, D.M.F. van Aalten, R. Hurtado-Guerrero and C. Rovira, "A trapped covalent intermediate of a glycoside hydrolase on the pathway to transglycosylation. Insights from experiments and QM/MM simulations.", J.Am.Chem.Soc. (2016), 38, 3325−3332.
  3. Kapuria, U.F. Roehrig, T. Bhuiyan, V.S. Borodkin,D.M.F. van Aalten, V. Zoete and W. Herr, "Proteolysis of HCF-1 by Ser/Thr glycosylation-incompetent O-GlcNAc transferase:UDP-GlcNAc complexes", Genes Dev. (2016), 30, 960-972
  4. Swamy, S. Pathak, K.M. Grzes, S. Damerow, L.V. Sinclair,D.M.F. van Aalten and D.A. Cantrell, "Glucose and glutamine fuel protein O-GlcNAcylation to control T cell self-renewal and malignancy", Nature Immunology (2016), 17, 712-20. 
  5. Trapannone, D. Mariappa, A.T. Ferenbach andD.M.F. van Aalten, "Nucleocytoplasmic human O-GlcNAc transferase is sufficient for O-GlcNAcylation of mitochondrial proteins", Biochem.J. (2016), 473 (12) 1693-1702. 


  1. Liu, L.M. Gay, T.R. Tuveng, J.W. Agger, B. Westereng, G. Mathiesen, S.J. Horn, G. Vaaje-Kolstad,D.M.F. van Aalten and V.G.H. Eijsink, "Structure and function of a broad- specificity chitin deacetylase from Aspergillus nidulans FGSC A4", Sci.Rep. (2017), 7:1746. 
  2. Selvan, R. Williamson, D. Mariappa, D.G. Campbell, R. Gourlay, A.T. Ferenbach, T. Aristotelous, I. Hopkins-Navratilova, M. Trost and D.M.F. van Aalten, "A mutant O-GlcNAcase enriches Drosophiladevelopmental regulators", Nature Chem.Biol. (2017), 13, 882-887.
  3. Rafie, O. Raimi, A.T. Ferenbach, V.S. Borodkin, V. Kapuria and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Recognition of a glycosylation substrate by the O-GlcNAc transferase TPR repeats", Open Biol.(2017), 7(6), 170078.
  4. P. Willems, M. Gundogdu, M.J.E. Kempers, J.C. Giltay, R. Pfundt, M. Elferink, B.F. Loza, J. Fuijkschot, A.T. Ferenbach, K.L.I. van Gassen, D.M.F. van Aalten*and D.J. Lefeber* (* joint corresponding authors), "Mutations in N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) transferase in patients with X-linked intellectual disability", J.Biol.Chem. (2017), 292, 12621–12631. 
  5. L. Leney, K. Rafie, D.M.F. van Aaltenand A. Heck, "Direct monitoring of protein O-GlcNAcylation by high-resolution native mass spectrometry", ACS Chem.Biol.(2017), 12, 2078−2084.
  6. Kumar, J. Tamjar, A.D. Waddell, H.I. Woodroof, O.G. Raimi, A.M. Shaw, M. Peggie, M.M.K. Muqit*and D.M.F. van Aalten* (* joint corresponding authors), "Structure of PINK1 and mechanisms of Parkinson's disease associated mutations", eLife (2017), 6:e29985. 


  1. Delso, J. Valero-Gonzalez, F. Gomollón-Bel, J. Castro-López, W. Fang, I. Navratilova, D.M.F. van Aalten, T. Tejero, P. Merino and R. Hurtado-Guerrero, "Inhibitors against Fungal Cell Wall Remodeling Enzymes", ChemMedChem(2018), 13, 128 – 132
  2. Gundogdu, S. Llabrés, A. Gorelik, A.T. Ferenbach, U. Zachariae and D.M.F. van Aalten, "The O-GlcNAc transferase intellectual disability mutation L254F distorts the TPR helix", Cell Chem.Biol.(2018), 25, 513-518. 
  3. Ghirardello, D. Perrone, N. Chinaglia, D. Sádaba, I. Delso, T. Tejero, E. Marchesi, M. Fogagnolo, K. Rafie, D.M.F. van Aaltenand P. Merino, "UDP-GlcNAc analogs as inhibitors of O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT): spectroscopic, computational and biological studies", Chemistry (2018), 24, 7264-7272.
  4. C. Pao, N.T. Wood, A. Knebel, K. Rafie, M. Stanley, P.D. Mabbitt, R. Sundaramoorthy, K. Hofmann, D.M.F. van Aaltenand S. Virdee, "Activity-based E3 ligase profiling uncovers an E3 ligase with esterification activity", Nature (2018), 556, pages381–385.
  5. Mariappa, A.T. Ferenbach and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Effects of hypo O-GlcNAcylation on Drosophiladevelopment", J.Biol.Chem. (2018), 293, 7209-7221.
  6. S. Borodkin, K. Rafi, N. Selvan, T. Aristotelous, I. Navratilova, A.T. Ferenbach and D.M.F. van Aalten, "O-GlcNAcase fragment discovery with fluorescence polarimetry", ACS Chem.Biol.(2018), 13, 1353–1360. 
  7. Rafie, A. Gorelik, R. Trapannone, V.S. Borodkin and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Thio-linked UDP−peptide conjugates as O‐GlcNAc transferase inhibitors", Bioconjugate Chem.(2018), 29, 1834−18.
  8. G. Raimi, R. Hurtado-Guerrero and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Evidence for substrate-assisted catalysis in N-acetylphosphoglucosamine mutase", Biochem.J.(2018), 475, 2547-2557. 
  9. Kapuria, U.F. Roehrig, P. Waridel, F. Lammers, V.S. Borodkin, D.M.F. van Aalten, V. Zoete and W. Herr, "The conserved threonine-rich region of the HCF-1(PRO) repeat activates promiscuous OGT:UDP-GlcNAc glycosylation and proteolysis activities", J.Biol.Chem.(2018), 293, 17754-17768.



  1. Authier, V. Muha and D.M.F. van Aalten, “A mouse model for functional dissection of TAB1 O-GlcNAcylation”, Wellcome Open Res. (2019), 4:128.
  2. Muha, R. Williamson, R. Hills, A.D. McNeilly, T.G. McWilliams, J. Alonso, M. Schimpl,
    A.C. Leney, A.J. R. Heck, C. Sutherland, K.D. Read, R.J. McCrimmon, S.P. Brooks and D.M.F. van Aalten, “Loss of CRMP2 O-GlcNAcylation leads to reduced novel object recognition performance in mice”, Open Biol. (2019), 9:190192.
  3. Fang, A.B. Sanz, S.G. Bartual, B. Wang, A.T. Ferenbach, V. Farkaš, R. Hurtado-Guerrero, J. Arroyo and D.M.F. van Aalten, “Mechanisms of redundancy and specificity of the Aspergillus fumigatus Crh transglycosylases”, Nature Comms. (2019), 10, 1669.
  4. M. Pravata, V. Muha, M. Gundogdu, A.T. Ferenbach, P. Kakade, V. Vandadi, A.C. Wilmes, V.S. Borodkin, S. Joss, M.P. Stavridis and D.M.F. van Aalten, "Catalytic deficiency of O-GlcNAc transferase leads to X-linked intellectual disability", Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.USA, (2019), 116, 14961-14970.
  5. Gorelik, S.G. Bartual, V.S. Borodkin, J. Varghese, A.T. Ferenbach and D.M.F. van Aalten, “Genetic recoding to dissect the roles of site-specific protein O-GlcNAcylation”, Nature Struct.Mol.Biol. (2019), 26, 1071–1077.



  1. M. Pravata, M. Gundogdu, S.G. Bartual, A.T. Ferenbach, M. Stavridis, K. Õunap, S. Pajusalu, R. Žordania, M.H. Wojcik and D.M.F. van Aalten, “A missense mutation in the catalytic domain of O-GlcNAc transferase links perturbations in protein O-GlcNAcylation to X-linked intellectual disability”, FEBS Lett. (2020), 594, 717-727.
  2. M. Pravata, M. Omelkova, M.P. Stavridis, C.M. Desbiens, H.M. Stephen, D.J. Lefeber, J. Gecz, M. Gundogdu, K. Õunap, S. Joss, C.E. Schwartz, L. Wells and D.M.F. van Aalten, “An intellectual disability syndrome with single nucleotide variants in O-GlcNAc transferase”, Eur.J.Hum.Gen. (2020), 28, 706-714.
  3. G. Raimi, R. Hurtado-Guerrero, V. Borodkin, A. Ferenbach, M.D. Urbaniak, M.A.J. Ferguson and D.M.F. van Aalten, “A mechanism-inspired UDP-N-acetylglucosamine pyrophosphorylase inhibitor”, RSC Chem.Biol. (2020), 1, 13.
  4. E.A. Lockhart, M. Stanley, O.G. Raimi, D.A. Robinson, D. Boldovjakova, D.R. Squair, A.T. Ferenbach, W. Fang and D.M.F. van Aalten, “Targeting a critical step in fungal hexosamine biosynthesis”, J.Biol.Chem. (2020), 295, 8678-8691.
  5. Gorelik and D.M.F. van Aalten, “Tools for functional dissection of site-specific O-GlcNAcylation”, RSC Chem.Biol. (2020), 1, 98-109.
  6. Muha, M. Fenckova, A.T. Ferenbach, M. Catinozzi, I. Eidhof, E. Storkebaum, A. Schenck and D.M.F. van Aalten, “O-GlcNAcase contributes to cognitive function in Drosophila”, J.Biol.Chem. (2020), 295, 8636-8646.
  7. Fu and D.M.F. van Aalten, “Native detection of protein O-GlcNAcylation by gel electrophoresis”, Analyst (2020), 145, 6826-6830.



  1. Chen, O.G. Raimi, A.T. Ferenbach and D.M.F. van Aalten, “A missense mutation in a patient with developmental delay affects the activity and structure of the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway enzyme AGX1”, FEBS Lett. (2021), 110-122.
  2. Muha, F. Authier, Z. Szoke-Kovacs, S. Johnson, J. Gallagher, A. McNeilly, R.J. McCrimmon, L. Teboul and D.M.F. van Aalten, “Loss of O-GlcNAcase catalytic activity leads to defects in mouse embryogenesis”, J.Biol.Chem. (2021), in press.
  3. Zhang, W. Fang, O.G. Raimi, D.E.A Lockhart, A.T. Ferenbach, L. Lu and D.M.F. van Aalten, “Genetic and structural validation of phosphomannomutase as a cell wall target in Aspergillus fumigatus”, Mol.Micro. (2021), in press.
  4. G. Bartual, W. Wei, Y. Zhou, W. Fang, K. Yan, A.T. Ferenbach, D.E.A. Lockhart and D.M.F. van Aalten, “The citron homology domain as a scaffold for Rho1 signalling”, Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.USA, (2021), accepted pending revision.