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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board: Buchner, Johannes / Lei, Ming / Ludwig, Stephan / Thomas, Douglas D. / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

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Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.820

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Volume 395, Issue 5


Antagonizing leptin: current status and future directions

Lennart Zabeau
  • Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Department of Medical Protein Research, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, A. Baertsoenkaai 3, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Frank Peelman
  • Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Department of Medical Protein Research, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, A. Baertsoenkaai 3, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jan Tavernier
  • Corresponding author
  • Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Department of Medical Protein Research, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, A. Baertsoenkaai 3, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2014-02-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hsz-2013-0283


The adipocyte-derived hormone/cytokine leptin acts as a metabolic switch, connecting the body’s nutritional status to high energy consuming processes such as reproduction and immune responses. Inappropriate leptin responses can promote autoimmune diseases and tumorigenesis. In this review we discuss the current strategies to modulate leptin signaling and the possibilities for their use in research and therapy.

Keywords: antagonism; autoimmunity; leptin


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About the article

Lennart Zabeau

After finishing his biotechnology studies at Ghent University in 1998, Lennart Zabeau joined the CRL to study the mechanisms underlying cytokine receptor clustering and activation. He started to work on the interleukin-5 receptor, but later on the leptin receptor became his main research interest. He obtained a PhD in 2004. With an FWO fellowship he is currently involved in the design and evaluation of leptin and leptin receptor antagonists in vitro and in mouse models for certain autoimmune diseases.

Frank Peelman

After graduating as a biologist in 1993, Frank Peelman obtained his PhD in 1999 on the structure-function relationships of lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase at the Biochemistry department of Ghent University. In 2002, he joined the Cytokine Receptor Lab to investigate the properties of leptin binding to its receptor. In 2006 he became a full professor at Ghent University, and his current research focuses on the molecular dissection of protein-protein interactions, with focus on cytokines and Toll-like receptor signaling.

Jan Tavernier

Jan Tavernier founded the Cytokine Receptor Laboratory (CRL) in 1996. He obtained his PhD in 1984 in the early days of recombinant DNA on the cloning of several interferon and interleukin genes. In the same year he moved to industry, first Biogen, later Roche, where he continued cytokine research and demonstrated for the first time the shared use of cytokine receptor subunits. He became full professor at Ghent University in 1996 and currently heads the CRL as part of the VIB Department of Medical Protein Research.

Corresponding author: Jan Tavernier, Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Department of Medical Protein Research, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, A. Baertsoenkaai 3, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium, e-mail:

Received: 2013-11-21

Accepted: 2014-02-05

Published Online: 2014-02-11

Published in Print: 2014-05-01

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry, Volume 395, Issue 5, Pages 499–514, ISSN (Online) 1437-4315, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hsz-2013-0283.

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