Based on a multidisciplinary approach, we explore the dynamics and the structure-function relationships of macromolecular assemblies, notably RNA-protein complexes and microtubules:
Among postgenomic regulation, translation regulation is of critical importance in mammalian cell biology. Indeed dedicated mRNA-binding proteins are involved in spatio-temporal control of a specific set of proteins by direct binding their mRNA. However how RNA-binding proteins specifically process some transcripts in the cytoplasm remains an open question. This issues is notably relevant in neuron diseases since RNA transport is critical for localized translation in specific neuronal compartments but also in cancer as translation of oncogenes is unregulated to sustain invasiveness and proliferation of cancer cells
Alternative splicing has an essential contribution to the diversity of protein isoforms that are expressed from a limited number of genes. Furthermore alternative splicing is highly regulated and cell type specific. The following projects aim at characterizing splicing factors with known or putative implications in neuronal cell regulations. We will also consider splicing factors implicated in neurons diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The understanding of the dynamics of microtubules and the role of their protein partners that regulate the cytoskeleton remains incomplete. A better knowledge will enlighten fundamental processes of critical importance in biology (cell cycle, neurobiology). Indeed, increasing evidence show that minor alteration of cytoskeleton dynamics is accompanied by major cellular effects which opens perspectives in medicine (cancer, neurodegenerative diseases).
Methods and Biotechnologies
We are using original methods and developing new technologies to explore these three topics including :
- Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
- Fluorescence microscopy
- Molecular Dynamics
- Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)