Current position :
Scientist (Chargé de recherche) within INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de la
Recherche Médicale) since 1981.
Current lab :
• Laboratoire d'Ingénierie des Systèmes Macromoléculaires (LISM, UPR 9027 du CNRS); Marseille, France, 2004- . Transmembrane peptides, neuropilin signaling, fluorescence techniques.
Previous labs :
• INSERM units 338 (Biology of cell communication) and 575 (Physiopathology of the nervous system); Strasbourg, France; 1991-2004. Insulin receptors and oral insulin, erbB receptors, transmembrane peptides.
• Center for Neurochemistry (CNRS); Strasbourg, France; 1981-2000. Insulin receptors and lipids, other membrane proteins.
• post-doc : 1979 – 1980 : Départment of Biological Chemistry (Pr. Itzakh Ohad),
Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israël. Chlamydomonas photosystems.
• HDR (Habilitation à diriger des recherches), Louis Pasteur University,
Strasbourg, France (ULP), 2000;
• PhD in Cell Biology (Doctorat d'Université en Sciences), Louis Pasteur
University, Strasbourg, 1992;
• MD (Doctorat d’Etat en Médecine), Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, 1979.
Membrane signaling complexes : role of transmembrane domain interactions
My research interests have always been focused on signaling membrane proteins, and more specifically with their interactions within the cell membrane. My early work in Strasbourg (CNRS and INSERM) dealt with the insulin receptor, and its modulation by membrane lipids, in vitro, in cultured cell, and in animals. We have demonstrated a strong dependance of this receptor on membrane lipid composition, starting with its kinase activity.
This led to my increasing interest in the rather small transmembrane domain of this receptor, and of other signaling bitopic membrane proteins (erbB receptors, neuropilins and associates). Results point clearly to a more important role of this transmembrane sequence than is usually recognized. For instance, it is possible to specifically inhibit signaling of erbB receptors with a peptide mimic of their transmembrane domain.
More recently, I became interested in the transmembrane peptides of neuropilins and their associates (plexins, VEGFRs, …). In Marseille, I am now developing tools to study membrane peptides interactions and assembly of signaling platforms, using genetic reporter systems and tools from the “fluorescence toolkit“. This current work is done in close collaboration with the labs of Monique Genest (Molecular modelization, CNRS, Orléans) and Dominique Bagnard (Cellular and animal models, INSERM, Strasbourg) . Our ultimate goal is to establish the possibility to inhibit cell signaling using hydrophobic “interfering peptides“.