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Epithelia, Homeostasis, Cellular junctions, Tricellular junctions, Notch signaling, Asymmetric cell division, Tissue plasticity

University of Rennes 1 – Institute of Genetics and Development of Rennes

During development and throughout adult life, cell-fate diversity is in part generated via asymmetric cell divisions. Our team is studying how a cell divides to produce two daughter cells with different identities and how deregulation of asymmetric division is responsible for various types of pathologies, including cancers.Our research themes using invertebrate and vertebrate models combine approaches from genetics, cell biology and soft matter physics.



Mapping enzyme-substrate relationships in the ubiquitin system

University of Rennes 1 – Institute of Genetics and Development of Rennes

Ubiquitin, Proteasome, Protein-protein interaction, Systems biology, Proteomics

Our group investigates at the molecular level the function and regulation of the ubiquitin system. This system controls the activity and stability of the cellular proteome through the covalent modification of proteins by ubiquitin moieties, a process known as “ubiquitylation”. While proteomic experiments have shown that thousands of proteins can be the targeted by ubiquitylation, the great majority of ubiquitylation events remain uncharacterized. In particular, the enzyme that catalyse ubiquitylation have only been investigated for a very limited subset of ubiquitylated proteins. To address this question, we have devised a protein-fragment complementation assay, which enables us to investigate enzyme-substrate relationships in the ubiquitin system at the proteome level. We would like to apply this methodology to systematically investigate the substrates of SCF-family ubiquitin ligases. This will enable us to provide a comparative map of biological pathways targeted by these ubiquitin ligases.


Gwenael RABUT – gwenael.rabut@univ-rennes1.fr

Formation and regeneration of intestinal microvilli

University of Rennes 1 – Institute of Genetics and Development of Rennes

Genetic, inflammatory or pathogenic disorders, as well as aging, can all induce intestinal microvillus atrophy, causing food malabsorption and diarrhoea associated with severe morbidity. However, intestinal microvillus growth and stability during normal development or in pathological contexts has been mostly investigated in vitro. We take advantage of live super-resolution microscopy and endogenously expressed probes to molecularly characterize C. elegans inherited, acquired or acute microvillus atrophy models and then identify and characterize new regeneration mechanisms.


Grégoire MICHAUX

Structural studies of new toxins targeting the ribosome of the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis

University of Rennes 1 – Institute of Genetics and Development of Rennes

Keywords: RIbosome ; cryo-EM ; toxins ; tuberculosis

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is the causative agent of tuberculosis, the leading cause of death due to a single infectious agent, causing more than 1.5 million deaths per year. To survive in the host, protein synthesis (translation) is tightly regulated in Mtb. This is performed by various quality control factors, including ribosome dependent toxins. Although their cellular functions are still largely unknown, many of these systems are strongly induced in response to stress, e.g. drug exposure, hypoxia, eat shock or DNA damage. We want to focus our studies on the structural aspects of new atypical quality control and TA systems impacting the ribosome. Our main objectives are to get structural insights into the binding of these factors to isolated ribosomes and to solve the structure of the complexes in solution by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM).


Reynald GILLET – reynald.gillet@univ-rennes1.fr

Roles of ADP-ribosylation signaling during DNA repair mechanisms

University of Rennes 1 – Institute of Genetics and Development of Rennes

Our lab investigates the roles of ADP-ribosylation signaling in relation to DNA repair processes. This signaling pathway is triggered at very early stages of the DNA damage response by the recruitment of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase PARP1 to DNA lesions. Using quantitative live cell fluorescence microscopy methods, we investigate the chromatin remodeling events triggered by ADP-ribosylation signaling as well as the processes that regulate the transient accumulation of PARP1 at sites of DNA lesions, with the objective of uncovering the mechanisms modulating the cytotoxicity of PARP inhibitors currently used in the clinic to treat BRCA-deficient tumors.


Sébastien HUET – sebastien.huet@univ-rennes1.fr

Role of microtubule mechanics in cell division

University of Rennes 1 – Institute of Genetics and Development of Rennes

Keywords: Cell division / Model organism / Microtubule / Advanced optical microscopy / Image processing and data analysis.

The team studies the robustness and the mechanics of cell division adapting. Cell division is highly faithful, e.g. by correctly partitioning the chromosomes and organelles to the daughter cells, despite chromosomal defects and external perturbations (cell shape or environment changes). How do the mechanical aspects of cell division contribute to adapting to such perturbations?

In particular, how microtubule mechanics, especially bending, contribute to a robust cell division. We assert that it is a regulated property and wonder about the mechanism. We also ask how important is this regulation in ensuring correct spindle positioning during asymmetric division and faithful chromosome partitioning.

To address these questions, the team performs multi-disciplinarily research (cell biology, physics, mathematics), combines investigations at the cellular and microscopic scales with the development of unique tools based on advanced image and data analysis, including artificial intelligence.


Cell Division Reverse Engineering (CeDRE) team

Hélène BOUVRAIS – helene.bouvrais@univ-rennes1.fr

Jacques PECREAUX – jacques.pecreaux@univ-rennes1.fr


Decoding the molecular and cellular mechanisms governing Drosophila muscle stem cells maintenance and activation.

University of Rennes 1 – Institute of Genetics and Development of Rennes

Keywords: Muscle, Satellite Cells, Stem Cells, Drosophila, Regeneration

Muscle stem (satellite) cells (MuSCs) ensure the functional homeostasis of skeletal muscles as well as their regeneration upon injury. The project goal is to understand how MuSCs sense signals provided by their environment and engage a series of dramatic changes in cellular organization and fate, to repair the muscles. We would like take the advantage of newly designed Drosophila transgenic tools and imaging approaches to track MuSCs in vivo and identify genes regulating their behaviors.

Contact: The muscle Development and Repair team

Hadi BOUKHATMI – hadi.boukhatmi@univ-rennes1.fr

RNA controls in vertebrate development and human disease

University of Rennes 1 – Institute of Genetics and Development of Rennes

Team: Gene Expression and Development

Controls of gene expression exerted at the RNA level are instrumental for the development of vertebrate embryos. This includes alternative splicing, mRNA translation and decay. Our group uses a diversity of in vivo (Xenopus, mice), in cellulo (2D and 3D cultures) and in vitro models. We focus on the contributions of defective controls of RNA regulations in two human pathologies:

(i) Cataract: ocular lens clouding, the leading cause of blindness worldwide. We investigate how RNA regulations impact the organisation of the cytoskeleton, to confer the lens fiber cells their specific shape. Ultimately this peculiar organisation is required for lens transparency. We investigate how defective RNA controls lead to cataract.

(ii) Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. We investigate how the synthesis of splice isoforms of transcription factors is controlled, and how these different isoforms affect cell properties.


Pr Luc PAILLARD – luc.paillard@univ-rennes1.fr

Eco-evolutionary consequences of crayfish invasion on freshwater food webs

Agrocampus Ouest – UMR ESE

Keywords: Biological invasions, Community dynamics, Eco-evolutionary feedbacks, Ecosystem stability, Rapid evolution, Trophic interactions.

Biological invasions often entail deep reorganizations in the trophic structure of native communities, with ramifications to the function and stability of the whole ecosystem. Anticipating and managing these ramifications requires gaining a better understanding of how recipient communities respond to biological invasions. In particular, trophic reorganizations may alter selective pressures and drive rapid evolution of trophic phenotypes of both native and invasive species which, through iterative eco-evolutionary feedbacks, may ultimately change the strength and direction of trophic interactions. To decipher these complex mechanisms, our team uses a combination of high-frequency ecosystem monitoring (flow-through microscopy, multispectral aerial surveys, automated image analysis), molecular and quantitative genetics, mark-recapture and modelling approaches on the field (pond networks), in mesocosms and in the laboratory.



Deciphering microbial metabolism in extreme environments

University of Western Brittany – Biology and Ecology of deep-sea Ecosystems (BEEP)*

Keywords: Metagenomics, Prokaryotes, Hydrothermal/geothermal ecosystems, Sulfur disproportionation

Our team investigates microbial metabolisms in extreme habitats such as deep-sea hydrothermal vents and geothermal hot springs. Currently, we have two main projects. One is focused on the understanding of microbial sulfur disproportionation from the molecular to the ecosystem level. For this project, we would be interested to investigate the history of this metabolism with respect to sulfate-reduction. Our second project is focused on the microbial communities of the geothermal and hydrothermal zones of the Kerguelen archipelago and St Paul Island. These areas are located more than 3000 km from the first inhabited areas and are thus very little anthropized. The microbial communities they host have been the subject of only a few studies and remain largely unknown. We would be interested to uncover metabolic pathways to phenotypic traits of the Bacteria and Archaea from the 30 main sites, using metagenomics.


Karine ALAIN – Karine.Alain@univ-brest.fr –

Tel. (+33) (0)2 98 49 88 53 – K. Alain CV : https://www.univ-brest.fr/menu/recherche-innovation/pages-chercheurs/ALAIN-Karine//CV.cid66547

* European Institute for Marine Studies (IUEM) – BEEP Biology and Ecology of deep-sea Ecosystems UMR6197 CNRS-UBO-Ifremer (formerly LM2E Laboratory of Microbiology of the Extreme Environments)

Solving forebrain disorders and diagnostic impasse with human iPSCs-derived organoids

University of Rennes 1 – Institute of Genetics and Development of Rennes

The research team investigates biological processes that governs brain establishment during early steps of development. We focus on neurodevelopmental disorders to establish their causes at molecular and cellular levels. Our goal is to use the brain organoid technology to study physiopathology of congenital brain disorders related to Sonic Hedgehog-deficiency. It aims to propose a new molecular diagnostic tool to the patient suffering from this pathology by creating a reference transcriptomic identity card of iPSC derived forebrain organoids recapitulating the forebrain spectrum disorder.


Valérie DUPE – valerie.dupe@univ-rennes1.fr

Just transition in French rural territories

University Rennes 2 – LiRIS – Laboratoire interdisciplinaire de Recherche en Innovations Sociétales

Many actors are now involved in ecological and energy transitions in rural areas. The research currently being conducted proposes to study the ways in which these transitions are taking place in these territories, the associated games of actors and power, and the new balances or imbalances that are emerging, in terms of production activities, but also in terms of inequalities in the territories. More specifically, research is already underway within the team on two themes: 1/ the development of the biogas sector in France, and more broadly on the diversification of farmers’ production linked to transitions, and 2/ the definition of a more ecological social protection in France and in Southeast Asia and the way in which social protection actors can position themselves in this context. This work is being carried out by economists in particular, but in close collaboration with other disciplinary fields, notably sociology, geography and political science.


Alexandre BERTHE – alexandre.berthe[at]univ-rennes2.fr


Digital transition and digital twins in the industry

University of South Brittany – Lab-STICC

Keywords: Digital Revolution ; Digital Twins ; Industry 4.0 ; Agro-food Industry ; Decision Support Tools ; Data Analytics/Mining ; Smart Manufacturing

The research team aims to address issues that participate in the acceleration of the digital transition of the French industry and aspires to accompany various economic actors in this process.

The University of Southern Brittany is building a rich and varied ecosystem around the DT, bringing together expertise from different fields to address multidimensional research tracks related to the DT in order to bring it to maturity (Generic models and architectures for DTs, Acceptability and cooperation with DT, proof of concepts and collaborations with industrial partners, etc.).

The aim is to make the Lab-STICC and the Brittany region a pole of competitiveness in France and Europe for DT, by having a wide spectrum of expertise to put to good use for this new transverse technology. This does not prevent us from addressing local challenges, as agro-food related issues, that represents a very important part of the region’s industrial fabric which offers great opportunities for collaboration.


Laboratoire des Sciences et Techniques de l’Information de la Communication et de la Connaissance (Lab-STICC)

Mohammed Adel HAMZAOUI – mohammed.hamzaoui@univ-ubs.fr

ENSIBS website: https://www-ensibs.univ-ubs.fr/fr/index.html

SCAP Factory of the Future platform website: https://www-ensibs.univ-ubs.fr/fr/ecole/equipements-ateliers-2/scap-industrie.html