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Laboratory | Molecular mechanisms
The Laboratory of Membrane Protein and Membrane Systems works at deciphering
the mechanism of membrane-related processes, with a specific emphasis on the
molecular mechanism of active transport across biological membranes, as well as
the study of protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions and significance. We
use a combination of complementary experimental and in silico
approaches: biochemistry, spectroscopies, molecular dynamics simulations and
The cells from our body as well as intracellular organelles are surrounded by a thin sheet called the membrane, which is primarily made of lipids and proteins. Membranes are much more than merely a barrier that insulates the outside medium from the inside of the cell. Membranes coordinate a number of cell signaling events, e.g. through the recruitment of peripheral proteins like small G proteins. Besides, chief amongst the cell membranes constituents are integral membrane proteins, which act as biological gatekeepers, controlling the flow of biomolecules through transporters and transmitting signals through receptors. As such, integral membrane proteins are involved in a host of different functions, ranging from cell signaling, membrane trafficking, ion/lipid transport, cell detoxication, cell energization, to the generation of membrane potential. This is exemplified by the fact that 30% of a large number of genomes encodes membrane proteins and that about 50% of currently used drugs target membrane proteins. Membrane proteins have also important roles in the pharmacokinetics (tissue distribution, metabolism and clearance), safety and efficacy profile of many pharmaceutical drugs, and in the drug-resistant mechanisms operating in many pathogens.
In sum, damages to membranes can grossly alter most processes within the cell. Furthermore, although the role of lipids has long been underestimated, they now take center stage as we begin to understand their role in membrane trafficking, signaling, nanodomain organization, energy storage, or the regulation of membrane protein activity.
In our group, we aim to decipher the mechanism by which membrane proteins catalyze their function, at a molecular level, with a specific emphasis in the interplay between lipids and membrane proteins, and in the role of membrane proteins in the dynamic organization of membrane lipids. Four main research axis revolve around and centre on this general theme:
Azouaoui Hassina, PhD StudentBarbot Thomas, PhD StudentBeswick Véronica, assistant Professor
Champeil Philippe, ResearcherGarrigos Manuel, ResearcherHaraux Francis, Researcher
Jamin Nadège, ResearcherJaxel Christine, ResearcherLe Maire Marc, ProfessorLemaire Claire, ResearcherLenoir Guillaume, assistant Professor
Montigny Cédric, EngineerOrlowski Stéphane, ResearcherPerrot Nahuel, PhD StudentRoux Michel, Researcher
Vázquez-Ibar José-Luis, Researcher
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.