To carry out their activities, Research Teams of the Frédéric Joliot Institute for Life Sciences have developed high-profile technological platforms in many areas : biomedical imaging, structural biology, metabolomics, High-Throughput screening, level 3 microbiological safety laboratory...
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Laboratory | Pharmacology
Team LeaderDenis SERVENTdenis.email@example.com
Research pursued in our team aim to exploit the vast resource of toxins present in venoms and that have been selected during the evolution process to target very efficiently and selectively molecular targets that play a major physiological role. To this end, we particularly studied the interaction of different peptide toxins with many receptors and ion channels, particularly those interacting with G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and sodium channels.
Our objectives are :
Our works have led for example to the characterization of new toxins interacting with nicotonic acetylcholine, alpha-adrenergic, muscarinic, somatostatin, dopamine and vasopressin receptors as well as with various sodium channel subtypes. Part of these new toxins have been patented due to their unique pharmacological properties, some of which are still being studied in animal models of human diseases. Pharmacological characterization and structural modeling of some of these complexes (MT7 toxin -muscarinic M1 receptor, rho-toxin Da1A -alpha1A adrenoceptor) allowed us to better understand the molecular basis of their functional properties and allow the engineering of these structural platforms such as the three-finger fold toxins.
On the other hand, our involvement in the European programs Conco (2007-2011) and Venomics (2011-2015) led us to significantly improve our ability to synthesize these toxins, our ability to perform pharmacological and functional characterization of their interactions and in a more general way allows us to better understand the huge diversity of toxins present in venoms. Our team is also involved in a research program aiming to understand the mode of action of shellfish toxins produced by micro-organisms (dinoflagellates) and known to cause severe neurotoxic effect via their accumulation in bivalves (mussels, oysters ...). These molecules (gymnodimines, spirolides, pinnatoxines) contain a cyclic imine chemical group and we have shown recently that they interact very efficiently with central and peripheral nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.
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