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French Parasitology Alliance For Health Care






microscope MIVEGEC 
team Biologie, Génétique et Pathologie des Pathogènes Eucaryotes 
location Montpellier
orcid 0000-0002-5623-5664 
email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Scientific interests and projects

The team's interest relies in the molecular and cell biology of protozoan parasites, with a focus on Trypanosomatids (Leishmania and Trypanosoma brucei). More precisely, we seek to elucidate the mechanisms of basic biological processes of the parasite cell which are 'divergent' from classical eukaryotic models – and more specifically related to mitosis, e.g. DNA replication, chromosomal segregation, recombination, spindle assembly, cell division …

One of the great conceptual achievements of the group over the last 10 years has been the demonstration of a constitutive so-called 'mosaic aneuploidy' in Leishmania, which, even if exaggerated in in vitro conditions (as opposed to the 'real life' of the parasite), questions its astonishing ability to generate and tolerate aneuploidy. This may be related to a greater tolerance to mis-replication or to some degree of 'permissive' segregation – and this is still being elucidated.

More on the 'cell biology' side, the team takes interest into microtubular structures and microtubule-associated proteins, which are deeply involved in events such as cell growth and cell division. Present projects focus on the role of post-translational modifications of microtubules and that of kinesins in cell division.

For these studies, the group has developed novel molecular tools, in particular the first efficient CRISPR-Cas9 strategy in Leishmania and more recently, has set up an efficient and straightforward approach for inducible knock-outs, opening for the first time the way to the study of essential genes in this parasite. It also takes advantage of the mastering by the team of two demanding techniques, DNA molecular combing and FISH, as well as obviously, more 'classical' approaches such as microscopy and imaging, WGS, ChIP, etc.

Collaborations are open about (i) these matters/models with different view angles or technological approaches, or (ii) different models of which the study would benefit from technical approaches not necessarily mastered in the network.

Top 5 publications of the last 5 years

1. Morelle C*, Sterkers Y*°, Crobu L, MBang-Benet DE, Kuk N, Portalès P, Bastien P, Pagès M°, Lachaud L°. The nucleoporin Mlp2 is involved in chromosomal distribution during mitosis in trypanosomatids. Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Apr 30;43(8):4013-27. *cofirst and °co-corresponding author. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv056

2. Garcia-Silva MR, Sollelis L, MacPherson CR, Stanojcic S, Kuk N, Crobu L, Bringaud F, Bastien P, Pagès M, Scherf A, Sterkers Y. Identification of the centromeres of Leishmania major: revealing the hidden pieces. EMBO Rep. 2017 Nov;18(11):1968-1977. 10.15252/embr.201744216

3. Vergnes B, Gazanion E, Mariac C, Du Manoir M, Sollelis L, Lopez-Rubio JJ, Sterkers Y, Bañuls AL. A single amino acid substitution (H451Y) in Leishmania calcium-dependent kinase SCAMK confers high tolerance and resistance to antimony. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2019 Nov 1;74(11):3231-3239. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkz334

4. Sollelis L, Ghorbal M, MacPherson CR, Martins RM, Kuk N, Crobu L, Bastien P, Scherf A, Lopez-Rubio JJ, Sterkers Y. First efficient CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing in Leishmania parasites. Cell Microbiol. 2015 Oct;17(10):1405-12. doi: 10.1111/cmi.12456

5. Stanojcic S, Sollelis L, Kuk N, Crobu L, Balard Y, Schwob E, Bastien P, Pagès M, Sterkers Y. Single-molecule analysis of DNA replication reveals novel features in the divergent eukaryotes Leishmania and Trypanosoma brucei versus mammalian cells. Sci Rep. 2016 Mar 15;6:23142. doi: 10.1038/srep23142