Molecular and Cellular Responses to Xenobiotics

Head: Jean-Marie Dupret (PR UP)


The team’s general subject is the adaptation and vulnerability of the human organism to abiotic environmental factors. The disorders studied concern mainly exposure to xenobiotics of anthropic origin, particularly those associated with the atmospheric environment (atmospheric particles, nanoparticles, aromatic compounds, heavy metals, etc.).

The effects induced by these exposures are investigated both at cellular and molecular levels. Adaptive or pathological responses as well as xenobiotic biotransformation are considered. These mechanisms may contribute to pathological processes such as inflammatory respiratory diseases or cancers.

This research is carried out by two groups who work together very closely. Three topics are addressed.

1. Responses of human respiratory epithelium to particle-induced environmental stress (Armelle Baeza (manager), Francelyne Marano, Pascal Roussel, Valentina Sirri-Roussel, Sonja Boland).
Cellular mechanisms of internalization and translocation of particles are studied as well as their short and long term effects on repair and protection functions of the epithelial barrier and its differentiation. The toxicity of fine and ultrafine (nanomaterials) particles is evaluated with respect to their physicochemical properties, in particular through their oxidative properties.

2. Metabolic and toxicological enzymology (Jean-Marie Dupret (manager), Fernando Rodrigues-Lima (manager), Mireille Viguier, Florent Busi, Frédérique Deshayes, Linh-Chi Bui, Emile Petit).
Structure-function relationships of xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes are investigated with a focus on arylamine N-acetyltransferases. The team is also interested in studying the alteration of key enzymatic pathways (energy metabolism, epigenetic writers) by xenobiotics (pesticides, leukemogen chemicals).

3. Development of technical approaches (enzyme assays, detection and characterization of molecules) dedicated to issues in toxicology and ecotoxicology and valorization of the Bioprofiler technical facility of the Metabolism platform of the BFA Unit.

see detailed topics and projects