Molecular and Cellular Responses to Xenobiotics

Head: Jean-Marie Dupret (PR UPCité)


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, micropastics).

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.

First group:

1. Responses of human respiratory epithelium to particle-induced environmental stress.

The identification of the pulmonary hazard of the particulate component of the exposome by developing new tools such as toxicological assays, biophysical/imaging approaches and cellular models (A Baeza (group manager), S Boland, S Devineau, K Maouche**, F Marano (Emeritus) (** since January 2024))

2. Cellular and nucleolar stress.

The understanding of the mechanisms whereby xenobiotics can induce nucleolar stress and the development of fluorescence imaging tools to analyze xenobiotic-dependent nucleolar disruption (P Roussel, V Sirri-Roussel)

Second group:

3. Enzymes, environment, molecular pathology.

The characterization of the molecular, structural and functional impact of xenobiotics (notably carcinogens) on enzymes of cell signaling and epigenetics relevance, namely the lysine methyl/acetyl- transferases SETD2 and CREBBP and the protein tyrosine phosphatases PTP1B/PTPN2 (LC Bui, F Busi, F Deshayes*, JM Dupret (group manager), E Petit, J Renault, F Rodrigues Lima (group manager), M Viguier*(* since January 2022))


The team also manages the Bioprofiler facility of the Metabolism platform of the BFA Unit: development of technical approaches (enzyme assays, detection and characterization of molecules) dedicated to issues in toxicology and ecotoxicology and valorization of the facility.

see detailed topics and projects