C. elegans synapse neuromuscular junction GABA receptors Acetylcholine receptors aging genetics molecular neurobiology electrophysiology optogenetics super resolution microscopy electron microscopy
Synapses are sophisticated nanomachines that support transfer and processing of information between excitable cells. Since most neurons receive thousands of synaptic inputs, the neuronal membrane is a mosaic of specialized microdomains where neurotransmitter receptors cluster in register with the corresponding presynaptic neurotransmitter release sites. Our lab is interested in identifying the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the organization and maintenance of the synapse with a specific focus on the control of neurotransmitter receptor expression and localization.
Our strategy is based on the combination of genetics, imaging, electrophysiology and biochemistry in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (for more information on C. elegans see “an overview of the model organism C. elegans“). Using the neuromuscular synapse as a model synapse, we identified several new genes involved in the clustering of acetylcholine and GABAA receptors through previously undescribed mechanisms, including a novel anterograde synaptic organizer that assembles extracellular scaffolds in the synaptic cleft. We are currently analyzing the organization, dynamics and maintenance of these synaptic scaffolds as well as the genes involved in the biosynthesis and trafficking of the receptors.
Our results should contribute to a better understanding of the normal and pathological synapse. Specifically, synaptic defects have been involved over the last years in the pathogenesis of a growing number of neuropsychiatric diseases, leading to the concept of “synaptopathies”. However, a number of genes linked to neuropsychiatric diseases have no assigned function, and it is likely that the mutational landscape of these diseases will be complexified by the wealth of data generated with next generation sequencing techniques. Simple organisms should help!
2019 INTERNSHIP – MASTERS LEVEL
Dysfunction of acetylcholine receptors is linked to several pathologies, including myasthenia or schizophrenia. The quantity of the receptors at the plasma membrane is thus finely tuned and results from a balance between biosynthesis, recycling and degradation of the receptors. The aim of the internship is to characterize the role of two proteins, TMED7 and TMED2, in the biogenesis of the receptors. More information: Bessereau_Master_TMED_April2019
Postdoc position is opened to analyze the impact of electrical activity on synaptogenesis and muscle homeostasis using C. elegans as a model organism (PI: Pr JL Bessereau). Applicants should have a strong background in molecular, cell biology and/or neuroscience. Funding is supported by an ERC-advanced grant for one year, renewable once.
More informations: Post-doc Bessereau 2019
Jean-Louis BESSEREAU +33 4 26 68 82 79
Mélissa CIZERON +33 4 26 68 82 78
Manuela D’ALESSANDRO +33 4 26 68 82 78
Laure GRANGER +33 4 26 68 82 78
Marine GUEYDAN +33 4 26 68 82 78
Maëlle JOSPIN +33 4 26 68 82 78
Driss LAABID +33 4 26 68 82 78
Camilla LUCCARDINI +33 4 26 68 82 78
Laurent MOLIN +33 4 26 68 82 78
Bérangère PINAN-LUCARRÉ +33 4 26 68 82 78
Océane ROMATIF +33 4 26 68 82 78
Charline ROY +33 4 26 68 82 78
Florence SOLARI +33 4 26 68 82 78
Camille VACHON +33 4 26 68 82 78
Xin ZHOU +33 4 26 68 82 78
+33 4 26 68 82 81
Institut NeuroMyoGène UCBL – CNRS UMR 5310
INSERM U1217 Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie
3ème étage – Aile D
8 avenue Rockefeller 69008 Lyon France