ATIP-avenir Team – RNA Biology and Animal Development



RNABAnD – RNA Biology and Animal Development


In our group we study cellular and molecular processes implicated in gene regulation, cell differentiation, and animal fertility. In this context, we are particularly interested in exploring the biological functions of subcellular structures known as RNA condensates. Observed under the microscope, RNA condensates appear as micrometric-sized liquid droplets, floating and fusing inside the cell. This indicates that RNA condensates are not enclosed within membranes and suggests the presence of rapid internal molecular rearrangements. In fact, the formation of RNA condensates results from multivalent and dynamic interactions among RNAs and proteins. In vivo, specific condensates present in different cellular compartments or cell types seem to selectively concentrate factors implicated in RNA metabolism, a phenomenon also observed in response to changes in environmental conditions. This is why the formation of RNA condensates intuitively appears as a cellular mechanism for the spatiotemporal control of molecular processes.

However, due to their highly dynamic and heterogeneous nature, we lack the experimental tools to characterize and manipulate condensates in their physiological context. As a result, their contribution to regulating developmental gene expression programs remains, in most cases, controversial. We are interested in understanding the biological relevance of this type of molecular organization, which has already been implicated in cellular physiology and human disease.


Topics :

  • Research using Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Gametogenic differentiation and animal fertility
  • Non-coding small RNA-mediated gene regulation
  • Post-transcriptional and transcriptional regulation of germline messenger RNAs
  • RNA condensate formation and function in germ cells

Approaches :

  • Molecular and Developmental Genetics
  • Genome Editing
  • Genome-wide sequencing
  • In vivo confocal and super resolution microscopy
  • Single molecule and quantitative imaging


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