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Architecture et Réactivité de l'arN
Immunopathologie et Chimie Thérapeutique
Réponse Immunitaire et Deéveloppement chez les Insectes
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Overview of IBMC

The IBMC (Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology) comprises three CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) Units, UPR 9002, UPR 9021 and UPR 9022. Even though they develop distinct research fields, the interest of merging these Units into the same building is an incentive toward the emergence of new research programs utilizing the diverse expertise existing among the scientists. Also, this allows the sharing of materials and techniques as well as rationalizing core facilities.

The research interests of UPR 9002 (Architecture and Reactivity of RNA, ARN) are centered on the RNA molecule, whatever type and shape. RNA performs a remarkable range of structural, catalytic and regulatory functions, and pervaded all fields of biological research. More specifically investigated in the UPR 9002 are the structure-function relationships governing gene expression, whether at the translational or post-transcriptional levels, either in bacteria, archaea or eukaryotes. Approaches are transdisciplinary, combining genetics, structural, molecular and cell biology, chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, bioinformatics and genomics.


Insects, as all invertebrates, possess a very powerful defence system against microbial infections by utilizing an immune response of the innate type. Drosophila is the model system of the UPR 9022 (Immune Response and Development in Insects, RIDI) to investigate the evolution of this innate response. In drosophila, the defence mechanisms consist mostly in a humoral response comprising the rapid synthesis and secretion into the blood of a battery of broad spectrum antimicrobial peptides against bacteria and fungi. These are the effectors of the humoral response. At least two distinct control pathways enable induction of the antifungal and antibacterial peptides, respectively. Four groups study this immune system in drosophila in the UPR 9022, the fifth one being interested in understanding how the Anopheles mosquito can fight against the malaria parasite.


The aim of the research carried out in the UPR 9021 (Immunological and Chemical Therapeutics) is the study of molecular and cellular features of the normal and pathologic immune system with the objective to design new therapeutic ways of specific immunointervention in autoimmune, tumoral and viral diseases. Our general strategies aim at modulating cellular or molecular receptor-ligand interactions. Approaches used include fundamental immunology, cellular and molecular biology, organic chemistry and pharmacology, structure-function studies, physiology, cellular imaging and manipulation of animal models.