Team members

Mechanisms of gene regulation by transcription factors

We explore the transcription regulatory mechanisms that govern genome regulation at the interface of transcription factors, chromatin proteins and the transcription machinery, framing findings in developmental processes.

Gene regulation is central to cellular destiny and heavily relies on the activity of transcription factors. Little is known about how transcription regulatory complexes assemble, how they negotiate chromatin and what underlies their functional specificity and diversity. Our projects aim at exploring the transcription regulatory mechanisms to ultimately gain insights into genome regulation. We focus on Hox transcription factors, a family of homeodomain transcription factors with key functions in development, evolution and physio-pathological processes.

Work from the team has contributed to clarify the Hox specificity paradox, by identifying the Hox intrinsic protein sequences responsible for specificity, and by discovering novel modes of interactions with the PBC class specificity cofactors. We also identified physical and functional links with chromatin proteins, including PcG and Mediator complex proteins, as well as links with the transcription pausing factor M1BP, connecting Hox protein activity to chromatin modification and to the activity of the basal transcription machinery.

More recently, we uncovered a novel facet of Hox protein function, where Hox proteins act in a paralogue non-specific manner, a property that better suits the shared Hox biochemical properties. Our current research directions aim at investigating at the physiological level how Hox specific and non-specific functions relate to each other, by exploring Hox protein functions in two tissues, the larval fat body and adult muscle development. Work also aims at uncovering molecular principles of Hox generic functions, which have so far not been studied.

Drosophila suzukii assesses the quality of a ripe cherry before deciding where to lay an egg


Our last publications


of the team


They contributed to our research
Grienenberger Aurélie
PhD student, now Chief Busness Officer Eligo Bioscience
Merabet Samir
PhD student, now Group leader at IGFL, Lyon
Saadaoui Mehdi
PhD student, now CR CNRS at IBDM
Bruno Hudry
PhD student, now CR CNRS, Group leader at IBV, Nice
Miotto Benoit
PhD student, now Group leader at Institut Cochin, Paris
Nagraj Sambrani
PhD student, now freelance writer
Ankush Auradkar
PhD student, now postdoc at University of San Diego
Amel Zouaz
PhD student, now Research Tech at IBDM
Meiggie Macchi
PhD student, now Teacher in high school
Marwa Elrefaey
PhD student, now Medical Writer at VMLY&R International
Axelle Wilmerding
PhD student, now Post-doctoral fellow at IBMB, Barcelona
Marine Barthez
PhD student, now Post-doctoral fellow at University of California, Berkeley
Lucrezia Rinaldi
PhD student, now Post-doctoral fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, USA

Funding bodies

They support our research