Development and pathologies of neuromuscular junctions

img_20140526_122700-retouchee2Extracellular matrix proteins and adhesion proteins involved in synapse formation, its plasticity and the establishment of neuronal conectivity. They also coordinate the pre- and postsynaptic activities and the maturation of the synapse in the nervous system. To date, however their are few datas that highlight molecular mecanisms to which that matricials molecules control the synaptic development. How Extracellular matrix proteins control the main steps of the synapse’s formation like the axonal guidance, the formation and maturation of the synaptic contact ? In order to answer this questions, the biological system used by our team is the neuromuscular junction in vertebrates. This synapse is an excellent modèle for the study of synaptogenesis and has allowed notable steps forward in this domain.

The main goal of our team is :

  1. Identify proteins involved in axonal guidance toward their targeted muscules
  2. Reveal interactions of a specific collagen, CoIQ with others Extracellular Matrix proteins and to dissect the sigalisation cascade induced byCoIQ in the postsynaptic element’s formation.
  3. Understand microtubules and associated proteins (MAP) role in the transduction of a signal coming from the extracellular matrix.

To answer to these questions, we combine In vivo studies in knock-out mice and in vitro in culture systems. These 3 themes are associated to synapse’s pathologies which are studied in parallel on animal models  for these pathologies

Themes of research :

  • Identification of molecules of axonal guidance involved in the formation of the neuromuscular junction.
    Laure Strochlic
  • Identification of the CoIQ’s partners in the extracellular matrix and dissection of the signaling cascade induced by the protein CoIQ in the maturation of the postsynaptic element.
    Alexandre Dobbertin

Collaborations :

  • University of Ottawa, Canada
  • UMR 5161 CNRS-ENSLyon-INRA, France
  • UMR 5534 CNRS-Université Lyon 1, France

Team leader


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