Research activities

Two main research axes are developed within the Cell Biology laboratory.

1.  Functional viral Interactomics (Prof. Tafforeau)

This first research axe consists to study how a virus, when it is infecting a cell, hijacks cellular functions to its own profit. More particularly, we are interesting to the interactions between the flu virus (Infleunza A virus) proteins and few cellular pathways. We are identifying the interactions between viral and cellular proteins, and we are characterizing their functional implications in the viral infection cycle.

Two research projects are currently underway :

  • The functional characterization of the interplay between the viral proteins NS1 and PA-X and the cellular translation machinery. Indeed, these viral proteins particularly interact with several proteins involved in translation, i.e. protein synthesis through ribosomes.
  • The identification of interactions between NS1 and the ubiquitin-proteasome system, and the functional deciphering of specific interactions, as for example the cell cycle regulation.

2.  Molecular mechanisms of the human fertility (Dr. Hennebert)

The second research axe aims to identify and determine the functional role of proteins involved in human male fertility.

Three projects are currently underway :

  • The study of the HSP70 protein in order to understand its involvement in sperm  mobility.
  • The characterization of CRISP2, a sperm cell protein involved in the fusion with the oocyte, and the identification of its oocyte interactor.
  • The highlighting of synthesized proteins in sperm cell following various treatments.

Our unit is also associated with the following UMONS research institutes :