Join us

We need you! Our team has always open positions for talented and highly motivated students.

Our team has always open positions for talented and highly motivated students.
We accept all applications: from undergraduate students (e.g. 6 months Master fellowships) to PhD applications to take a 3-year exciting journey in one of our upcoming research projects at the frontiers of chemistry and biology.

We also welcome post-doctoral students, especially those interested in preparing applications for European grants such as Marie Curie or willing to apply for a permanent researcher position in our team.

Openings

Photoactivable peptides for a targeted inhibition of SUMOylation in cancer cells

Guillaume Bossis/Muriel Amblard

SUMOylation is a post-translational modification, which consists in the covalent conjugation of the small protein SUMO to lysine-side chains of proteins. SUMOylation has been involved in the regulation of
most cellular processes. Because of its pleiotropic roles, SUMOylation is emerging as a promising target for the treatment of cancers. In particular, G. Bossis’s team (IGMM) has shown that SUMOylation plays a critical role in Acute Myeloid Leukemias (AML) response to therapies (chemotherapies,
differentiation therapies and epigenetic therapies). However, the study of SUMOylation is hampered by the lack of tools to modulate its conjugation to target proteins. To fill this gap, we are, together with M. Amblard’s team (IBMM), developing a new kind of SUMOylation inhibitors.

As SUMOylation is highly dynamic and plays critical roles in numerous cellular processes, a general inhibition of SUMOylation can have pleiotropic effects and have deleterious consequences on normal cells. Finding ways to inhibit SUMOylation in a controlled manner would thus be highly valuable both to
study the function of SUMOylation and for therapeutic intervention to limit potential side effects. On the basis of peptide-based SUMOylation inhibitors we already identified, we therefore propose to develop photoinducible inhibitors of SUMOylation.

The student recruited on this interdisciplinary project will be trained for peptide synthesis and incorporation of the photo-caged amino-acids at the IBMM and will test the activity of the photo-inducible peptides in cancer cells, in particular AMLs, at the IGMM.

Contacts: guillaume.bossis@igmm.cnrs.fr, muriel.amblard@umontpellier.fr

Harnessing the ubiquitin/proteasome machinery to degrade oncoproteins
using nanoscopic PROTACs

Anthony MARTIN, Institut des Biomolécules Max Mousseron, Montpellier

Jean-Marc PASCUSSI, Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle, Montpellier

PROTACs are heterodimeric compounds displaying two ligands connected through a linker. One is a ligand for a protein of interest (POI) that is to be degraded, and the other one for an ubiquitin-E3 ligase (Ub-E3). PROTACs enable the hijacking of the ubiquitin-proteasome system to degrade a protein involved in a pathological process. To be fully functional, it must allow the recruitment of POIs and Ub-E3 in a finely controlled spatial arrangement. Therefore, the design and development of PROTACs can be tedious. Our project aims at solving this bottleneck by merging the PROTAC technology with the advantages of nanoscopic objects.

Contact : anthony.martin@umontpellier.fr

6 months internship – starting janv/feb 2021.

SUMOylation Inhibitors as innovative treatment against Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Baptiste Legrand, Institut des Biomolécules Max Mousseron (IBMM), Montpellier

Olivier Coux, Institut de Génétique Moléculaire de Montpellier (IGMM), Montpellier

 

SUMOylation, a post-translational modification of intracellular and particularly nuclear proteins, plays a critical role in the response of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) to chemotherapies and differentiation therapies. AMLs are the only hematologic malignancies that have not benefited from a major therapeutic advance during the past 40 years. They are still treated via intensive treatments based on genotoxic agents, with very high fall rates and a poor 5-year survival rate of around 20%. To fill the urgent need for alternative therapies against AML, we are developing new classes of SUMOylation inhibitors using cutting-edge technologies. The Master 2 student that will be recruited on this multidisciplinary project will be in charge of the design and synthesis of peptide inhibitors at the Institut des Biomolécules Max Mousseron (IBMM) and will then evaluate their toxicity, ability to inhibit the SUMOylation and anti-leukemic efficiency at the “Institut de Génétique Moléculaire de Montpellier” (IGMM).

Contacts: baptiste.legrand@umontpellier.fr, olivier.coux@igmm.cnrs.fr

6 months internship – starting january-march

Ref:

Ubiquitin, SUMO, and Nedd8 as Therapeutic Targets in Cancer. Gâtel P, Piechaczyk M, Bossis G. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2020;1233:29-54. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-38266-7_2.

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