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French Parasitology Alliance For Health Care


 

  Maryse Lebrun

 

 

Maryse LEBRUN

Information

microscope Laboratory of Pathogen Host Interactions 
team Cell biology of apicomplexan parasites 
location Montpellier
orcid 0000-0002-0962-0156 
email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
website https://cutt.ly/sw2i2ZC
twitter @Lebrun43782700 

Scientific interests and projects

We are interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that enable apicomplexan parasites to infect and develop inside their host. The phylum Apicomplexa comprises single-celled eukaryotic parasites. They are important pathogens of humans and domestic animals. It includes Plasmodium spp. the causative agent of malaria, responsible for almost half million human deaths per year. It also includes Toxoplasma, a prominent cause of human congenital infections, and Cryptosporidium, a leading cause of severe diarrhea and mortality in infants. No vaccine currently exists against these parasites.

The objectives of our team are to decipher cellular and molecular features related to two essential parasitic functions: host cell invasion and intracellular replication, with the aim of identifying novel therapeutic strategies. Our research is mainly focused on T. gondii, which is a relevant model for many features conserved throughout the phylum. We then extend our important discoveries to the malaria parasite. We use a broad array of cell biological and biochemical approaches, as well as cutting-edge molecular genetics and genome editing.

The M. Lebrun group explores i) the structure/function of proteins constituting the moving junction, a key structure formed during invasion of the host cell, ii) the mechanisms that trigger rhoptry exocytosis upon binding of the parasite to the host cell, iii) the fusion machinery of the rhoptry with the parasite plasma membrane, and iv) how rhoptry content is introduced in the host.

The group of S. Besteiro focuses on the contribution of an endosymbiotic organelle to the metabolism and survival of T. gondii in the context of both the acute and chronic phases of toxoplasmosis.

The group of M. Lamarque is interested in the functional characterization of selected P. falciparum phosphatases related to the invasion and egress mechanisms.