Project : Mechanisms of antiviral immunity in drosophila
The team is composed of three permanent members from the University of Strasbourg: professor Jean-Luc Imler, Laurent Daeffler (INSERM research scientist) and Estelle Santiago (CNRS assistant engineer), working with post-doctoral fellows and technicians supported by grants, PhD and Master students. The team works in close collaboration with Carine Meignin (associate professor), Akira Goto (Research scientist INSER) and Jules Hoffmann (Professor at the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Studies (USIAS)).
The projects of the team since the past ten years focus on the mechanisms of antiviral immunity in the model organism drosophila. The team has shown that the resistance to viral infections rely on two types of responses, RNA interference on one hand and inducible responses on the other hand. The projects of the group are organized around these two axes, under the responsibility of C. Meignin for the RNA interference aspects and L. Daeffler and A. Goto for the inducible response and signaling aspects. They aim at understanding the molecular mechanisms that allow drosophila to (i) sense the presence of virus; (ii) activate a transcriptional response; and (iii) control the multiplication of the virus.
Drosophila S2 cells expressing fluorescent tagged versions of R2D2 and AGO2, used for time-lapse analysis of the dynamics of antiviral RNA interference
This program on the genetic basis of antiviral resistance is developed in collaboration with the teams of B. Beutler (UT Southwestern, Dallas, USA) and S. Akira (University of Osaka, Japan), who study the same topic in mammalian models.
In addition, since 2012, a collaboration with the group of J. Marques in Belo-Horizonte (Brazil) allows to extend the work on flies to Aedes vector mosquitoes, which transmit viruses such as Dengue or Chikungunya to humans.