I work on the evolution of endocrine systems in Vertebrates, and, more specifically, on the impact of the whole genome duplication events. In a basal teleost, the European eel, I have been studying the characterization and regulation of endocrine actors involved in the control of reproduction.
Since March 2016, in the frame of the ANR NEMO, I have been working on the G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily. The objective of this study is to characterize this family of receptors in the European eel, and to identify, among them, new actors of the gonadotropic axis. More generally, we aim at identifying common actors of reproduction in Metazoan representatives (eel, cuttlefish, oyster and coral) to better understand the evolution history of gene families involved in reproduction. The methodologies used in this study are mainly in silico analyses and in vitro experiments (primary cultures of pituitary cells). The second part of my study focuses on the structural analysis of peptides involved in the function of reproduction, and interacting with the previously selected families of GPCR. This study will use NMR analyses of peptides interacting with Small Unilamellar Vesicules (SVU) of phospholipids, mimicking the plasmic membrane.
A.G. Lafont, K. Rousseau, J. Tomkiewicz, S. Dufour, Three nuclear and two membrane estrogen receptors in basal teleosts, Anguilla sp.: Identification, evolutionary history and differential expression regulation. General and Comparative Endocrinology (2015) doi:10.1016/j.ygcen.2015.11.021.
M. Morini, J. Pasquier, R. Dirks, G. van den Thillart, J. Tomkiewicz, K. Rousseau, S. Dufour, A.G. Lafont, Duplicated leptin receptors in two species of eel bring new insights into the evolution of the leptin system in vertebrates. PLoS ONE (2015) 10(5): e0126008 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126008.
J. Pasquier, N. Kamech, A.G. Lafont, H. Vaudry, K. Rousseau, S. Dufour, Molecular evolution of GPCRS: Kisspeptin/kisspeptin receptors. Journal of Molecular Endocrinology 52 (2014) T101-T117.
J. Pasquier, A.G. Lafont, K. Rousseau, B. Quérat, P. Chemineau, S. Dufour, Looking for the bird Kiss: evolutionary scenario in sauropsids. BMC Evolutionary Biology 14 (2014) 30.