Bacteria-Cell Interactions


Director: Pascale COSSART


Our Unit investigates the molecular and cellular basis of the infection by Listeria monocytogenes, a model pathogen for the study of the intracellular parasitism. L. monocytogenes is responsible for severe foodborne infections. This bacterium is characterized by its ability to cross three host barriers -the intestinal, blood-brain or feto-placental barriers- and to invade several cell types in which it multiplies. L. monocytogenes moves in the cytosol of infected cells and spreads from cell to cell using an original propelling process; i.e. cell actin polymerization at one pole of the bacteria.




Our present activity focuses on: 1) the identification and characterization of new non-coding RNAs involved in virulence, as well as new RNA-mediated regulations; 2) the investigation of new molecular pathways involved in bacterial entry into host cells and cell-to-cell spread; 3) organelle dynamics during infection; 4) the systematic analysis of post-translational modifications of host molecules during infection, in particular SUMOylation; 5) chromatin remodeling upon infection; 6) the characterization of new bacterial virulence factors identified by post-genomic approaches or by their effect on cellular responses; and 7) in-depth understanding of the intestinal phase of the L. monocytogenes infection by analyzing the impact of commensals on L. monocytogenes growth and the bacterial effect on the intestinal tissue.

In many of these research themes, we try to generalize our findings to other bacterial models.


Since 2004, the "Unité des Interactions Bactéries-Cellules" (UIBC) is associated with Inserm (INSERM U604) and with INRA (INRA USC2020).



Lab address

Unité Interactions Bactéries-Cellules

Institut Pasteur
25, Rue du Docteur Roux
75724 Paris Cedex 15 FRANCE


Phone: + 33 (1) 45 68 88 41

Secretary: + 33 (1) 40 61 30 32

Fax: + 33 (1) 45 68 87 06


Our laboratory is located on the ground floor at the 53C entrance of the Roux Building (25, rue du Docteur Roux)

The metro stations Pasteur (line 6) and Volontaires (line 12) are within a 5 min walking distance from the Pasteur Institute.

The bus stop Pasteur (bus 95, towards Porte de Vanves) is located next to the Pasteur Institute main entrance.

For more information: Pasteur Institute Access and Paris Metro/Bus/Tram