Mouse functional Genetics - URA CNRS 2578 / USC INRA 2026  

  HEADProf. PANTHIER Jean-Jacques /
  MEMBERSDr. AUBIN-HOUZELSTEIN Geneviève / Dr. BECK-CORMIER Sarah / Mle BLANCHET Charlène / Dr. COHEN-TANNOUDJI Michel / Mle DJIAN Johanna / Dr. EGIDY-MASKOS Giorgia / Mle FENINA Myriam / Mme FLEURANCE Isabelle / M. GUILLEMOT Laurent / Dr. HOULARD Martin / Dr. JAUBERT Jean / Mle LE BOUTEILLER Marie / M. LEGUILLIER Teddy / Mle LEJARDS Camille / Dr. MONTAGUTELLI Xavier / Prof. PANTHIER Jean-Jacques / Dr. SIMON Dominique / Mle SOUILHOL Céline / Mme VANDORMAEL-POURNIN Sandrine / Dr. ZAVERUCHA DO VALLE Tânia

  Annual Report

The Mouse Functional Genetics laboratory has been established in May, 2005. The research programmes focus on two main topics within the fields of activity of the Institut Pasteur:

- Genetic mechanisms of susceptibility to infectious diseases.

- The biology of embryonic and adult stem cells.

Genetics of susceptibility to infection diseases

An outgrowth of concern about newly emerging and re-emerging diseases and the progressive development of antibiotic-resistant pathogens justifies increased interest in infectious disease research. The clinical outcome of infectious diseases is determined by complex interactions between the pathogen and the genome of affected individuals, under the influence of environmental and stochastic factors. To identify genetic mechanisms of susceptibility to infectious diseases, mouse models are essential. Actually, experimental standardised infection of mice from controlled mating between inbred strains, bred in specific-pathogen-free conditions, with a given dose of pure inoculum offers a powerful approach. This approach eliminates several sources of environmental variance hence making easier the identification of genes influencing host susceptibility. We focus our research on few life-threatening micro-organisms, including Yersinia pestis, the agent of Plague, West Nile virus, responsible for fatal encephalitis, and the Rift Valley fever virus, responsible for hemorrhagic fever.

Biology of embryonic and adult stem cells

Stem cells are capable of both generating identical progeny, and producing transit amplifying cells (TA-cells) committed to differentiate. Regulation of the number of stem cells, TA-cells and differentiated cells is a crucial problem in multicellular organisms. Defects in stem cell renewal may lead to lineage disappearance or cancer. Indeed, tissues and organs in the embryo and in the adult rely heavily on homeostasis, where, as cells die accidentally or naturally, they are replenished. Many of the features that govern the behavior of stem cells remain unknown. Our research takes advantage of various mouse lines carrying spontaneous or targeted mutations in a number of genes, including Notchless, Strawberry notch 2 and Omcg1, to study the cellular and molecular basis of stem cell renewal and maintenance, and its differentiation into TA-cell and mature cell. Our research focus on the study of embryonic and somatic stem cells - including melanocyte, hematopoietic and epithelial intestinal stem cells - using the mouse as an experimental model.

Keywords: xperimental infection, innate response, arbovirus, zoonosis, Yersinia pestis, West Nile virus, Rift valley fever virus, Notch signaling pathway, cell cycle, early embryo, ES cells, stem cells, melanocyte


A novel transgenic mouse reporter line allows the assess­ment of Notch signalling dynamics and regulation in vivo.


  1. Aubin-Houzelstein, G., J. Djian-Zaouche, F. Bernex, S. Gadin, V. Delmas, L. Larue, and J. J. Panthier. 2008. Melanoblasts' proper location and timed differentiation depend on Notch/RBP-J signaling in postnatal hair follicles. J Invest Dermatol 128:2686-95. 18463680.

  2. Egidy, G., S. Jule, P. Bosse, F. Bernex, C. Geffrotin, S. Vincent-Naulleau, V. Horak, X. Sastre-Garau, and J. J. Panthier. 2008. Transcription analysis in the MeLiM swine model identifies RACK1 as a potential marker of malignancy for human melanocytic proliferation. Mol Cancer 7:34. 18442364.

  3. Burgio, G., M. Szatanik, J. L. Guenet, M. R. Arnau, J. J. Panthier, and X. Montagutelli. 2007. Interspecific Recombinant Congenic Strains Between C57BL/6 and Mice of the Mus spretus Species: A Powerful Tool to Dissect Genetic Control of Complex Traits. Genetics 177:2321-33. 17947429.

  4. Cormier, S., S. Le Bras, C. Souilhol, S. Vandormael-Pournin, B. Durand, C. Babinet, P. Baldacci, and M. Cohen-Tannoudji. 2006. The murine ortholog of Notchless, a direct regulator of the Notch pathway in Drosophila melanogaster, is essential for survival of inner cell mass cells. Mol Cell Biol 26:3541-9. 16611995.

  5. Souilhol, C., S. Cormier, M. Monet, S. Vandormael-Pournin, A. Joutel, C. Babinet, and M. Cohen-Tannoudji. 2006. Nas transgenic mouse line allows visualization of Notch pathway activity in vivo. Genesis 44:277-86. 16708386.

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Activity Reports 2009 - Institut Pasteur
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