Our two research projects relate to functional genomics, i.e. the study of proteins function encoded by a previously isolated unknown gene.
(1) The scientific interest of our group is related to the role of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity on mitochondrial function in a context of metabolic diseases and myopathies. Our research axes are cell signaling and regulation of gene expressions in response to progressive organ disorders (kidney, skeletal muscle, and adipose tissue). In addition, our lab is involved in a collaborative research between 7 laboratories of the Institute for Health Sciences and Technology (IHST) and Biosciences (IBS) at UMONS that is devoted to study organ crosstalk in a context of obesity.
(2) DUX Genes (“double homeobox”) are inserted in a family of elements repeated several hundreds of times in human genomic DNA. They encode DNA-binding proteins whose function remains nevertheless unknown. A sub-family of these repeated elements contains DUX4 and DUX4c genes whose expression causes, in our opinion, muscular dystrophy (FSHD). We detected higher levels of these proteins in the muscles of patients. We showed that DUX4 was a transcription factor which disturbs the expression of many genes and is in this way a major actor of pathology.