Theme 4 - François Letourneur


Theme leader : Dr. François LETOURNEUR

Our projects are aimed at understanding how pathogenic bacteria can manipulate host functions to evade host defenses and replicate intracellularly. This question belongs to our long-standing analysis of membrane trafficking events taking place during phagocytosis and phagosome maturation in the professional phagocyte Dictyostelium discoideum. This amoeba is an advantageous model organism to analyse the virulence of several pathogenic bacteria.


Phagocytosis of two pathogenic bacteria are being studied: Legionella pneumophila and Mycobacterium marinum. These pathogens replicate in D. discoideum using distinct mechanisms based on the injection of effector proteins into host cells to alter normal cellular processes. Our goal is to identify novel bacterial effectors and cognate host targets to decipher their precise role in virulence. The knowledge acquired through D. discoideum will be next extended to mammalian cells.


LPHI  Laboratory of Pathogen Host Interactions
UMR 5235 - Université Montpellier
Place Eugène Bataillon, Bât. 24, CC107, 2ème étage
34095 Montpellier cedex 5

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