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    Equipe : Vascular Cell Biology in Infection, Inflammation and Cancer




    A wide range of pathogens directly targets peripheral and brain endothelia. Among those, Neisseria meningitidis (also known as meningococcus), is potentially one of the most harmful. This bacterium is a devastating human-restricted pathogen, a worldwide cause of epidemic meningitis and of rapidly progressing fatal shock. Combining mechanistic and imaging approaches, we are deciphering the molecular and cellular events leading to vascular dysfunction, thrombosis, organ failure and immune escape by these bacterial pathogens.



    Endothelial cells, that line blood and lymphatic vessels, form a key barrier actively involved in host responses to infectious agents, in the production of inflammatory cytokines, in the control of coagulation cascades and in the regulation of leukocyte trafficking. In addition, endothelial cells are major targets for human pathogens. Maintenance of the vascular wall integrity is therefore a crucial process for tissue homeostasis. Our team is deciphering the mechanisms by which pathogens (Neisseria meningitidis) and leukocytes establish intimate interactions with endothelial cells and promote vascular remodeling, in particular at the CNS level, where the Blood-Brain Barrier tightly controls neuronal environment. Furthermore, we aim at deciphering the mechanism by which N. meningitidis recruits and activates ErbB2/HER2, a tyrosine kinase receptor involved in the progression and metastasis of numerous human cancers.




    Pathogenic Neisseria meningitidis utilizes CD147 for vascular colonization.
    Bernard SC, Simpson N, Join-Lambert O, Federici C, Laran-Chich MP, Maïssa N, Bouzinba-Ségard H, Morand PC, Chretien F, Taouji S, Chevet E, Janel S, Lafont F, Coureuil M, Segura A, Niedergang F, Marullo S, Couraud PO, Nassif X, Bourdoulous S.
    Nat Med
    . 2014 Jul;20(7):725-31.

    Invasive meningococcal disease: a disease of the endothelial cells.
    Coureuil M, Bourdoulous S, Marullo S, Nassif X.
    Trends Mol Med
    . 2014 Oct;20(10):571-8.

    Pathogenesis of meningococcemia.
    Coureuil M, Join-Lambert O, Lécuyer H, Bourdoulous S, Marullo S, Nassif X.
    Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med
    . 2013 Jun 1;3(6).

    Neisseria meningitidis colonization of the brain endothelium and cerebrospinal fluid invasion.
    Miller F, Lécuyer H, Join-Lambert O, Bourdoulous S, Marullo S, Nassif X, Coureuil M.
    Cell Microbiol
    . 2013 Apr;15(4):512-9.

    Meningococcus Hijacks a β2-adrenoceptor/β-Arrestin pathway to cross brain microvasculature endothelium.
    Coureuil M, Lécuyer H, Scott MG, Boularan C, Enslen H, Soyer M, Mikaty G, Bourdoulous S, Nassif X, Marullo S.
    . 2010 Dec 23;143(7):1149-60.

    Breaking the wall: targeting of the endothelium by pathogenic bacteria.
    Lemichez E, Lecuit M, Nassif X, Bourdoulous S.
    Nat Rev Microbiol
    . 2010 Feb;8(2):93-104.



    -        Licensed Patent:

    CD147 as receptor for pilus-mediated adhesion of meningococci to vascular endothelia. WO/2014/016152. Bourdoulous S, O. Join-Lambert, X. Nassif.

    -        Patents supported by a maturation funding program:

    Polypeptides and nucleic acids for treating ErbB2-dependent cancers. WO/2011/036211. Bourdoulous S, Djerbi-Bouillie R.

    Development of a High Throughput Screening assay for the discovery of novel small molecules inhibitors of ErbB2/HER2 activity. FR1452246. Bourdoulous S, Faure C.

    Two novel families of chemical compounds for treatment of ErbB2/HER2 positive cancers. EU patent application 2016. Bourdoulous S, Faure C.

    Two novel families of chemical compounds for treatment of ErbB2/HER2 positive cancers. EU patent application 2016. Bourdoulous S, Faure C.

    Novel chemical compounds for adjuvant treatment of invasive meningococcal disease. EU patent application 2016. Bourdoulous S, Denis K, Le Guennec L.

    -        Awards

    Prix « Ruban Rose Avenir 2009 » de l’Association le Cancer du Sein, Parlons en ! attributed to Sandrine Bourdoulous for her innovative work on Cancer research


    Prix Catherine Regnard 2009 de l’Association pour la Recherche sur le Cancer (ARC) attributed to Rym Djerbi for her PhD work on Cancer Research.


     Team's news


    • Camille Faure got a Position at the CNRS.
    • Sandrine Bourdoulous has participated to the Café de la Recherche 2014, organized by the Fondation Arc on Cancer Research: Les révolutions de la recherche sur le cancer : 15 années de progrès, 12 défis pour l’avenir

    • Sandrine Bourdoulous and Camille Faure have participated in La Parisienne Race 2015 in support of the Fondation de la recherche Medicale (FRM) for research on Breast Cancer



    Media and interviews

    • Sandrine Bourdoulous was interviewed by France 5, le magazine de la Santé.

    Imagerie : repousser les frontieres de l’invisible




    Press releases


    They talk about us !

    Alphagalileo :

    Science Daily :

    MedicalXpress  :

    Futura Sciences :

    Allo-Medecin :,meningite-decouverte-du-processus-de-propagation-des-bacteries-dans-le-sang,465.html


    Panoranews :


    Futura Santé :

    Destination Santé :

    Toulouse 7 :

    La Dépèche :