Our laboratory

The Architecture et Fonction des Macromolécules Biologiques (AFMB) laboratory, overseen by the CNRS and AMU, is a center of structural biology localized on the Luminy campus in the South of Marseilles, France, and in partnership with INRAE under contract. The aim of our researches is to depict the architecture of proteins or macromolecular assemblies at the molecular level to understand the biological mechanisms which they govern. The description of interactions between macromolecules or a macromolecule and a ligand is also crucial to manipulate these complex molecules. Finally, to understand the molecular diversity of members of some protein families, we also analyze the big data issued from large-scale genome sequencing centers.

  • Monday 8th of March at 11am: Oded Rechavi , Department of Neurobiology, Wise Faculty of Life Sciences & Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University, Israel, "Transgenerational small RNA memories in C. elegans nematodes"
    The AFMB seminars are currently webinars. If you are interested in joining one or more webinars please send an email to to request the connection link.

    Résumé (...)

    In C. elegans nematodes, small RNAs enable transmission of epigenetic responses across multiple generations, independently of changes to the DNA sequence. Different environmental challenges, including exposure to viruses, starvation, and heat stress generate heritable small RNA responses, that in certain cases could be adaptive. Recently we have shown that neuronal activity can also produce small RNA-mediate heritable responses, and that the decisions that the progeny makes, depend on whether their ancestors experienced stress or not. The precise duration of small RNA-mediated transgenerational responses is governed by a number of feedback interactions, that together establish a “timer” mechanism, and segregation of the epigenetic response between the descendant obeys a few simple inheritance rules. In the talk I will present new insights into the rules that dictate which small RNA responses would become heritable, and which wouldn’t. Our results indicate that specific processing of endo-siRNAs in the parents leads to marked differences in the physiology of the progeny. I will discuss the underlying mechanisms, and the potential of small RNA inheritance to affect the worm’s fate and perhaps even evolution, and the relevance of studies in worms to mammals, and in particular humans.
    All seminars
  • The work of Rhian Jones, Juan Reguera and colleagues spotlighted by the ESRF.
  • The CNRS presents the work of Bruno Canard and Etienne Decroly on COVID in a video.
    How does SARS-CoV-2 infect our cells? How to stop its complex replication machinery? As the COVID-19 epidemic continues to spread across the world, scientists are working harder than ever to develop new drugs against the virus.
  • Isabelle Imbert nominated to the rank of “Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honour”!
  • The work of Rhian Jones, Juan Reguera and colleagues on viral replication highlighted by the INSB
  • The work of Sonia Longhi and collaborators on "intrinsically disordered" proteins highlighted by the INSB
  • "The origin of SARS-CoV-2 is being seriously questioned"
    Etienne Decroly discusses the various hypotheses for le journal du CNRS

AFMB - UMR7257 CNRS - Aix-Marseille Univ. - Case 932
163 Avenue de Luminy 13288 Marseille CEDEX 09 FRANCE

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