Gene regulatory networks in Drosophila haematopoiesis and myogenesis



05 61 55 82 89

05 61 55 82 90

Membres de l'équipe

  • Laurence DUBOIS
  • Jean-Louis FRENDO
  • Nathalie VANZO
  • Gaëlle LE BRETON
  Soutien technique
  • Yannick CARRIER
  • Caroline MONOD
  • Nathalie COLOMBIE
  Etudiant en Thèse
  • Alexandre CARAYON


Cell identity is progressively established along animal development by the intertwining of transcriptional regulatory cascades and cell signaling pathways. Our team’s research focuses on two developmental programs in Drosophila : i) Larval hematopoiesis and cellular immune responses ; ii) Specification and realization of muscle identity.

Hematopoieis and cellular immune responses to parasitism.

The Drosophila immune defense relies upon synthesis of anti-microbial peptides and activity of circulating cells, the hemocytes. Larval hematopoiesis takes place in a specialized organ, the lymph gland (LG). Our lab discovered a few years ago that Col was required for specification of the Posterior Signalling Center (PSC) in the LG and the production of lamellocytes, a cryptic hemocyte type, upon wasp parasitism. The PSC was then proposed to control, in a non cell autonomous manner, hemocyte homeostasis in the LG, reminiscent of the vertebrate hematopoietic niche in the bone marrow. Transcriptome analyses of LGs in col mutants and following parasitism (unpublished) revealed the role of JAK-STAT signalling in pro-hemocyte and BMP and Robo signaling in controlling PSC size and morphology. While the PSC contributes to LG homeostasis by regulating blood cell differentiation, col cell autonomously maintains a core population of LG progenitors. Lineage tracing further indicated that the hematopoietic progenitor population is heterogenous.
Our current projects focus on identifying parameters of prohemocyte plasticity, including the role of the vascular system, and how the PSC controls the cellular immune response to parasitism. Genetic manipulation of different cell types in the LG is expected to provide novel insight into the communication between the niche(s) and hematopoietic stem cells and progenitors in the mammalian bone marrow.

Recent publication : Morin-Poulard, I., Sharma, A., Louradour, I., Vanzo, N., Vincent, A. and Crozatier, M.  Nature communications. 2016


Building the muscle pattern; Specification and realization of muscle identity

Textbook drawings of human anatomy illustrate the morphological diversity of body muscles allowing precision and strength of movements. Each Drosophila skeletal muscle displays a specific morphological identity (size, shape, orientation, innervation) and forms by fusion of a Founder Cell (FC) with naïve myoblasts. FCs originate from muscle progenitor cells (PCs). Our laboratory contributed to show that muscle morphological  identity reflects the expression by each PC/FC of a specific combination of “identity” Transcription Factors, and integrates temporal, positional and homeotic information. Transcriptional identity is then propagated to the nuclei of fusing naive myoblasts, in parallel to implementation of muscle differentiation (Bataillé et al., 2017). We recently genetically identified new iTFs. This  provided a novel, dynamic view of the transcriptional control of muscle identity, by combinatorial inputs from lineage-specific TFs, e.g., Col/EBF, Tup/Islet1,  and  general myogenic Transcription Factors, e.g., Eya, Six, Nau/MyoD (Dubois et al., 2016).
Ongoing work aims at identifying muscle identity realisator genes, using genome-wide profiling and computational approaches and studying the physiological consequences of specifc muscle pattern defects gnerated by genome editing.

Recent publications : “Genetic dissection of the Transcription Factor code controlling serial specification of muscle identities in DrosophilaDubois et al.,  eLIFE 2016 ; "Dynamics of transcriptional (re)-programming of syncytial nuclei in developing muscles" Bataillé et al., BMC Biology 2017.

The Thoracic Alary-Related Muscles; A novel type of deformable muscles. (see new project)




The Thoracic Alary-Related Muscles; A novel type of deformable muscles.


Voir toutes les publications



Anciens membres


Isabelle LOURADOUR 2012-2015, Post-doc, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, Bethesda, USA

Ismaël MORIN-POULARD, 2011-2014. Post-Doc Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht, NL

Mathilde de TAFFIN, 2010-2013. Catholic Sisterhood

Hadi BOUKHATMI, 2009-2012. Post-Doc, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Delphine PENNETIER,  2008-2011          

Jonathan ENRIQUEZ, 2007-2009 PI, Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon (IGFL)

Rami MAKKI, 2005-2008. Post-Doc, The Francis Crick Institute, London, UK

Joanna KRZEMIEN 2006-2008. Project Manager, University of St Andrews, Scotland;

Sébastien MELLA, 2002-2005

Abderhamann K’HILA, 2000-2003 (Co-supervision S. Ibnsouda, University Fes) PI, IGFL, Lyon; Developmental genomics and evolution.>

Laurence DUBOIS, 1996-1999. CNRS Research associate, CBD Toulouse

Cécile RUEZ, 1995-1997

Saad IbnSOUDA, 1991-1993, (+ Doctorat d’état 1997) Director Laboratoire Biologie Microbienne, Université de Fes, Maroc

Stéphane NOSELLI, 1989-1992. Director, Institut Valrose, Nice; Epithelial Morphogenesis and left-right asymmetry in

Valérie LEFRERE, 1989-1991 (Co-supervision F. Amalric, IBCG, Toulouse). Assistant-Professor, LBAE, Auch,

François PAYRE, 1987-1990,  (post-doc > 1997). PI, CBD Toulouse; Control of Cell Shape Remodeling,  franç

François SCHWEISGUTH, 1987-1990 (Co-supervision, JA Lepesant, IJM Paris). PI, Drosophila Developmental Genetics, Pasteur Institute, Paris



Anurag SHARMA, 2013-2016, Assistant Professeur, Dept.of Biological Sciences, Nitte University, Mangalore-575018, India 

Laetitia BATAILLE, 2010-2011 INSERM Research Associate,

Justine OYALLON, 2008-2011 Professor de Asignatura, Departamento de Biología Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Bruno GLISE, 2003-2005 Assistant Professor, University of Toulouse, Team Morphogens and Glial specification                  

Fabien CROZET 2000-2001, Chief Information Officer and Head of Bioinformatics Department, MilleGen, Toulouse.

Michel VERVOORT, 1997-1999 Professor, PI, Metazoan Development and Evolution, Institut Jacques Monod, Paris                

Denise VALLE  1994-1996 Deputy PI,  Instituto Oswaldo Cruz and INCT-EM, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil,

Michèle CROZATIER, 1988-1990 Co-PI since 2002;


Université Paul Sabatier
118 Route de Narbonne

31062 TOULOUSE Cedex

Annuaire général