Dynamics of membranes and endocytosis

Unconventional endocytosis and its pathophysiological functions: unravelling the molecular mechanisms for their exploitation as pharmacological targets in cancer

Principal Investigator

Prof. Henri-François Renard

UNamur, Department of biology, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology (URBC) 

Research portal UNamur  |  ORCID  |  ResearchGate  |  LinkedIn  |  Personal website

Expertise and research interests

Prof. Henri-François Renard conducts research in cell biology and more particularly in the field of endocytosis and membrane trafficking. He works on the discovery and the characterization of new endocytic modalities, with a special focus on those that are independent from the well-described clathrin coat protein. He is particularly interested in the multiple functions of the membrane curvature sensing/inducing BAR domain-containing proteins in these fascinating processes. One important goal of his research is also to better understand the physiological role of these newly described endocytic processes, especially in pathophysiological contexts such as cancer. More generally, he aims to explore the functions of BAR domain proteins in every cellular process involving nanometer-scale deformations of plasma membrane, in order to understand how cells sense and interpret these mechanical signals. His expertise also covers biophysics (model membranes, nanostructured surfaces) and imaging technologies (fluorescence microscopy, super-resolution, live cell imaging). Henri-François Renard works in close contact with a network of collaborators, within which the lab of Prof. Pierre Morsomme at the UCLouvain occupies a special place.

Group members

Postdoc researcher: Dr. François Tyckaert and Dr. Natacha Zanin

PhD students: Emilie Rigaux and Shiqiang Xu

Research projects

  • ONGOING Role of clathrin-independent endocytosis in cancer cell migration. Ongoing PhD thesis by Emilie Rigaux. Under the supervision of Prof. Henri-François Renard, UNamur, NARILIS. 
  • ONGOING Role of clathrin-independent endocytosis in cancer cell immunogenicity. Ongoing PhD thesis by Shiqiand Xu. Joint PhD programme at UNamur, NARILIS (Prof. Henri-François Renard), UCLouvain, LIBST (Prof. Pierre Morsomme) and UCLouvain, de Duve Institute (Prof. Pierre van der Bruggen). In collaboration with Institut Curie, Paris, France.
  • ONGOING Role of membrane trafficking in colorectal cancer. Postdoctoral research by Dr. Natacha Zanin. Under the supervision of Prof. Henri-François Renard, UNamur, NARILIS.
  • ONGOING BAR domain proteins in endocytosis: a missing link between membrane curvature, cargo sorting, and signaling? FRS-FNRS Mandat d'Impulsion Scientifique (MIS) granted to Prof. Henri-François Renard

Selected publications

Renard HF, Boucrot E. Unconventional endocytic mechanisms. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2021 Apr 13;71:120-129.

Renard HF, Tyckaert F, Lo Giudice C, Hirsch T, Valades-Cruz CA, Lemaigre C, Shafaq-Zadah M, Wunder C, Wattiez R, Johannes L, van der Bruggen P, Alsteens D, Morsomme P. Endophilin-A3 and Galectin-8 control the clathrin-independent endocytosis of CD166. Nat Commun. 2020 Mar 19;11(1):1457.