Heavy metals and oxidative stress response

Deciphering the molecular mechanisms that are initiated by bacteria upon copper stress

Principal Investigator

Prof. Jean-Yves Matroule

UNamur, Department of biology, Research Unit in Biology of Microorganisms (URBM)

Member of the Namur Research Pole in Infectiology (NaRePI)

Research portal UNamur  |  ResearchGate  |  LinkedIn  |  www.urbm.be/research-groups/jean-yves-matroule

Expertise and research interests

The research group led by Prof. Jean-Yves Matroule aims at deciphering the molecular mechanisms that are initiated upon Cu stress, which is frequently encountered by most bacteria. More precisely, they focus their attention on the Cu homeostasis systems and their potential relationship with bacterial lifestyles within the alpha-proteobacteria phylum, which encompasses the aquatic free-living Caulobacter crescentus, the animal pathogen Brucella sp, the plant symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti and the plant pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

Their current research interests concern the evolutionary aspects of Copper homeostasis within the alpha-proteobacteria group, as well as the adaptation mechanisms to copper stress in Caulobacter crescentus.

Group members

PhD students: Pauline Cherry, Hala Kasmo, Amira Khochtali Tunisia and Timothej Patocka

Research projects

  • ONGOING Copper-based materials as potential antimicrobials for spaceflight activities. Ongoing PhD thesis by Timothej Patocka. PhD thesis at SCK-CEN (Dr. Rob Van Houdt) in collaboration with UNamur (Prof. Jean-Yves Matroule).
  • ONGOING Investigation of the bidirectional copper transport across the inner membrane of the free-living Caulobacter crescentus. Ongoing PhD thesis by Hala Kasmo. Under the supervision of Prof. Jean-Yves Matroule, UNamur, NARILIS.
  • ONGOING Characterization of the molecular role of PcoB in copper tolerance in Caulobacter crescentus. Ongoing PhD thesis by Amira Khochtali. Under the supervision of Prof. Jean-Yves Matroule, UNamur, NARILIS.
  •  ONGOING Characterization of a TonB-dependent receptor involved in Cu tolerance in Caulobacter crescentus. Ongoing PhD thesis by Pauline Cherry. Under the supervision of Prof. Jean-Yves Matroule, UNamur, NARILIS.
  • Role of the copper homeostasis in alpha-proteobacteria cell cycle. Postdoctoral research by Dr. Emeline Lawarée. Under the supervision of Prof. Jean-Yves Matroule, UNamur, NARILIS.

Selected publications

Maertens L, Cherry P, Tilquin F, Van Houdt R, Matroule JY. Environmental Conditions Modulate the Transcriptomic Response of Both Caulobacter crescentus Morphotypes to Cu Stress. Microorganisms. 2021 May 21;9(6):1116.

Maertens L, Matroule JY, Van Houdt R. Characteristics of the copper-induced viable-but-non-culturable state in bacteria. World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2021 Feb 5;37(3):37.

Maertens L, Leys N, Matroule JY, Van Houdt R. The Transcriptomic Landscape of Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 Acutely Exposed to Copper. Genes (Basel). 2020 Sep 4;11(9):E1049.

Maertens L, Coninx I, Claesen J, Leys N, Matroule JY, Van Houdt R. Copper Resistance Mediates Long-Term Survival of Cupriavidus metallidurans in Wet Contact With Metallic Copper. Front Microbiol. 2020 Jun 3;11:1208.

Lawarée E, Gillet S, Louis G, Tilquin F, Le Blastier S, Cambier P, Matroule JY. Caulobacter crescentus intrinsic dimorphism provides a prompt bimodal response to copper stress. Nat Microbiol. 2016 Jul 4;1(9):16098.

Contact

jean-yves.matroule@unamur.be