Nicolas Gillet

Immunity and viruses

The APOBEC3-mediated innate immune response: antiviral activity and role in human cancer

Prof. Nicolas Gillet PhD

UNamur, Department of veterinary medicine, Integrated Veterinary Research Unit (URVI)

Member of the Namur Research Pole in Infectiology (NaRePI)

Research portal UNamur  |  ORCID  |  LinkedIn

Expertise and research interests

Prof. Nicolas Gillet is expert in the field of molecular virology and is notably interested in the link between viral infection and carcinogenesis. APOBEC3 enzymes are antiviral innate effectors that restrict viruses by introducing mutations in their genomes. APOBEC3 proteins can also introduce mutations in the cell genome and therefore promote transformation. By combining bio-informatics analyses and experimental verifications, Gillet’s lab members aim at understanding the roles of APOBEC3 activity in antiviral immunity and cancer.

Group members

Lab technician: Kévin Willemart

PhD students: Maxence Collard, Alexandra Decloux, Jordi Exposito Trivino, Sarah Mathieu and Aurélie Pinchart

Alumni: Dr. Florian Poulain, Dr. Noémie Lejeune

Research project

  • ONGOING Role of the APOBEC3G in adenovirus-infected lymphocytes. Ongoing PhD thesis by Aurélie Pinchart.
  • ONGOING APOBE3G dysregulation and interactome upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Ongoing PhD thesis by Jordi Exposito Trivino.
  • ONGOING Role of the APOBEC3B antiviral innate effector on the replication of wild-type adenoviruses and adenoviral vectors. Ongoing PhD thesis by Sarah Mathieu.
  • ONGOING Regulation of APOBEC3B protein stability during adenoviral infection. Ongoing PhD thesis by Maxence Collard. Under co-supervision by Prof. Nicolas Gillet, UNamur (promoter) and Prof. Laurent Gillet, ULiège (co-promoter).
  • ONGOING Role of APOBEC3G as a SARS-CoV-2 restriction factor. Ongoing PhD thesis by Alexandra Decloux.
  • Exploring the substitution landscapes of human viruses. Postdoctoral research by Dr. Florian Poulain (Jul-Dec 2023).
  • APOBEC3 dysregulation by adenoviruses, a key step for lung cancer carcinogenesis? Research project by Zoé Blockx.
  • Role of APOBEC3B as an adenovirus restriction factor. Postdoctoral research by Noémie Lejeune.
  • Unraveling the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2-induced autoimmunity. Collaborative research project between Prof. Charles Nicaise and Prof. Nicolas Gillet.

Selected publications

Lejeune N, Mathieu S, Decloux A, Poulain F, Blockx Z, Raymond KA, Willemart K, Vartanian JP, Suspène R, Gillet NA. The APOBEC3B cytidine deaminase is an adenovirus restriction factor. PLoS Pathog. 2023 Feb 6;19(2):e1011156.

Lejeune N, Poulain F, Willemart K, Blockx Z, Mathieu S, Gillet NA. Infection of bronchial epithelial cells by the human adenoviruses A12, B3 and C2 differently regulates the innate antiviral effector APOBEC3B. J Virol. 2021 Apr 14:JVI.02413-20.

Poulain F, Lejeune N, Willemart K, Gillet NA. Footprint of the host restriction factors APOBEC3 on the genome of human viruses. PLoS Pathog. 2020 Aug 14;16(8):e1008718.

Coupeau D, Burton N, Lejeune N, Loret S, Petit A, Pejakovic S, Poulain F, Bonil L, Trozzi G, Wiggers L, Willemart K, André E, Laenen L, Cuypers L, Van Ranst M, Bogaerts P, Muylkens B, Gillet NA. SARS-CoV-2 Detection for Diagnosis Purposes in the Setting of a Molecular Biology Research Lab. Methods Protoc. 2020 Aug 18;3(3):E59.