Patsy Renard

Organelle (dys)function

Exploring the biology of mitochondria and other organelles, as well as their dysfunction in mammalian cell responses related to metabolism, obesity, stem cell differentiation, infection by intracellular bacteria, cancer cell irradiations…

Prof. Patsy Renard PhD

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

Research portal UNamur  |  ORCID  |  ResearchGate  |  LinkedIn

Expertise and research interests

The research group led by Prof. Patsy Renard and Prof. Thierry Arnould has a long experience in the study of organelles, particularly mitochondria and aims at understanding the biology of this organelle, in various physiological or pathological conditions.

A currently growing research axis is devoted to investigate the physiological link between mitochondria and cell differentiation. They analyse the mitochondrial changes occurring during the during the early steps of implantation – called the naïve-to-primed transition - as well as during the hepatogenic differentiation of human stem cells. The group also studies the physical and functional interactions between organelles (lysosomes, endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria), called “organelle cross-talk”. They reveal that a non-lethal endoplasmic reticulum stress or a lysosomal dysfunction triggers mitochondria fragmentation.

In pathological contexts, researchers also focus on obesity and associated disorders, referred to as the “metabolic syndrome”, and aim at unravelling the underlying dysregulations/dysfunctions associated with the biology of mitochondria in white adipocytes.

To understand how pathological conditions relate to organelle dysfunction, they use different in vitro cell models presenting mitochondrial dysfunctions and study the impact of dysfunctional mitochondria on three types of cell responses: the retrograde signalling pathways, the apoptotic response and the metabolism in (pre)adipocytes. Finally, they are interested in the crosstalk that exists between bacteria (i.e Brucella abortus) and the mitochondria of infected cells. 

Co-Principal Investigator

Prof. Thierry Arnould

Group members

PhD students: Célia Brand, Louise Feller, Debackshee Goswami India, Aurore Hecq, Giacomo Lopopolo, Sébastien Meurant and Louise Pierre

Research projects

  • ONGOING Molecular interactions at an ultraconserved genomic element bound by the HOXA2 transcription factor. Ongoing PhD thesis by Célia Brand. Joint PhD programme at UNamur (Prof. Patsy Renard) and UCLouvain (Prof. René Rezsohazy).
  • ONGOING Optimization of human primary adipose sample (cryo)preservation, cell isolation and culture in order to characterize the estrogenic component in lipedema. Research collaboration between Prof. Thierry Arnould and Prof. Patsy Renard, UNamur; Dr. Christine Deconink, CHU UCL Namur; Dr. Morgane Canonne, CHU UCL Namur.
  • ONGOING Research project to investigate whether intercellular interactions between hepatic progenitors (HALPCs) and hepatocytes, stellate cells and/or T lymphocytes, would confer therapeutical advantages in a NAFLD/NASH context. Ongoing PhD thesis by Louise Feller.
  • ONGOING Study of the expression and role of Sirtuin4 in hepatogenic differentiation. Ongoing PhD thesis by Debackshee Goswami. Supported by a UNamur-CERUNA research grant.
  • ONGOING Deciphering of the mitochondrial co-translational import mechanism in mammals, identification of the main actors and characterization of their physiological relevance. Ongoing PhD thesis by Sébastien Meurant.

Selected publications

Detraux D, Caruso M, Feller L, Fransolet M, Meurant S, Mathieu J, Arnould T, Renard P. A critical role for heme synthesis and succinate in the regulation of pluripotent states transitions. Elife. 2023 Jul 10;12:e78546.

Amato I, Meurant S, Renard P. The Key Role of Mitochondria in Somatic Stem Cell Differentiation: From Mitochondrial Asymmetric Apportioning to Cell Fate. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Jul 29;24(15):12181.

Meurant S, Mauclet L, Dieu M, Arnould T, Eyckerman S, Renard P. Endogenous TOM20 Proximity Labeling: A Swiss-Knife for the Study of Mitochondrial Proteins in Human Cells. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 May 31;24(11):9604.

Detraux D, Renard P. Succinate as a New Actor in Pluripotency and Early Development? Metabolites. 2022 Jul 15;12(7):651.

Colin M, Dechêne L, Ceusters J, Niesten A, Demazy C, Lagneaux L, Zouaoui Boudjeltia K, Franck T, Van Antwerpen P, Renard P, Mathieu V, Serteyn D. Priming of mesenchymal stem cells with a hydrosoluble form of curcumin allows keeping their mesenchymal properties for cell-based therapy development. J Cell Mol Med. 2021 Mar 26.

Canonne M, Wanet A, Nguyen TTA, Khelfi A, Ayama-Canden S, Van Steenbrugge M, Fattaccioli A, Sokal E, Najimi M, Arnould T, Renard P. MPV17 does not control cancer cell proliferation. PLoS One. 2020 Mar 10;15(3):e0229834.

Wanet A, Caruso M, Domelevo Entfellner JB, Najar M, Fattaccioli A, Demazy C,Evraerts J, El-Kehdy H, Pourcher G, Sokal E, Arnould T, Tiffin N, Najimi M, Renard P. The Transcription Factor 7-Like 2-Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator-1 Alpha Axis Connects Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Metabolic Shift with Stem Cell Commitment to Hepatic Differentiation. Stem Cells. 2017 Oct;35(10):2184-2197.

Wanet A, Arnould T, Najimi M, Renard P. Connecting Mitochondria, Metabolism, and Stem Cell Fate. Stem Cells Dev. 2015 Sep 1;24(17):1957-71.