Thierry Arnould

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. Thierry Arnould 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. Patsy Renard

Group members

Postdoc researchers: Dr. Ayeh Bouloki, Dr. Damien Detraux

PhD students: Ilario Amato, Célia Brand, Joanna Colot, Louise Feller, Aurore Hecq, Giacomo Lopopolo, Louis Maréchal, Hélène Marlier, Lorris Mauclet, Joline Millen, Louise Pierre and Bryan Renard

Research projects

  • ONGOING What is the real matter of lysosomal system and AMP-Activated Protein Kinase in lipotoxicity-induced renal injury? Ongoing PhD thesis by Louis Maréchal. Joint PhD programme at UNamur (Prof. Thierry Arnould) and UMons (Prof. Anne-Emilie Declèves).
  • ONGOING Impaired metabolic disturbances in renal senescence: is-there a role of adiponectin pathway? Ongoing PhD thesis by Hélène Marlier. Joint PhD programme at UNamur (Prof. Thierry Arnould) and UMons (Prof. Anne-Emilie Declèves).
  • ONGOING Investigating the impact of ambient air pollution during gestation on placental senescence. Ongoing PhD thesis by Joline Millen. Joint PhD programme at UNamur (Prof. Thierry Arnould) and UHasselt (Prof. Tim Nawrot).
  • ONGOING Characterization of the TOM20 proxisome in order to study the mitochondrial co-translational protein import. Ongoing PhD thesis by Ilario Amato. Under co-supervision by Prof. Patsy Renard (promoter) and Prof. Thierry Arnould (co-promoter).
  • ONGOING Role of a new mitochondrial RNA epigenetic modification in mammary tumours. Ongoing PhD thesis by Lorris Mauclet. Under co-supervision by Prof. François Fuks (ULB, Laboratory of Cancer Epigenetics) and Prof. Thierry Arnould (UNamur, URBC). Télévie Research Project.
  • ONGOING FOODWAL-PEPTIBoost: Development of innovative and sustainable industrializable approaches for the production and characterization of novel Bioactive Peptides to boost the functional quality of foodstuffs. Ongoing PhD thesis by Bryan Renard. Under co-supervision by Prof. Catherine Michaux, Prof. Thierry Arnould and Prof. Francesco Renzi. Supported by Win4excellence programme.
  • ONGOING FOODWAL-PEPTIBoost: Biological characterization of bioactive peptides (cell-based assay). Ongoing PhD thesis by Joanna Colot. Joint PhD programme at UNamur (Prof. Thierry Arnould) and CER Groupe (Dr. Patrice Filée and Dr. Nathalie Gillard). Supported by Win4excellence programme.
  • ONGOING ENCAPCELRAPY: Differentiation and Encapsulation of β-like cells for the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (ARC project). Under co-supervision by Prof. Thierry Arnould, UNamur, NARILIS and Prof. Bao Lian Su, UNamur, NISM.
  • 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 Lipid Droplet-Mitochondria crosstalk in podocyte adaptation to lipid overload. Ongoing PhD thesis by Aurore Hecq. Joint PhD programme at UNamur (Prof. Thierry Arnould) and UMons (Prof. Anne-Emilie Declèves).
  • ONGOING MITORAD : Potentiation of proton therapy via inhibition of mitophagy and induction of oxidative stress by gold nanoparticles. Ongoing PhD thesis by Giacomo Lopopolo. Under co-supervision by Prof. Anne-Catherine Heuskin (promoter) and Prof. Thierry Arnould (co-promoter).
  • ONGOING Characterization of the AMPK / SIRT3 axis in the disruption of autophagic flow and mitochondria associated with the accumulation of lipids in proximal tubular cells induced by obesity. Ongoing PhD thesis by Louise Pierre. Joint PhD programme at UNamur (Prof. Thierry Arnould) and UMons (Prof. Anne-Emilie Declèves).

Selected publications

Juszczak F, Arnould T, Declèves AE. The Role of Mitochondrial Sirtuins (SIRT3, SIRT4 and SIRT5) in Renal Cell Metabolism: Implication for Kidney Diseases. Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Jun 25;25(13):6936.

Verbeke J, De Bolle X, Arnould T. When mitophagy dictates the outcome of cellular infection: the case of Brucella abortus. Autophagy. 2023 Aug 17:1-2.

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.

Verbeke J, De Bolle X, Arnould T. To eat or not to eat mitochondria? How do host cells cope with mitophagy upon bacterial infection? PLoS Pathog. 2023 Jul 6;19(7):e1011471.

Verbeke J, Fayt Y, Martin L, Yilmaz O, Sedzicki J, Reboul A, Jadot M, Renard P, Dehio C, Renard HF, Letesson JJ, De Bolle X, Arnould T. Host cell egress of Brucella abortus requires BNIP3L-mediated mitophagy. EMBO J. 2023 Jul 17;42(14):e112817.

Neumann M, Arnould T, Su BL. Encapsulation of stem-cell derived β-cells: A promising approach for the treatment for type 1 diabetes mellitus. J Colloid Interface Sci. 2023 Apr 15;636:90-102.

Gavage M, Van Vlierberghe K, Van Poucke C, De Loose M, Gevaert K, Dieu M, Renard P, Arnould T, Gillard N. High-resolution mass spectrometry-based selection of peanut peptide biomarkers considering food processing and market type variation. Food Chem. 2020 Jan 30;304:125428.

Planque M, Arnould T, Delahaut P, Renard P, Dieu M, Gillard N. Development of a strategy for the quantification of food allergens in several food products by mass spectrometry in a routine laboratory. Food Chem. 2019 Feb 15;274:35-45.

Storder J, Renard P, Arnould T. Update on the role of Sirtuin 3 in cell differentiation: a major metabolic target that can be pharmacologically controlled. Biochem Pharmacol. 2019 Nov;169:113621.

Lobet E, Willemart K, Ninane N, Demazy C, Sedzicki J, Lelubre C, De Bolle X, Renard P, Raes M, Dehio C, Letesson JJ, Arnould T. Mitochondrial fragmentation affects neither the sensitivity to TNFα-induced apoptosis of Brucella-infected cells nor the intracellular replication of the bacteria. Sci Rep. 2018 Mar 26;8(1):5173.

Demine S, Tejerina S, Bihin B, Thiry M, Reddy N, Renard P, Raes M, Jadot M, Arnould T. Mild mitochondrial uncoupling induces HSL/ATGL-independent lipolysis relying on a form of autophagy in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. J Cell Physiol. 2018 Feb;233(2):1247-1265.