Honors & Awards

  • Post Doctoral Fellowhip, The Walter V. and Idun Berry Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Universite De Paris Vii (2014)
  • Bachelor of Science, EcoleNormaleSuperieuredeLyon (2008)
  • Master of Science, Universite De Paris Vii (2010)

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Genome-Wide Screening of Retroviral Envelope Genes in the Nine-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus, Xenarthra) Reveals an Unfixed Chimeric Endogenous Betaretrovirus Using the ASCT2 Receptor JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY Malicorne, S., Vernochet, C., Cornelis, G., Mulot, B., Delsuc, F., Heidmann, O., Heidmann, T., Dupressoir, A. 2016; 90 (18): 8132-8149


    Retroviruses enter host cells through the interaction of their envelope (Env) protein with a cell surface receptor, which triggers the fusion of viral and cellular membranes. The sodium-dependent neutral amino acid transporter ASCT2 is the common receptor of the large RD114 retrovirus interference group, whose members display frequent env recombination events. Germ line retrovirus infections have led to numerous inherited endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) in vertebrate genomes, which provide useful insights into the coevolutionary history of retroviruses and their hosts. Rare ERV-derived genes display conserved viral functions, as illustrated by the fusogenic syncytin env genes involved in placentation. Here, we searched for functional env genes in the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) genome and identified dasy-env1.1, which clusters with RD114 interference group env genes and with two syncytin genes sharing ASCT2 receptor usage. Using ex vivo pseudotyping and cell-cell fusion assays, we demonstrated that the Dasy-Env1.1 protein is fusogenic and can use both human and armadillo ASCT2s as receptors. This gammaretroviral env gene belongs to a provirus with betaretrovirus-like features, suggesting acquisition through recombination. Provirus insertion was found in several Dasypus species, where it has not reached fixation, whereas related family members integrated before diversification of the genus Dasypus >12 million years ago (Mya). This newly described ERV lineage is potentially useful as a population genetic marker. Our results extend the usage of ASCT2 as a retrovirus receptor to the mammalian clade Xenarthra and suggest that the acquisition of an ASCT2-interacting env gene is a major selective force driving the emergence of numerous chimeric viruses in vertebrates.Retroviral infection is initiated by the binding of the viral envelope glycoprotein to a host cell receptor(s), triggering membrane fusion. Ancient germ line infections have generated numerous endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) in nearly all vertebrate genomes. Here, we report a previously uncharacterized ERV lineage from the genome of a xenarthran species, the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus). It entered the Dasypus genus >12 Mya, with one element being inserted more recently in some Dasypus species, where it could serve as a useful marker for population genetics. This element exhibits an env gene, acquired by recombination events, with conserved viral fusogenic properties through binding to ASCT2, a receptor used by a wide range of recombinant retroviruses infecting other vertebrate orders. This specifies the ASCT2 transporter as a successful receptor for ERV endogenization and suggests that ASCT2-binding env acquisition events have favored the emergence of numerous chimeric viruses in a wide range of species.

    View details for DOI 10.1128/JVI.00483-16

    View details for Web of Science ID 000382314100010

    View details for PubMedID 27384664

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5008099

  • Functional conservation of the lncRNA NEAT1 in the ancestrally diverged marsupial lineage: Evidence for NEAT1 expression and associated paraspeckle assembly during late gestation in the opossum Monodelphis domestica RNA BIOLOGY Cornelis, G., Souquere, S., Vernochet, C., Heidmann, T., Pierron, G. 2016; 13 (9): 826-836


    Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are widely expressed and play various roles in cell homeostasis. However, because of their low conservation at the sequence level, recapitulating lncRNA evolutionary history is often challenging. While performing an ultrastructural analysis of viral particles present in uterine glands of gestating opossum females, we serendipitously noticed the presence of numerous structures similar to paraspeckles, nuclear bodies which in human and mouse cells are assembled around an architectural NEAT1/MENϵ/β lncRNA. Here, using an opossum kidney (OK) cell line, we confirmed by immuno-electron microscopy the presence of paraspeckles in marsupials. We then identified the orthologous opossum NEAT1 gene which, although poorly conserved at the sequence level, displays NEAT1 characteristic features such as short and long isoforms expressed from a unique promoter and for the latter an RNase P cleavage site at its 3'-end. Combining tissue-specific qRT-PCR, in situ hybridization at the optical and electron microscopic levels, we show that (i) NEAT1 is paraspeckle-associated in opossum (ii) NEAT1 expression is strongly induced in late gestation in uterine/placental extracts (iii) NEAT1 induction occurs in the uterine gland nuclei in which paraspeckles were detected. Finally, treatment of OK cells with proteasome inhibitors induces paraspeckle assembly, as previously observed in human cells. Altogether, these results demonstrate that paraspeckles are tissue-specific, stress-responding nuclear bodies in marsupials, illustrating their structural and functional continuity over 200 My of evolution throughout the mammalian lineage. In contrast, the rapid evolution of the NEAT1 transcripts highlights the relaxed constraint that, despite functional conservation, is exerted on this lncRNA.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/15476286.2016.1197482

    View details for Web of Science ID 000383358100011

    View details for PubMedID 27315396

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5014006