Our research team was recently created and focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying
the multiple roles of morphogens during the nervous system development. Our lab is part of the
Institut du Fer à Moulin (IFM)
, which hosts many other research teams devoted the study of
neurodevelopment, neural plasticity and pathology. Our research center is affiliated to INSERM
(French National Institut for Medical Research) and Sorbonne University.
How do morphogenic signals control distinct responses during neural development?
During embryonic development, the formation of the brain by the generation, differentiation and
finally the precise connection of new neurons is controlled by many molecular factors. Amongst
these factors, extracellular secreted molecules, called morphogens, instruct the shape of the nervous
system. During neuronal differentiation, cells change from a proliferative state to acquire cell
identity, to perform migration and finally to grow axons and connect to other cell types. Thus, cells
need to change their responses to their environment to achieve the correct behavior. Our research
addresses fundamental questions on how a single (and then multiple) morphogenic signal(s) act at
different steps of neuronal development to induce these different responses. We use the murine and
human developing cerebral cortex as a model.
- In vitro primary cell cultures of cortical progenitors and neurons
- Microfluidic chambers
- In utero electroporation
- 3D imaging of embryos
- Molecular Biology (RNA-seq, ATAC-seq)
Overall, our projects aim to determine the molecular and temporal bases for morphogenic response
modulations during differentiation during the development of the nervous system.
We are involved in teaching programs such as :
- Sorbonne Université - Master Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire - «Communication et Signalisation
- Sorbonne Université - Master Biologie Intégrative et Physiologie - «Guidage axonal»
- Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay - M2 FESup SV-BGB Préparation à l’agrégation de Biochimie - «Neurobiologie cellulaire».
Our research team is supported by several funding sources. We would like to thank:
- Thiry L, Lemaire C, Rastqar A, Lemieux M, Peng J, Ferent J, Roussel M, Beaumont E, Fawcett JP, Brownstone RM, Charron F, Bretzner F. Heterozygous Dcc mutant mice have a subtle locomotor phenotype. eNeuro. 2022.
- Ferent J, Zaidi D, Francis F. Extracellular Control of Radial Glia Proliferation and Scaffolding During Cortical Development and Pathology. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020.
- Ferent J, Constable S, Gigante ED, Yam P, Mariani L, Legué E, Liem KF, Caspary T, Charron F. The ciliary protein Arl13b functions outside of the primary cilium in Shh-mediated axon guidance. Cell Reports. 2019.
- Ferent J, Giguère F, Morin S, Jolicoeur C, Makihara S, Yam P, Cayouette M, Charron F. Boc acts via Numb as a Shh-dependent endocytic platform for Ptch1 internalization and Shh-mediated axon guidance. Neuron. 2019.
- Zakaria M, Ferent J, Hristovska I, Laouarem Y, Zahaf A, Kassoussi A, Mayeur ME, Pascual O, Charron F, Traiffort E. The Shh receptor Boc is important for myelin formation and repair. Development. 2019.
- Makihara S, Morin S, Ferent J, Cote JF, Yam P, Charron F. Polarized Dock activity drives Shh-mediated axon guidance. Developmental Cell. 2018.
- Peng J*, Ferent J*, Li Q*, Liu M, da Vincius Silva R, Zeilhofer H, Kania A, Zhang Y, Charron F. Loss of Dcc in the spinal cord is sufficient to cause a deficit in lateralized motor control and the switch to a hopping gait. Developmental Dynamics. 2018. * co-firsts authors.
- Traiffort E, Zakaria M, Laouarem Y, Ferent J. Hedgehog: A Key Signaling in the Development of the Oligodendrocyte Lineage. Journal of Developmental Biology. 2016. Review.
- Traiffort E, Ferent J. Notch, a major signaling pathway in the control of neural stem cells. Médecine et Science (Paris). 2015. Review.
- Cobret L, De Tauzia M-L, Ferent J, Traiffort E, Godin F, Hénaouia I, Pantel J, Bénédetti H, Morisset S. Evidence for cis-dimerization of Lingo-1 using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer-based assay and its validation for screening of Lingo-1 inhibitors. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2015.
- Ferent J, Ruat M, Traiffort E. Symmetric or asymmetric division: sonic Hedgehog controls the fate of neural stem cells. Médecine et Science (Paris). 2014. Review.
- Ferent J, Cochard L, Faure H, Taddei M, Hahn H, Ruat M, Traiffort E. Genetic activation of Hedgehog signaling increases neural stem cell number and depletes their progeny. Stem Cell Reports. 2014.
- Ferent J, Traiffort E. Hedgehog: Multiple Paths for Multiple Roles in Shaping the Brain and Spinal Cord. The Neuroscientist. 2014. Review.
- Ferent J, Ruat M, Traiffort E. Investigation of the proteolipid protein promoter activity during demyelination and repair. Differentiation. 2013.
- Ferent J, Zimmer C, Durbec P, Ruat M, Traiffort E. Sonic Hedgehog signaling is a positive oligodendrocyte regulator during demyelination. Journal of Neuroscience. 2013.
- Ruat M, Roudaut H, Ferent J, Traiffort E. Hedgehog trafficking, cilia and brain functions. Differentiation. 2012. Review.