The Thévenin Lab

Membrane Protein Biophysics: Transduction and Modulation of Receptor Signaling

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Membrane Biophysics & Drug Delivery

Welcome to the Thévenin Group Web Page


The research conducted in our group is in the field of membrane biophysics and is organized around 2 areas: (1) Developing novel strategies to specifically target and deliver small therapeutic molecules and peptides to cancer cells and (ii) understanding how membrane receptors communicate signals across cell membranes. More specifically, we are interesting on the role of the transmembrane and juxtamembrane domains in this process. As such, our work is applied, fundamental, highly interdisciplinary, and draws upon areas such as peptide and protein chemistry, biophysics, molecular and structural biology, and biochemistry. For example, ongoing projects are aimed at targeting and delivering potent cytotoxics and antimicrobial peptides to cancer cells using the pH(Low) Insertion Peptide, and at identifying the structural requirements for the dimerization of an understudied, but essential family of membrane receptors, the receptor protein-tyrosine phosphatases (RPTPs).



Delivery of therapeutic peptides into cancer cells


Peptides that interfere with protein interactions have great potential as anticancer agents. However, their low stability and poor tumor penetration limit their use. To circumvent these difficulties and specifically target and deliver peptides to cancer cells, we use the pHLIP peptide. Read More...

Activation mechanism of the thrombopoietin receptor


The thrombopoietin receptor (TpoR) regulates the production of platelets. Its single TM domain is thought to be involved in the process of receptor dimerization and activation, but its exact role is poorly defined. We seek to understand the signaling activation of TpoR and to define the mechanism of small-molecule agonists.

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Role of the trasmembrane helix in RPTPs activity


Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Phosphatase (RPTPs) are essential to many cell processes, but unlike their counterparts (i.e. the receptor protein kinases), the mechanisms controlling their activity remain to be understood. Particularly, the role of the TM domain in this process remains mainly unexplored.

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There are openings for undergraduate and graduate students. Please, email for more information about availability and specific research projects.