Françoise Simon

Ecole normale supérieure de Cachan, Cachon, Île-de-France, France

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Publications (5)25.37 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) are small cytosolic proteins, largely distributed in invertebrates and vertebrates, which accomplish uptake and intracellular transport of hydrophobic ligands such as fatty acids. Although long chain fatty acids play multiple crucial roles in cellular functions (structural, energy metabolism, regulation of gene expression), the precise functions of FABPs, especially those of invertebrate species, remain elusive. Here, we have identified and characterized a novel FABP family member, Cq-FABP, from the hepatopancreas of red claw crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus. We report the characterization of fatty acid-binding affinity of Cq-FABP by four different competitive fluorescence-based assays. In the two first approaches, the fluorescent probe 8-Anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonate (ANS), a binder of internal cavities of protein, was used either by directly monitoring its fluorescence emission or by monitoring the fluorescence resonance energy transfer occurring between the single tryptophan residue of Cq-FABP and ANS. The third and the fourth approaches were based on the measurement of the fluorescence emission intensity of the naturally fluorescent cis-parinaric acid probe or the steady-state fluorescence anisotropy measurements of a fluorescently labeled fatty acid (BODIPY-C16), respectively. The four methodologies displayed consistent equilibrium constants for a given fatty acid but were not equivalent in terms of analysis. Indeed, the two first methods were complicated by the existence of non specific binding modes of ANS while BODIPY-C16 and cis-parinaric acid specifically targeted the fatty acid binding site. We found a relationship between the affinity and the length of the carbon chain, with the highest affinity obtained for the shortest fatty acid, suggesting that steric effects primarily influence the interaction of fatty acids in the binding cavity of Cq-FABP. Moreover, our results show that the binding affinities of several fatty acids closely parallel their prevalences in the hepatopancreas of C. quadricarinatus as measured under specific diet conditions.
    PLoS ONE 12/2012; 7(12):e51079. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0051079 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HIV-1 integrase catalyzes the insertion of the viral genome into chromosomal DNA. We characterized the structural determinants of the 3'-processing reaction specificity--the first reaction of the integration process--at the DNA-binding level. We found that the integrase N-terminal domain, containing a pseudo zinc-finger motif, plays a key role, at least indirectly, in the formation of specific integrase-DNA contacts. This motif mediates a cooperative DNA binding of integrase that occurs only with the cognate/viral DNA sequence and the physiologically relevant Mg(2+) cofactor. The DNA-binding was essentially non-cooperative with Mn(2+) or using non-specific/random sequences, regardless of the metallic cofactor. 2,2'-Dithiobisbenzamide-1 induced zinc ejection from integrase by covalently targeting the zinc-finger motif, and significantly decreased the Hill coefficient of the Mg(2+)-mediated integrase-DNA interaction, without affecting the overall affinity. Concomitantly, 2,2'-dithiobisbenzamide-1 severely impaired 3'-processing (IC(50) = 11-15 nM), suggesting that zinc ejection primarily perturbs the nature of the active integrase oligomer. A less specific and weaker catalytic effect of 2,2'-dithiobisbenzamide-1 is mediated by Cys 56 in the catalytic core and, notably, accounts for the weaker inhibition of the non-cooperative Mn(2+)-dependent 3'-processing. Our data show that the cooperative DNA-binding mode is strongly related to the sequence-specific DNA-binding, and depends on the simultaneous presence of the Mg(2+) cofactor and the zinc effector.
    Nucleic Acids Research 02/2010; 38(11):3692-708. DOI:10.1093/nar/gkq087 · 9.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Integrase (IN), the HIV-1 enzyme responsible for the integration of the viral genome into the chromosomes of infected cells, is the target of the recently approved antiviral raltegravir (RAL). Despite this drug's activity against viruses resistant to other antiretrovirals, failures of raltegravir therapy were observed, in association with the emergence of resistance due to mutations in the integrase coding region. Two pathways involving primary mutations on residues N155 and Q148 have been characterized. It was suggested that mutations at residue Y143 might constitute a third primary pathway for resistance. The aims of this study were to investigate the susceptibility of HIV-1 Y143R/C mutants to raltegravir and to determine the effects of these mutations on the IN-mediated reactions. Our observations demonstrate that Y143R/C mutants are strongly impaired for both of these activities in vitro. However, Y143R/C activity can be kinetically restored, thereby reproducing the effect of the secondary G140S mutation that rescues the defect associated with the Q148R/H mutants. A molecular modeling study confirmed that Y143R/C mutations play a role similar to that determined for Q148R/H mutations. In the viral replicative context, this defect leads to a partial block of integration responsible for a weak replicative capacity. Nevertheless, the Y143 mutant presented a high level of resistance to raltegravir. Furthermore, the 50% effective concentration (EC(50)) determined for Y143R/C mutants was significantly higher than that obtained with G140S/Q148R mutants. Altogether our results not only show that the mutation at position Y143 is one of the mechanisms conferring resistance to RAL but also explain the delayed emergence of this mutation.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 11/2009; 54(1):491-501. DOI:10.1128/AAC.01075-09 · 4.48 Impact Factor

  • Biophysical Journal 02/2009; 96(3). DOI:10.1016/j.bpj.2008.12.220 · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The 3'-processing of the extremities of viral DNA is the first of two reactions catalyzed by HIV-1 integrase (IN). High order IN multimers (tetramers) are required for complete integration, but it remains unclear which oligomer is responsible for the 3'-processing reaction. Moreover, IN tends to aggregate, and it is unknown whether the polymerization or aggregation of this enzyme on DNA is detrimental or beneficial for activity. We have developed a fluorescence assay based on anisotropy for monitoring release of the terminal dinucleotide product in real-time. Because the initial anisotropy value obtained after DNA binding and before catalysis depends on the fractional saturation of DNA sites and the size of IN.DNA complexes, this approach can be used to study the relationship between activity and binding/multimerization parameters in the same assay. By increasing the IN:DNA ratio, we found that the anisotropy increased but the 3'-processing activity displayed a characteristic bell-shaped behavior. The anisotropy values obtained in the first phase were predictive of subsequent activity and accounted for the number of complexes. Interestingly, activity peaked and then decreased in the second phase, whereas anisotropy continued to increase. Time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy studies showed that the most competent form for catalysis corresponds to a dimer bound to one viral DNA end, whereas higher order complexes such as aggregates predominate during the second phase when activity drops off. We conclude that a single IN dimer at each extremity of viral DNA molecules is required for 3'-processing, with a dimer of dimers responsible for the subsequent full integration.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2006; 281(32):22707-19. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M602198200 · 4.57 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

166 Citations
25.37 Total Impact Points


  • 2012
    • Ecole normale supérieure de Cachan
      • Laboratoire de biologie et de pharmacologie appliquee
      Cachon, Île-de-France, France
  • 2009
    • Pierre and Marie Curie University - Paris 6
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2006
    • French National Centre for Scientific Research
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France