Étudiant-chercheur étoile January 2014


Guillaume Diss, étudiant-chercheur étoile, FRQNT

Guillaume Diss

PhD student in Biology
Université Laval


Award-winning publication: A Systematic Approach for the Genetic Dissection of Protein Complexes in Living Cells

Published in: Cell Reports, 3(6), 2155-2167, 2013
 

Abstract

"Proteins make up protein complexes and, more generally, the vast network of protein-protein interactions that coordinates cellular processes to optimize cell growth based on the body's needs. But until now, this very dynamic and multidimensional network was only depicted through static mapping. My study demonstrated that an essential protein complex can survive even without an integral protein, thanks to a paralog: a protein of common evolutionary origin that ensures similar functions. Our results showed that paralog proteins compensate for each other by modifying the ways in which they interact with other proteins within the complex."

Many diseases involve mutations that modify the proteins produced by the cell and, ultimately, the structure of the network, thus impeding optimal cell growth. The research carried out by Guillaume Diss elucidates how these mutations affect the network structure and why the network is more resistant to certain mutations and more vulnerable to others. The study aims to better understand the underlying molecular mechanisms of diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's.