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Structural biology

Integrative Biology of the Cell

I2BC@Saclay​ Department




Published on 27 June 2018

The Institute research in Integrative Biology of the Cell is carried out by I2BC@Saclay Department. They aim to understand cellular functioning in all its complexity, from molecular and cellular levels to the whole organism in normal and pathological states and in stressed conditions ("the cell in all its states") and to apply these skills for technological purposes ("from understanding to imitation"). Different model systems are used, from prokaryotes to unicellular and multicellular eukaryotes. They study the following psysiological processes :

  • Maintenance, expression and evolution of genomes,
  • Cell compartmentalization and transport,
  • Stress and adaptation, differentiation,
  • Metabolism and bioenergy. 

Through a multidisciplinary approach (biochemistry, molecular biology, structural biology, biophysics, cell biology, genetics, omical approaches, bioinformatics ...), researchers decipher biological systems by analyzing their dysfunctions (mutations, pathologies or environmental stress) observing in very wide spatiotemporal ranges. The challenge of integrative biology of the cell is to link the information obtained to these different scales, in view of the difficult integration of data of heterogeneous natures.

Researchers study how the different levels of organization of cellular components, their dynamics and their interactions regulate their own functions. At the atomic scale, the research carried out makes it possible to determine, for example, the functional mechanisms of a protein, such as an enzyme. At the molecular and supramolecular scales, the study of the composition, structure and dynamics of different complexes allows the decryption of cellular processes such as, for example, a signaling pathway or cell division. Finally, at the cellular level, the study of the mode of integration of these different processes provides a better understanding of the regulation of cellular homeostasis.