Axis 3, Team 6 | The cellular response to physical exposure and chemical stress

Molecular effects of exposure to electromagnetic waves

An increasing number of appliances and technologies are emitting electromagnetic waves often at new frequencies for which potential biological effects have not yet been analysed. Our objective is to assess the potential consequences of exposure to novel frequencies on human health by in vitro and in vivo approaches to help define critical thresholds beyond which a biological response is triggered. We focus on low frequencies generated by electrical devices (50 Hz), intermediate frequencies used in wireless energy transfer systems (1 to 10 MHz) and millimeter waves used in future communication systems (60 GHz, 95 GHz). The Rennes Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications has been developing experimental exposure devices that we adapt to our specific questions. We seek to evaluate the effects of exposure to electromagnetic waves on gene expression, cell cycle markers and metabolic markers that may help improve diagnosis and treatment of electromagnetic hypersensitivity conditions.   

Project leader: Yves le Dréan

Participant: Catherine Martin

Relevant publications: PubMed

Funding: Inserm | Université de Rennes 1 | ANSES

Collaborations : 

Molecular mechanisms underlying the effect of antiproliferative drugs

How anti-cancer drugs work and why cancer cells become resistant to their cytotoxic effects are important questions in the field of molecular oncology. A major approach to rendering chemotherapy more effective is by combining drugs in a way that enhances their cytotoxicity without causing intolerable side effects. 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is a widely used anti-cancer drug that acts via DNA- and RNA-dependent mechanisms, notably by inhibiting the activities of TYMS (Thymidylate Synthetase) and the conserved 3’-5’ exoribonuclease EXOSC10/Rrp6. Kaempferol is a bioflavonoid with anti-proliferative and biphasic estrogenic/anti-estrogenic activities. Both drugs are clinically relevant for the treatment of breast cancer. Kaempferol enhances the toxicity of 5-FU and renders malignant cells resistant against the drug sensitive again. We seek to gain insights into molecular mechanisms underlying combinatorial drug action and may help identify innovative targets for 5-FU and Kaempferol-based anti-cancer therapies.

Project leaders: Michael Primig 

ParticipantFlorence Demay, Gilles Flouriot, Frédéric Percevault

Relevant publications: PubMed

Funding: Inserm | Université de Rennes 1 | La Ligue Contre le Cancer

Collaborations: Antonin Morillon (Institut Curie, Paris, France); Céline Keime (GenomEast, IGBMC, Strasbourg, France).