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Dynamic organization & Function of synapses

"Progress in science depends on new techniques, new discoveries and new ideas, probably in that order." Sydney Brenner

Team Leader: Daniel Choquet


Contact: Daniel CHOQUET

Tel. (+33)5 33 51 47 15


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Daniel Choquet obtained an engineering degree from Ecole Centrale (Paris, France) in 1984. He then got attracted to neuroscience and completed his PhD in the lab of Henri Korn at the Pasteur Institute (Paris), studying ion channels in lymphocytes. He got appointed tenure Research officer at the CNRS in 1988. He then performed a post-doctoral/sabbatical at the Duke University (North Carolina, USA) in the laboratory of Michael Sheetz where he studied the regulation of integrin-cytoskeletal linkage by force, and demonstrated that cells can sense and respond to extracellular traction. He then setup his group in Bordeaux (France) at the Institute for Neuroscience where he got a directorship position at the CNRS. He launched an interdisciplinary program on the use of high resolution imaging to study the trafficking of neurotransmitter receptors in neural cells. He is now heading the Institute for Interdisciplinary Neuroscience and the Bordeaux Imaging Center core facility. He is also the director of the center of excellence BRAIN, Bordeaux Region Aquitaine Initiative for Neuroscience.

He has been the recipient of several awards including the 1990 Bronze Medal from the CNRS, the Research prize from the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (FRM), 1997, the Grand Prix from the French Academy of Sciences, Prix du CEA and the 2009 Silver Medal from the CNRS. He is a Member of the Institut de France, the French Science Academy since November 2010. He has been awarded two ERC advanced grants in 2008 and 2013.

The team develops several research topics, combining neuroscience, physics and chemistry in order to unravel the dynamics of multimolecular complexes and their role in synaptic transmission.

Project Summary

We have a transdisciplinary approach to study the interplay between the organizational dynamics of the molecular components of glutamatergic synapses and synaptic transmission. Our projects build on our recent findings that:
  • trafficking of neuronal molecules such as glutamate receptors is highly dynamic,
  • regulations of protein-protein interactions play key roles in the control of this trafficking at different steps, including lateral diffusion, endo and exocytosis,
  • modulation of glutamate receptor trafficking has a profound impact on synaptic transmission, including on both short and long term post-synaptic plasticity.

  • By combining the expertise of chemists, biochemists, cell biologists, biophysicists and neurophysiologists, we will develop 3 main research axes:
  • dynamics and physical-chemistry of the macro-molecular complexes of the synapse,
  • nano-scale organization and dynamics of synaptic proteins and membrane trafficking,
  • impact of the dynamic of synapse organization on synaptic physiology.

  • Results obtained in these three axes will be constantly integrated to provide a global view of glutamatergic synapse physiology, from nano-scale interactions to function.

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    Recent Publications
    Hippocampal LTP and contextual learning require surface diffusion of AMPA receptors.
    Penn AC, Zhang CL, Georges F, Royer L, Breillat C, Hosy E, Petersen JD, Humeau Y, Choquet D. Nature. 2017 Sept 13

    Mapping the dynamics and nanoscale organization of synaptic adhesion proteins using monomeric streptavidin.
    Chamma I, Letellier M, Butler C, Tessier B, Lim KH, Gauthereau I, Choquet D, Sibarita JB, Park S, Sainlos M, Thoumine O. Nat Commun. 2016 Mar 16

    Shisa6 traps AMPA receptors at postsynaptic sites and prevents their desensitization during synaptic activity.
    Klaassen RV, Stroeder J, Coussen F, Hafner AS, Petersen JD, Renancio C, Schmitz LJ, Normand E, Lodder JC, Rotaru DC, Rao-Ruiz P, Spijker S, Mansvelder HD, Choquet D, Smit AB. Nat Commun. 2016 Mar (Klaassen RV, Stroeder J, Coussen F, co first-authors; Choquet D, Smit AB, co last-authors)

    Lengthening of the Stargazin Cytoplasmic Tail Increases Synaptic Transmission by Promoting Interaction to Deeper Domains of PSD-95..
    Hafner AS, Penn AC, Grillo-Bosch D, Retailleau N, Poujol C, Philippat A, Coussen F, Sainlos M, Opazo P, Choquet D. Neuron. 2015 Apr

    Glutamate-induced AMPA receptor desensitization increases their mobility and modulates short-term plasticity through unbinding from Stargazin.
    Constals A, Penn AC, Compans B, Toulmé E, Phillipat A, Marais S, Retailleau N, Hafner AS,Coussen F, Hosy E, Choquet D. Neuron. 2015 Feb

    Super-Resolution Imaging Reveals That AMPA Receptors Inside Synapses Are Dynamically Organized in Nanodomains Regulated by PSD95
    Nair D, Hosy E, Petersen JD, Constals A, Giannone G, Choquet D, Sibarita JB. J Neurosci. 2013 Aug 7 (Nair D, Hosy E, co first-authors; Choquet D, Sibarita JB, co last-authors)

    Caged mono- and divalent ligands for light-assisted disruption of PDZ domain-mediated interactions
    Sainlos M, Iskenderian-Epps WS, Olivier NB, Choquet D, Imperiali B. J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Mar 27

    Neurexin-1b Binding to Neuroligin-1 Triggers the Preferential Recruitment of PSD-95 versus Gephyrin through Tyrosine Phosphorylation of Neuroligin-1.
    Giannone G, Mondin M, Grillo-Bosch D, Tessier B, Saint-Michel E, Czöndör K, Sainlos M, Choquet D, Thoumine O. Cell Rep. 2013 Jun 27