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Christel Verollet


Cellular biologist with an emphasis in cell cytoskeleton and host-pathogen interactions




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HIV-1 infected osteoclast. HIV-1 gag (red), F-actin (green

HIV-1 infection and osteoclasts, Cell-to-cell transfer of HIV-1

Staff: Remi Mascarau (Master 2), Brigitte Raynaud-Messina & Christel Vérollet 

Fundings: ANRS contrat d’initiation 2015

The central tenet is that infection of osteoclasts, multinucleated cells of myeloid origin having the unique ability to degrade bone, plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of HIV-1. We also develop a new way to infect osteoclasts and macrophages by virus transfer from infected T lymphocytes, which is a very efficient infection mode. The aim is now to characterize the actin cytoskeleton networks involved in cell-to-cell transfer of HIV-1.


How do Mycobaterium Tuberculosis exacerbate HIV-1 infection of macrophages?

Staff: Shanti Souriant, Maeva Dupont (PhD student) & Christel Vérollet

Collaborations at IPBS: Geanncarlo Lugo-Villarino, Karine Pingris & Olivier Neyrolles

Collaborations: Luciana Balboa & Maria Carmen Sasiain (CONICET, LIA CNRS, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Fundings: ANRS (2015-2017, Coordinator O. Neyrolles), ECOS Sud Argentine, LIA

The central tenet is that M. tuberculosis exacerbates HIV-1 infection in human macrophages through important changes in their activation and functional program. I intend to identify and characterize host signaling pathways modulated by M. tuberculosis favoring (i) entry, (ii) replication, (iii) turnover and/or (iv) cell-to-cell transmission of HIV-1. In particular, we focus now on the role of tunneling nanotubes in pathogen spread.

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HIV-1 infected giant macrophages form tunneling nanotubes. F-actin (green), HIV-1 gag (red), DAPI (blue)




Mechanics of the bone degradation machinery of osteoclasts?

Staff: Marion Portes (PhD student), Renaud Poincloux & Christel Vérollet

Collaborations: Christophe Thibault and Christophe Vieu (LAAS, Toulouse, France)

Fundings: Young investigator ANR (2016-2018), project: MechanOCs

This project aims at characterizing how the architecture and mechanics of the sealing zone (the bone degradation machinery of osteoclasts) are essential for osteoclast attachment to bone and bone resorption. The project is carried out with primary human osteoclasts and organized in 2 aims that will: 1/ define the 3D architecture and the dynamics of the sealing zone at the nano-scale and 2/ analyze the forces that the sealing zone exerts on substrates. In fine, we will study the relationship between the nano-architecture, the mechanics and the bone degradation activity of osteoclasts.

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Human Osteoclast. F-actin (red), vinculin (green), DAPI (blue)



Curriculum vitae


I received my PhD in cell biology from Toulouse University in 2007. My dissertation work in the M. Wright and then A. Merdes lab was funded, in part, by the Pierre Fabre laboratories and dealt with the characterization of protein complexes involved in microtubules organization during mitosis, in Drosophila (Verollet et al, J Cell Biol, 2006 and 2009). My keen interest in cell cytoskeleton organization led me to join the I. Maridonneau-Parini lab at IPBS, where I conducted work in the characterization of HIV-1 infection of macrophages in terms of formation of multinucleated giant cells (MGC) and cell migration (Verollet et al, J Immunol, 2010). In particular, we showed that HIV-1 infection of macrophages and infected MGC display high motility, favoring virus dissemination (Verollet et al, Blood, 2015). We demonstrated the role of the viral protein Nef and the activation of the Src tyrosine kinase Hck by Nef in podosome dynamics, matrix degradation and tissue invasion. In parallel, I worked on osteoclasts biology, showing the role of Hck in osteoclast migration and bone degradation (Verollet et al, Faseb J, 2013). This postdoctoral fellowship (2008-12) was sponsored by ANRS and Sidaction awards. In 2012, I was recruited as a permanent researcher by INSERM to work on HIV-1 infection and macrophages.


Present position INSERM senior research associate (CR1) since October 2012. Institute of Pharmacology and Structural biology (IPBS), UMR 5089, CNRS-Unversity of Toulouse, France (laboratory of I. Maridonneau-Parini)

Grants 2016 "Young Investigator" grant from Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR).          label ANR bleu CMJN.jpeg

Scientific achievements My scientific achievements consist in 11 original research articles and 5 litterature reviews, accumulating a citation index of 300 citations with an h-index of 10, according to Scopus (


Mentoring activity 4 PhD students and 6 Master students.