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Membrane and DNA Dynamics

Laurence Salomé

Group Leader

Our multidisciplinary group combines fundamental studies with original technological developments. Our main research activity is to describe and model the organization and dynamics of cell membranes in the context of infectious processes (AIDS, tuberculosis) or signaling functions (GPCR).

We also develop single molecule studies of mechanisms involving DNA molecules (recombination, denaturation).


Dynamic organization of biological membranes. 
The initial steps of signalling or infectious processes are intimately related to the dynamic organization of the relevant receptors in the cell’s plasma membrane. We aim to understand how the plurimolecular interactions experienced by these receptors in their complex lipidic and proteic environment accomplish this regulation. 

To achieve this, we use advanced techniques: fluorescence spectroscopy, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) at variable spot radius and Single Particle Tracking, in combination with improved analytic and modeling tools.


Our priority is to obtain biologically relevant information on endogenous receptors in native cells. We also develop experiments on biomimetic membranes with a view to explain the rules governing the observed receptor regulation using membranes of controlled composition.



Single DNA molecule biophysics.
We have recently developed a novel biochip for the simultaneous acquisition of Tethered Particle Motion data on up to thousand single DNA molecules. This technological achievement enables us to investigate DNA-protein interactions and physicochemical properties of DNA with much-improved resolution. Our main interest is in the detailed understanding of the formation and activation of recombination synapses and of more fundamental questions such as the inflence of ions and temperature on the DNA conformational dynamics.

We also currently explore promising perspectives for application of our single DNA chip as an ultra-sensitive detector of trace pollutants (drugs, pesticides) in water.


Main Publications

Brunet A et al. (2015) Probing a label-free local bend in DNA by single molecule tethered particle motion. Nucleic Acids Res 43(11): e72

Carayon K et al. (2014) Heterologous regulation of mu-opioid (MOP) receptor mobility in the membrane of SH-SY5Y cells.  J Biol Chem 289: 28697-706

Mazères S et al. (2014) Characterization of M-laurdan, a versatile probe to explore order in lipid membranes. F1000 Res 3: 172

Mascalchi P et al. (2012) Single Particle Tracking reveals two distinct environments for CD4 receptors at the surface of living T lymphocytes. Biochem Biophys Res Comm 417: 409–413

Mascalchi P*, Haanappel E* et al. (2012) Probing the influence of the particle in Single Particle Tracking measurements of lipid diffusion. Soft Matter 8: 4462-4470



Tracking beads attached to biomolecules, we study the diffusion of membrane receptors (Single Particle Tracking, left) or the conformational dynamics of DNA (Tethered Particle Motion, right).



Laurence Salomé

CNRS Research director

Fabrice Dumas

Associate Professor - University of Toulouse

Evert Haanappel

CNRS Research associate

Etienne Joly

INSERM Research associate

Catherine Tardin

Associate Professor - University of Toulouse

Research Assistant

Serge Mazères

CNRS Engineer in Microscopy and Spectroscopy

PhD Student

Jacques Augenstreich

Fellow of the Ministry of Higher Education & Research


  • Guilbaud S., Salomé L., Destainville N., Manghi M., Tardin C. (2019) Dependence of DNA persistence length on ionic strength and ion type. Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 028102. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.028102


  • Brunet A., Salomé L., Rousseau P., Destainville N., Manghi M. and Tardin C. (2018) How does temperature impact the conformation of single DNA molecules below melting temperature? Nucleic Acids Res. 46 (4) 2074-2081. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx1285
  • Marguet D., Salomé L. (2018) Lateral diffusion in heterogeneous cell membranes. In : Physics of Biological Membranes. P. Bassereau and P. Sens (eds) Springer, Cham.   DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-00630-3_7
  • Listunov D., Joly E., Rullière P., Gaspard H., Bernardes-Génisson V, Génisson,Y., Maraval V., Chauvin R. (2018) From Natural to Artificial Antitumor Lipidic Alkynylcarbinols: Asymmetric Synthesis, Enzymatic Resolution, and Refined SARs. Synthesis 50 (16) 3114-3130. doi: 10.1055/s-0037-1610006
  • Listunov D., Joly E., Duhayon C., Saffon-Merceron N., Fabing I., Génisson Y., Maraval V., Chauvin R. (2018) Methinylogation approach in chiral pharmacophore design: from alke(y)nyl- to allenyl-carbinol warheads against tumor cells ChemMedChem. 13 (16) 1711-1722. 

doi: 10.1002/cmdc.201800284

  • Bourkhis M, Gaspard H., Rullière P., Diana K. C. de Almeida, Listunov , Joly E., Abderrahim R., de Mattos M.C., de Oliveira M.C.F., Maraval V, Chauvin R. and Génisson Y. (2018) Skeletal Optimization of Cytotoxic Lipidic Dialkynylcarbinols. ChemMedChem, 13:1124-1130.

doi: 10.1002/cmdc.201800118


  • Dumas F., E. Haanappel E. (2017) Lipids in infectious diseases - The case of AIDS and tuberculosis, Biochim. Biophys. Acta.  – Biomembranes 1859 (9) Part. B: 1636-1647. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2017.05.007
  • Mazeres S, Fereidouni F and Joly E. Using spectral decomposition of the signals from laurdan-derived probes to evaluate the physical state of membranes in live cells [version 1; referees: 2 approved]. F1000Research2017, 6:763. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.11577.1
  • Augenstreich J., Arbues A., Simeone R., Haanappel E., Wegener A., Sayes F., Chevalier F.L., Chalut C., Malaga W., Guilhot C., Brosch R., Astarie-Dequeker C. ESX-1 and phthiocerol dimycocerosates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis act in concert to cause phagosomal rupture and host cell apoptosis. Cell Microbiol. doi: 10.1111/cmi.12726.


  • Fournes F., Crozat E., Pages C.,Tardin C., Salomé L., Cornet F. and Rousseau P. FtsK translocation permits discrimination between an endogenous and an imported Xer/dif recombination complex Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 113 (28), 7882–7887. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1523178113


  • Listunova D., Billot C., Joly E., Fabing I., Génisson Y., Maravala V., Chauvin R. (2015) Extended structural modulation of bio-inspired chiral lipidic alkynylcarbinols as antitumor pharmacophores. Tetrahedron 71, 7920-7930. doi:10.1016/j.tet.2015.08.003
  • Listunova D., Mazères S., Volovenkod Y., Joly E., Génisson Y., Maravala V., Chauvin R. (2015) Fluorophore-tagged pharmacophores for antitumor cytotoxicity: Modified chiral lipidic dialkynylcarbinols for cell imaging. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2015.08.029
  • Brunet A., Tardin C., Salomé L., Rousseau P., Destainville N. and Manghi M. (2015) Dependence of DNA persistence length on ionic strength of solutions with monovalent and divalent salts: a joint theory-experiment study. Macromolecules 48 (11), 3641–3652. doi: 10.1021/acs.macromol.5b00735
  • Brunet A., Chevalier S., Destainville N., Manghi M., Rousseau P., Salhi M., Salomé L. and Tardin C. (2015) Probing a label-free local bend in DNA by single molecule tethered particle motion Nucleic Acids Res. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv201. Openaccess
  • Starok M., Preira P., Vayssade M., Haupt K., Salomé L. and Rossi C. EGFR Inhibition by Curcumin in Cancer Cells: A Dual Mode of Action. Biomacromolecules 16, 1634-42. doi:10.1021/acs.biomac.5b00229
  • Brunet A., Chevalier S., Destainville N., Manghi M., Rousseau P., Salhi M., Salomé L. and Tardin C. (2015) Probing a label-free local bend in DNA by single molecule tethered particle motion Nucleic Acids Res. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv201. Openaccess
  • Starok M., Preira P., Vayssade M., Haupt K., Salomé L. and Rossi C. EGFR Inhibition by Curcumin in Cancer Cells: A Dual Mode of Action. Biomacromolecules 16, 1634-42. doi:10.1021/acs.biomac.5b00229


  • Mazères S., Joly E., Lopez A. and Tardin C. (2014) Characterization of M-laurdan, a versatile probe to explore order in lipid membranes [v1; ref status: indexed, Research 3:172 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.4805.1)
  • Carayon K., Moulédous L., Combedazou A., Mazères S., Haanappel E., Salomé L., Mollereau C. (2014) Heterologous regulation of Mu-opioid (MOP) receptor mobility in the membrane of SH-SY5Y cells J. Biol. Chem. 289(41):28697-706. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M114.588558 Pubmed
  • Dumas F., Preira P. and Salomé L. (2014) Membrane organization of virus and target cell plays a role in HIV entry Biochimie 107 Pt A:22-7 (doi:10.1016/j.biochi.2014.08.015) Pubmed
  • Almeida R. F.M. and Joly E. (2014) Crystallization around solid-like nanosized docks can explain the specificity, diversity and stability of membrane microdomains Frontiers in plant cell biology 5:72 (doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00072) Pubmed


  • Diagne C.T., Salhi M., Crozat E., Salomé L., Cornet F., Rousseau P. and Tardin C. (2013) TPM analyses reveal that FtsK contributes both to the assembly and the activation of the XerCD-dif recombination synapseNucleic Acids Res. DOI:10.1093/nar/gkt1024 Pubmed
  • Dazzazi A., Coppel Y., In M., Chassenieux C., Mascalchi P., Salomé L., Bouhaouss A. Kahn M.L. and Gauffre F. (2013) Oligomeric and polymeric surfactants for the transfer of luminescent ZnO nanocrystals to water J. Mater. Chem. C, DOI: 10.1039/c3tc00877k


  • Rubio-Garcia J., Dazzazi A., Coppel Y., Mascalchi P., Salomé L., Bouhaous A. Kahn M.L. and Gauffre F. (2012) Transfer of hydrophobic ZnO nanocrystals to water: an investigation of the transfer mechanism and luminescent properties J. Mater. Sci. 22, 14538-45
  • Plénat T.*, Tardin C.*, Rousseau P. and Salomé L. (2012) High-throughput single-molecule analysis of DNA-protein interactions by Tethered Particle Motion Nucleic Acids Res. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gks250 Pubmed
  • Mascalchi P.*, Haanappel E.*, Carayon K., Mazères S. and Salomé L. (2012)Probing the influence of the particle in Single Particle Tracking measurements of lipid diffusion Soft Matter 8, 4462-4470. DOI: 10.1039/C2SM07018A
  • Lechevallier S., Hammer P.,Caiut J.M.A.,Mazeres S., Mauricot R.,Verelst M., Dexpert H., Ribeiro S.J.L. and Dexpert-Ghys J. (2012) APTES-Modified RE2O3:Eu3+ Luminescent Beads: Structure and PropertiesLangmuir 28(8):3962-71 Pubmed
  • Mascalchi P., Lamort A. S., Salomé L and Dumas F. (2012) Single Particle Tracking reveals two distinct environments for CD4 receptors at the surface of living T lymphocytes Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm.417, 409–413 Pubmed



  • Joly E. (2011) The existence of species rests on a metastable equilibrium between inbreeding and outbreeding. An essay on the close relationship between speciation, inbreeding and recessive mutationsBiol Direct. 6: 62 Pubmed
  • Comesaña-Hermo, M., Estivill, R., Ciuculescu, D., Amiens, C., Farle, M., Batat, P., Jonusauskas, G., McClenaghan, N. D., Lecante, P., Tardin, C. and Mazeres, S. (2011) Photomodulation of the Magnetisation of Co Nanocrystals Decorated with Rhodamine B. ChemPhysChem 12: 2915–2919 Pubmed
  • Carayon K, Chaoui K, Ronzier E, Lazar I, Bertrand-Michel J, Roques V, Balor S, Terce F, Lopez A, Salomé L, Joly E. (2011) The proteo-lipidic composition of exosomes changes during reticulocyte maturation J. Biol. Chem. 286,34426-39 Pubmed


  • Sauliere-Nzeh Ndong A, Millot C, Corbani M, Mazeres S, Lopez A, Salome L. (2010) Agonist-selective dynamic compartmentalization of human mu opioid receptor as revealed by resolutive frap analysis. J. Biol. Chem. 285, 14514-20 Pubmed
  • Rousseau P.,Tardin C., Tolou N., Salome L. and M. Chandler (2010) A model for the molecular organisation of the IS911 transpososome Mobile DNA 1 : 16 Pubmed
  • Tardin C., Manghi M., Baglio J., Rousseau P., Salomé L. and Destainville N. (2010) Probing DNA conformational changes with high temporal resolution by Tethered Particle Motion Phys. Biol. 7: 046003Pubmed


  • Anton-Leberre V., Haanappel E., Marsaud N., Trouilh L., Benbadis L., Boucherie H., Massou S. and François J.M. (2009). Exposure to high static or pulsed magnetic fields does not affect cellular processes in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Bioelectromagnetics, 31(1):28-38 Pubmed
  • Golzio M, Mazeres S, Teissie J. (2009) Electrodes for in vivo localised subcutaneous electropulsation and associated drug and nucleic acid delivery. Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 6(12):1323-31 Pubmed
  • Mazères S, Sel D, Golzio M, Pucihar G, Tamzali Y, Miklavcic D, Teissié J. (2009) Non invasive contact electrodes for in vivo localized cutaneous electropulsation and associated drug and nucleic acid delivery. J Control Release 134(2):125-31 Pubmed
  • Buzhynskyy N, Golczak M, Lai-Kee-Him J, Lambert O, Tessier B, Gounou C, Bérat R, Simon A, Granier T, Chevalier JM, Mazères S, Bandorowicz-Pikula J, Pikula S, Brisson AR. (2009) Annexin-A6 presents two modes of association with phospholipid membranes. A combined QCM-D, AFM and Cryo-TEM study. J Struct Biol. 168:107-16 Pubmed
  • Mizuno D, Bacabac R, Tardin C., Head D., Schmidt C.F. (2009) High-resolution probing of cellular force transmission. Phys.Rev. Lett.102:168102 Pubmed
  • Astarie-Dequeker C., Le Guyader L., Malaga W.,Chalut C., Lopez A. and Guilhot C. (2009) Phthiocerol dimycocerosates of M. tuberculosis Participate in Macrophages Invasion by Inducing Changes in the Organization of the Plasma Membrane Lipids PLoS Pathogens 55| Issue 2 | e1000289
  • Lopez A. and L. Salomé (2009) Membrane functional organisation and dynamic of µ-opioid receptors Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 66:2093 Pubmed


  • Dos Santos I, Mazères S, Freche M, Lacout JL, Sautereau AM. (2008) FRET: A tool to study the interaction between apatite and collagen? Materials Letters. 62(28):4377-4379.
  • Leuma Yona R, Mazères S, Faller P, Gras E. (2008) Thioflavin derivatives as markers for amyloid-beta fibrils: insights into structural features important for high-affinity binding. ChemMedChem. 3(1):63-6.Pubmed
  • Martínez-Ferrero E, Franc G, Mazères S, Turrin CO, Boissière C, Caminade AM, Majoral JP, Sanchez C. (2008) Optical properties of hybrid dendritic-mesoporous titania nanocomposite films. Chemistry14(25):7658-69. Pubmed
  • Fuchs S, Pla-Quintana A, Mazères S, Caminade AM, Majoral JP. (2008) Cationic and fluorescent "Janus" dendrimers. Org Lett. 10(21):4751-4 Pubmed
  • Tardin C., Cognet L., Martin Négrier M.-L., Breillat C., Coussen F., Choquet D., Lounis B.A (2008) A robust single-molecule approach for counting autofluorescent proteins. Journal of Biomedical Optics 13 (3), 031216 Pubmed
  • Destainville N., Saulière A. and L. Salomé (2008) Comment to the Paper of Michael J. Saxton: "A Biological Interpretation of Transient Anomalous Subdiffusion. I. Qualitative Model" Biophys J. 95(7):3117-9. Pubmed
  • Destainville N., Dumas F. and L. Salomé (2008) What do diffusion measurements tell us about membrane compartmentalisation? Emergence of the role of interprotein interactions. J. Chem. Biol. DOI 10.1007/s12154-008-0005-3 Pubmed
  • Gaibelet G., C. Millot, C. Lebrun, A. Saulière, A. André, S. Ravault,, B. Lagane, A. Lopez (2008) Cholesterol content drives distinct pharmacological behaviours of µ-opioid receptor in different microdomains of the CHO plasma membrane Mol. Mem. Biol. 25(5): 423-435. Pubmed
  • Chaud X., Prikhna T., Savchuk Y., Joulain A., Haanappel E., Diko P., Porcar L. and Soliman M. (2008) Improved magnetic trapped field in thin-wall YBCO single-domain samples by high-pressure oxygen annealing. Materials Science and Engineering B - Advanced Functional Solid-State Materials. 151, 53-59.
  • André A., Gaibelet G., Le Guyader L., Welby M., Lopez A. and Lebrun C. (2008) Membrane partitioning of various delta-opioid receptor forms before and after agonist activations: the effect of cholesterol. Biochem. Biophys. Acta 1778:1483-1492 Pubmed