UMR9187 / U1196 – Chemistry and Modelling for the Biology of Cancer (CMBC)

The central activity of the CMBC unit is to develop small molecules to probe and control the biological activities of key targets involved in cancer. These are non B-nucleic acid structures (G-quadruplexes, Abasic sites, …) and proteins (TAM kinases, non B-nucleic acid structures interacting proteins, …).

The drug and probe discovery activity is sustained by molecular modelling approaches and imaging. The CMBC unit is hosting the Institut Curie–CNRS proprietary library comprised of over 9000 chemical compounds.

The main research themes of the unit include:

  • Design and synthesis of G-quadruplex targeting agents for probing, imaging and mapping
  • Design, synthesis and studies of novel small-molecule ligands and probes able to recognize unusual DNA and RNA structures
  • Screening approaches and rational design for the synthesis of kinase inhibitors
  • Identificaction of radiosensitizing molecules for the treatment of cancers and determination of their molecular mechanisms of action

The main methodological approaches are :

  • Chemical biology
  • Medicinal chemistry (Hit to lead optimization)
  • Biophysics and Biochemistry of nucleic acids
  • Molecular dynamics and virtual screening
  • Cellular biology & radiosensitization

Key publications

Year of publication 2021

Auvray M., Bolze F., Clavier G., Mahuteau-Betzer F. (2021 Jan 1)

Silafluorene as a promising core for cell-permeant, highly bright and two-photon excitable fluorescent probes for live-cell imaging

Dyes and Pigments : 187 : 109083 : DOI :

Year of publication 2020

Yu Luo, Anton Granzhan, Daniela Verga, Jean-Louis Mergny (2020 Dec 28)

FRET-MC: A fluorescence melting competition assay for studying G4 structures in vitro.

Biopolymers : Early view : bip23415 : DOI : 10.1002/bip.23415

Year of publication 2021

Oksana Reznichenko, Anne Cucchiarini, Valérie Gabelica, Anton Granzhan (2020 Dec 8)

Quadruplex DNA-guided ligand selection from dynamic combinatorial libraries of acylhydrazones

Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry : 19 : 379-386 : DOI : 10.1039/D0OB01908A

Year of publication 2020

Lei He, Zhenyu Meng, Qianqian Guo, Xiangyang Wu, Marie-Paule Teulade-Fichou, Edwin Kok Lee Yeow, Fangwei Shao (2020 Nov 28)

Fluorogenic Pt complexes distinguish the quantity and folding behavior of RNA G-quadruplexes between live cancerous and healthy cells.

Chemical communications (Cambridge, England) : 56 : 14459-14462 : DOI : 10.1039/d0cc05622g
Leduc A., Chaouni S., De marzi L., Pouzoulet F., Mégnin-Chanet F., Stephan D., Habrand J.L., Sichel F., Laurent C. (2020 Nov 24)

Biological Effects of Scattered Versus Scanned Proton Beams on Normal Tissues in Total Body Irradiated Mice: Survival, Genotoxicity, Oxidative Stress and Inflammation

Antioxidants : 9 : 1170 : DOI : 10.3390/antiox9121170
Anouchka Gatin, Isabelle Billault, Patricia Duchambon, Guillaume Van der Rest, Cécile Sicard-Roselli (2020 Nov 20)

Oxidative radicals (HO or N3) induce several di-tyrosine bridge isomers at the protein scale.

Free radical biology & medicine : In Press, Corrected Proof : DOI : S0891-5849(20)31599-9