UCA annual Award Ceremony: 7 iBV members recognised for their scientific contributions
UCA annual Award Ceremony: 7 iBV members recognised for their scientific contributions

iBV is a member of Université Cote d’Azur (UCA), a cluster of Research and Higher Education on the French Riviera. Each year UCA organises a special award ceremony recognising the talent and accomplishments of researchers, students and artists who have been awarded prestigious prizes for their work.

 This year, 7 iBV members will take part to the ceremony for their excellent scientific contributions:

Anaelle GRABEK
PhD Student - SCHEDL Team
Best poster presentation award - 18th Adrenal Cortex Conference

PhD Student - THEROND Team
Best poster award - 32nd French Drosophila meeting

The ceremony will take place at the "Galet" amphitheater, at the Pasteur Hospital Center in Nice on Monday December 10th at 6pm.

Congratulations to All Awardees !

The origins of asymmetry: A protein that makes you do the twist
The origins of asymmetry: A protein that makes you do the twist

Asymmetry plays a major role in biology at every scale: think of DNA spirals, the fact that the human heart is positioned on the left, our preference to use our left or right hand … A team from the Institute of biology Valrose (CNRS/Inserm/Université Côte d’Azur), in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania, has shown how a single protein induces a spiral motion in another molecule. Through a domino effect, this causes cells, organs, and indeed the entire body to twist, triggering lateralized behaviour. This research is published in the journal Science on November 23, 2018.

Our world is fundamentally asymmetrical: think of the double helix of DNA, the asymmetrical division of stem cells, or the fact that the human heart is positioned on the left … But how do these asymmetries emerge, and are they linked to one another?

At the Institute of biology Valrose, the team led by the CNRS researcher Stéphane Noselli, which also includes Inserm and Université Cote d’Azur researchers, has been studying right–left asymmetry for several years in order to solve these enigmas. The biologists had identified the first gene controlling asymmetry in the common fruit fly (Drosophila), one of the biologists’ favoured model organisms. More recently, the team showed that this gene plays the same role in vertebrates: the protein that it produces, Myosin 1D,[1] controls the coiling or rotation of organs in the same direction

In this new study, the researchers induced the production of Myosin 1D in the normally symmetrical organs of Drosophila, such as the respiratory trachea. Quite spectacularly, this was enough to induce asymmetry at all levels: deformed cells, trachea coiling around themselves, the twisting of the whole body, and helicoidal locomotive behavior among fly larvae. Remarkably, these new asymmetries always develop in the same direction.

In order to identify the origin of these cascading effects, biochemists from the University of Pennsylvania contributed to the project too: on a glass coverslip, they brought Myosin 1D into contact with a component of cytoskeleton (the cell’s “backbone”), namely actin. They were able to observe that the interaction between the two proteins caused the actin to spiral.

Besides its role in right–left asymmetry among Drosophila and vertebrates, Myosin 1D appears to be a unique protein that is capable of inducing asymmetry in and of itself at all scales, first at the molecular level, then, through a domino effect, at the cell, tissue, and behavioral level. These results suggest a possible mechanism for the sudden appearance of new morphological characteristics over the course of evolution, such as, for example, the twisting of snails’ bodies. Myosin 1D thus appears to have all the necessary characteristics for the emergence of this innovation, since its expression alone suffices to induce twisting at all scales.

The molecular motor Myosin 1D creates asymmetry at all levels, from the movement of actin molecules (red and green filaments) to respiratory trachea (white tube-like structures), to the organism itself (here a Drosophila larva).


© Photo of larva: Gaëlle Lebreton; photo editing by Stéphane Noselli / iBV / CNRS



This video shows the movement of a normal larva (left) and a larva expressing Myosin 1D in its normally symmetrical epidermis. Whereas the normal larva crawls linearly, with its ventral side in contact with the liquid, the modified larva is twisted and moves via directional “barrel rolls.”

Credit: Gaëlle Lebreton / iBV / CNRS


Molecular to Organismal Chirality is induced by the Conserved Myosin1D, Gaëlle Lebreton, Charles Géminard, François Lapraz, Serapion Pyrpassopoulos, Delphine Cérézo, Pauline Spéder, E. Michael Ostap & Stéphane Noselli. Science, 23 November 2018. DOI: 10.1126/science.aat8642



 CNRS Researcher l Stéphane Noselli l T +33 (0)4 92 07 64 33 l noselli@unice.fr


[1] Myosins are a class of proteins that interact with actin (a constituent of cell skeletons or cytoskeletons). The most well-known of them, muscular myosin, makes muscles contract.

Press book

CNRS press release :
- english : http://www2.cnrs.fr/en/3180.htm
- french : http://www2.cnrs.fr/presse/communique/5749.htm

France Inter - Radio interview "La Tête au Carré" :

National public radio - "Science Friday" (USA) :

Cité de la Science - article:

Sciences & Avenir - article :


News on other websites :





















Masters Day - Journées des Masters
Masters Day - Journées des Masters

We welcome the Master students from the Nice Doctoral School who will visit iBV on Sept. 27th (12h45-18h00). S. Noselli (Director) will introduce iBV scientific profile and infrastructure to the Masters, followed by a lunch outside (lunch area in front of Biochimie building) together with staff scientists, platform responsibles and iBV PhD students. An outdoor poster session will follow, during which teams will present their work and Master projects for 2018. After a coffee break, master students will have the opportunity to visit the labs and facilities. Enjoy the discussions and take a chance to join iBV!