Philippe Chavrier

Institut Curie
26, rue d’Ulm
75248 Paris Cedex 05

Research Interests

Common feature of invasive tumor cells is to migrate across tissue boundaries and to form invadopodia, which represent highly dynamic structures endowed with the capacity to degrade and remodel the matrix. Matrix degradation by invadopodia requires the activity of matrix proteases including matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Our main objectives are to unravel general cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to invadopodia formation and delivery of MMPs to these structures and to develop cell imaging strategies to follow invadopodia in action. On going projects concern the role of the vesicle tethering exocyst complex in the delivery of specific invadopodial components including MT1-MMP, a membrane-type MMP essential for invadopodial matrix proteolysis and invasion. Another aspect is the implication of the vesicle fusion machinery, i.e. the SNARE machinery, in the formation of active invadopodia. We are also investigating the role of actin cytoskeleton components, diaphanous related formins and IQGAP1, in the mechanism of invadopodia formation.