UMR 7203 : Peptides, Glycoconjugates and Metals in Biology

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A Bis-Manganese(II)–DOTA Complex for Pulsed Dipolar Spectroscopy

ChemPhysChem 2016, 17, 2066 – 2078


High-spin gadolinium(III) and manganese(II) complexes have emerged as alternatives to standard nitroxide radical spin labels for measuring nanometric distances by using pulsed electron–electron double resonance (PELDOR or DEER) at high fields/frequencies. For certain complexes, particularly those with relatively small zero-field splitting (ZFS) and short distances between the two metal centers, the pseudosecular term of the dipolar coupling Hamiltonian is non-negligible. However, in general, the contribution from this term during conventional data analysis is masked by the flexibility of the molecule of interest and/or the long tethers connecting them to the spin labels. The efficient synthesis of a model system consisting of two [Mn(dota)]2- (MnDOTA; DOTA4-=1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetate) directly connected to the ends of a central rodlike oligo(phenylene–ethynylene) (OPE) spacer is reported. The rigidity of the OPE is confirmed by Q-band PELDOR measurements on a bis-nitroxide analogue. The MnII-MnII distance distribution profile determined by W-band PELDOR is in reasonable agreement with one simulated by using a simple rotamer analysis. The small degree of flexibility arising from the linking MnDOTA arm appears to outweigh the contribution from the pseudosecular term at this interspin distance. This study illustrates the potential of MnDOTA-based spin labels for measuring fairly short nanometer distances, and also presents an interesting candidate for in-depth studies of pulsed dipolar spectroscopy methods on MnII-MnII systems.

Bimodal X-ray and Infrared Imaging of an Organometallic Derivative of Praziquantel in Schistosoma mansoni

ChemBioChem 2016, 17, 1-5


An organometallic derivative of praziquantel was studied directly in worms by using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) for quantification and synchrotronbased imaging. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and IR absorption spectromicroscopy were used for the first time in combination to directly locate this organometallic drug candidate in schistosomes. The detection of both CO (IR) and Cr (XRF) signatures proved that the Cr(CO)3 core remained intact in the worms. Images showed a preferential accumulation at the worm’s tegument, consistent with a possible targeting of the calcium channel but not excluding other biological targets inside the worm.

Interview Clotilde Policar : France Culture


Clotilde Policar était l’invitée de l’émission “Divers aspects de la pensée contemporaine” sur France Culture. Elle parle de chimie bioinorganique, d’interdisciplinarité, des études au sein du Département de Chimie et de la Nuit Sciences et Lettres de l'ENS.

How to unveil self-quenched fluorophores and subsequently map the subcellular distribution of exogenous peptides

Scientific  Reports, 2016 Feb 3 ; 6:20237


Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) is the most popular technique for mapping the subcellular distribution of a fluorescent molecule and is widely used to investigate the penetration properties of exogenous macromolecules, such as cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs), within cells. Despite the membrane-association propensity of all these CPPs, the signal of the fluorescently labeled CPPs did not colocalize with the plasma membrane. We studied the origin of this fluorescence extinction and the overall consequence on the interpretation of intracellular localizations from CLSM pictures. We demonstrated that this discrepancy originated from fluorescence self-quenching. The fluorescence was unveiled by a “dilution” protocol, i.e. by varying the ratio fluorescent/non-fluorescent CPP. This strategy allowed us to rank with confidence the subcellular distribution of several CPPs, contributing to the elucidation of the penetration mechanism. More generally, this study proposes a broadly applicable and reliable method to study the subcellular distribution of any fluorescently labeled molecules.