Membrane Traffic in Health & Disease INSERM ERL U950 (Institut Jacques Monod, Université Paris 7)

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Group leader: Thierry Galli

INSERM Research Director (DR1)


Thierry Galli received his BSc in Biochemistry at the University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, in 1988, and his PhD at the Collège de France and the University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, in 1992. He then moved to the USA to carry out postdoctoral research in Professor Pietro De Camilli's laboratory at Yale University School of Medicine. There he worked on the molecular mechanism of regulated and constitutive exocytosis. In 1995, he took his first research appointment at the French National Institute of Health (INSERM) and the Curie Institute in the laboratory of Professor Daniel Louvard, and in 2001 he was recruited as Research Director of the French National Institute of Health at the Fer-à-Moulin Institute, Paris. In 2005, he was appointed as a Group Leader at the Jacques Monod Institute, Paris. His research focuses on the role of SNARE proteins in exocytosis mediating epithelial and neuronal cell differentiation, with particular emphasis on the tetanus neurotoxin-sensitive routes, mediated by cellubrevin/VAMP3 and synaptobrevin/VAMP2, and the tetanus neurotoxin-insensitive routes mediated by TI-VAMP/VAMP7. Biographical sketch.

Thierry Galli's papers are at:

Projects of the team

Membrane trafficking allows for the communication between the different membrane compartments of the biosynthetic and endocytic pathways and for the communication between cells and their environment through the secretion of signalling molecules by exocytosis and capture of nutrients by endocytosis. Exocytosis and endocytosis are crucial to maintain cell homeostasis and are also involved in differentiation and morphogenesis of cells.


Neuronal cell differentiation and de-differentiation of epithelial into mesenchymal cells represent two fundamental models of important cellular changes in shape and function. These two processes share common principles because both imply the presence of a domain specialized for cell movement at the leading edge of the cell, the axonal growth cone and the pseudopodium respectively.


Our working hypothesis is that exocytosis is responsible for the release and expression at the plasma membrane of proteins that are important for cell migration, outgrowth of axons and dendrites, formation and maintenance of cell-cell contacts (including synapses), and the repair and plasticity of neuronal and epithelial cells.


The aim of the team is to understand the basic mechanisms and the regulation of membrane trafficking in the context of brain development and plasticity and cancer. Our favorite molecules are the vesicular SNARE proteins Cellubrevin/VAMP3 and TI-VAMP/VAMP7. We study the function of these proteins at the molecular, cellular and organism level.


We use classical techniques of cellular and molecular biology with special emphasis on live cell imaging and proteomics, as well as biophysical approaches to study membrane dynamics, adhesion and fusion in vitro. Our models include mutant mice, cultured neuronal and epithelial cells, and the reconstitution of proteins into artificial membranes.

Membrane traffic in Health & Disease

Thierry Galli
, INSERM Research Director (DR1)
Phone: +33 1 57 27 80 39
(Illustration by Jean-Pierre Laigneau)


Biophysics of membrane fusion (SNAREs and Mitofusins)

David Tareste
, INSERM Researcher (CR1)
Phone: +33 1 57 27 80 38
(Illustration by Daniel de Fuenmayor)

Recent publications of the team

Petkovic M, Jemaiel A, Daste F, Specht CG, Izeddin I, Vorkel D, Verbavatz JM, Darzacq X, Triller A, Pfenninger KH, Tareste D, Jackson CL, Galli T (2014) The SNARE Sec22b has a non-fusogenic function in plasma membrane expansion. Nat Cell Biol 16:434

Burgo A, Casano AM, Kuster A, Arold ST, Wang G, Nola S, Verraes A, Dingli F, Loew D, Galli T (2013) Increased activity of the Vesicular Soluble N-Ethylmaleimide-sensitive Factor Attachment Protein Receptor TI-VAMP/VAMP7 by Tyrosine Phosphorylation in the Longin Domain. J Biol Chem 288:11960

Larghi P, Williamson DJ, Carpier JM, Dogniaux S, Chemin K, Bohineust A, Danglot L, Gaus K, Galli T, Hivroz C (2013) VAMP7 controls T cell activation by regulating the recruitment and phosphorylation of vesicular Lat at TCR-activation sites. Nat Immunol 14:723  

Burgo A, Proux-Gillardeaux V, Sotirakis E, Bun P, Casano A, Verraes A, Liem RK, Formstecher E, Coppey-Moisan M, Galli T (2012) A molecular network for the transport of the TI-VAMP/VAMP7 vesicles from cell center to periphery. Dev Cell 17:166

Danglot L, Zylbersztejn K, Petkovic M, Gauberti M, Meziane H, Combe R, Champy MF, Birling MC, Pavlovic G, Bizot JC, Trovero F, Della Ragione F, Proux-Gillardeaux V, Sorg T, Vivien D, D'Esposito M, Galli T (2012) Absence of TI-VAMP/VAMP7 leads to increased anxiety in mice. J Neurosci 32:1962

Danglot L, Freret T, Le Roux N, Nême NN, Burgo A, Hyenne V, Roumier A, Contremoulins V, Dauphin F, Bizot JC, Vodjdani G, Gaspar P, Boulouard M, Poncer JC, Galli T, Simmler MC (2012) Vezatin is essential for dendritic spine morphogenesis and functional synaptic maturation. J Neurosci 32:9007

Zylbersztejn K, Petkovic M, Burgo A, Deck M, Garel S, Marcos S, Bloch-Gallego E, Nothias F, Serini G, Bagnard D, Binz T, Galli T (2012) The vesicular SNARE Synaptobrevin is required for Semaphorin 3A axonal repulsion. J Cell Biol 196:37

Li F, Pincet F, Perez E, Giraudo C, Tareste D, Rothman J (2011) Complexin activates and clamps SNAREpins by a common mechanism involving an intermediate energetic state. Nat Struct Mol Biol 18:941

Address and directions

Membrane Traffic in Health and Disease (INSERM U950)
Institut Jacques Monod (CNRS UMR 7592)
Université Denis Diderot - Paris 7
Bâtiment Buffon, 3rd floor, labo 316B
15 rue Hélène Brion, 75205 Paris Cedex 13, France
Office: +33 1 57 27 80 39
Lab: +33 1 57 27 80 37/38/40


Pics of Hela cells and Neurons