Cellular & Membrane Dynamics in Stress Response (MembraMicS)

156 rue de Vaugirard, 75015 Paris - Paris
Site web - etienne.morel@inserm.fr - 0140615400

Principal investigator

Etienne Morel

From the left to the right: top: Cédric Delevoye (DR), Carla Alemany (PhD), Juliane Da Graça (PhD), Damiana Lecoeuche (Technician), Etienne Morel (DR) Middle: Maria Laura Rojas (PostDoc), Aurore Claude-Taupin (CRCN), Farah Ouazza (BTS), Dobrawa Amiri (M2) Bottom: Laura Salavessa (PostDoc), Flavie Garampon (M2), Charlotte Thiola (BTS)

Research themes

Our research team is devoted to understand how mammalian cells mobilize organelles, endomembrane-based signaling platforms, and the autophagic machinery to adapt to various stress scenarios and external stimuli.

Mammalian intracellular compartments are pivotal cellular elements in the cell health maintenance. The autophagy pathway, predominantly activated during response to stresses, safeguards cell homeostasis, supports metabolism, and defends against aging-related changes. Studying autophagy’s interplay with organelles and cellular structures like endoplasmic reticulum (ER), mitochondria, endosomes, or primary cilium highlights the essential role of the endomembrane network in stress sensing and homeostasis maintenance across various mammalian cells and organs.

Our lab focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate the endomembranes mobilization and their partnership with autophagic system during stress responses and challenging situations, such as nutrient fluctuations, mechanical forces, infections or exposure to solar UV.


Our research is structured into three interrelated and intertwined axes:


– Investigating the significance of organelle contact-sites, phosphoinositides metabolism, lipid transfer and cytoskeletons in autophagy.

– Emphasizing the role of endosomal subpopulations as membrane reservoirs for stress response and acute membrane delivery.



– Examining primary cilium, plasma membrane repair systems and autophagy’s synergy in cell-to-cell communication in renal biology.

– Understanding how plasma membrane stress can mobilize the endosomal arsenal and influences autophagy in cancer progression.


3-   Endomembranes Biology and organelles’ strategy in response to UV stress and photoprotection
(Cédric Delevoye, INSERM DR2)

– Investigating the biology of pigment organelles in skin cells, from endomembrane dynamics to DNA photoprotection.

– Investigating the response of skin cells and its endomembrane system to UV stress in physiology and skin pigmentary disorders.


Claude-Taupin A., Isnard P., Bagattin A., Kuperwasser N., Roccio F., Ruscica B., Goudin N., Garfa-Traoré M., Regnier A., Turinsky L., Burtin M., Foretz M., Pontoglio M., Morel E., Viollet B., Terzi F.*, Codogno P.*, Dupont N.* (2023). The AMPK-Sirtuin 1-YAP axis is regulated by fluid flow intensity and controls autophagy flux in kidney epithelial cells. Nature Communications. Dec 5;14(1):8056. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-43775-1.


Boukhalfa A., Roccio F., Dupont N., Codogno P., Morel E. (2021). The autophagy protein ATG16L1 cooperates with IFT20 and INPP5E to regulate the turnover of phosphoinositides at the primary cilium. Cell Reports. Apr 27;35(4):109045. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109045


Molino D#., Pila-Castellanos I#., Marjault H.B., Amoedo N.D., Kopp K., Rochin L., Karmi O., Sohn Y.S., Lines L., Hamaï A., Joly S., Radreau P., Vonderscher J., Codogno P., Giordano F., Machin P., Rossignol R., Meldrum E., Arnoult D., Ruggieri A., Nechushtai R., De Chassey B., Morel E. (2020). Chemical targeting of NEET proteins reveals their function in mitochondrial morphodynamics. EMBO Reports. Dec 3;21(12):e49019. doi: 10.15252/embr.201949019


Boukhalfa A#., Nascimbeni A.C#., Ramel D., Dupont N., Hirsch E., Gayral S., Laffargue M., Codogno P., Morel E. (2020). PI3KC2α-dependent and VPS34-independent generation of PI3P controls primary cilium-mediated autophagy in response to shear stress. Nature Communications. Jan 15;11(1):294. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-14086-1


Nascimbeni A.C., Giordano F., Dupont N., Grasso D., Vaccaro M.I., Codogno P., Morel E. (2017). ER-plasma membrane contact sites contribute to autophagosome biogenesis by regulation of local PI3P synthesis. EMBO Journal. Jul 14;36(14):2018-2033. doi: 10.15252/embj.201797006

Composition de l'équipe

Dr Etienne MOREL (research director (INSERM DR2) / team head, project leader)
Dr Cédric DELEVOYE (research director (INSERM DR2) / project leader)
Dr Aurore CLAUDE-TAUPIN (researcher (INSERM CRCN) / project leader)
Dr Maria-Laura ROJAS (postdoctoral researcher)
Dr Laura SALAVESSA (postdoctoral researcher)
Damiana LECOEUCHE (research technician, Université Paris Cité)
Juliane DA GRACA (PhD student)
Carla ALEMANY (PhD student)
Flavie GARAMPON (master student)
Dobrawa AMIRI (master student)