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Team "Translation regulation in normal and pathological conditions" *


Manager : Stéphane BELIN

Stéphane Belin's team is interested in the molecular mechanisms that enable regeneration in the central and peripheral nervous systems. We primarily focus on identifying the cellular pathways that control axonal survival and growth, both during development and/or after injury in adults. Our findings also serve as a foundation for developing innovative therapeutic strategies for regeneration. Our approaches range from in vitro molecular analyses to the entire neuronal circuit, allowing for functional recovery.


Ribosome, Translation, Regeneration, Neuroprotection, Central nervous system, Visual system, Spinal cord, Axonal growth, Dorsal root ganglion, Retinal ganglion cells, Optic nerve, Sciatic nerve

Themes of research

Any injury to the central nervous system (CNS) leads to irreversible losses of cognitive, sensory, and/or motor functions. This can occur in the case of traumatic injuries, such as road accidents, or chronic injuries with the increase in neurodegenerative diseases. Indeed, CNS neurons are unable to reform a circuit because they cannot regenerate their axons after an injury. This will result in their death in most cases. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of neuroprotection and regeneration is, therefore, a major scientific and public health challenge aimed at developing innovative therapies since, to this day, no treatment is available.

The team's projects analyze neuroprotection and regeneration from different perspectives:

Regeneration, Ribosomes, and Translational Control
It is now widely recognized that the levels of mRNA and proteins are not correlated in cells. Cells use translational control to regulate the expression of key proteins at specific moments in the cell's life. Thus, several studies emphasize that translational regulation is at least as important as transcriptional regulation. Similarly, it is increasingly clear that the translational complex, particularly the ribosome, is directly involved in selecting mRNA to translate into protein and the amount of protein to synthesize. These recent discoveries have upended the dogma that the ribosome was neutral in translation, merely facilitating protein synthesis without intervening in its regulation. This also suggests that previous studies, by focusing solely on mRNA regulation, analyzed only a part of the mechanisms occurring during development and injury. Our team aims to determine the exact role of translation and the translational complex in the processes of neuroprotection and/or regeneration in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Our work seeks to highlight the existence of a "specialized" ribosome for regeneration, suggesting that the ribosome can modify its composition (RNA and/or protein) to directly regulate the mRNAs to translate.

Identification of Cellular Pathways Controlling Regeneration
In parallel with analyzing the impact of translation on circuit reformation, we are also interested in the major cellular pathways that can control regeneration mechanisms in the nervous system. We develop numerous high-throughput analyses (RNAseq transcriptomics, quantitative proteomics) and bioinformatics analyses to determine the signaling pathways involved during development or in adults after an injury.

Translational Approach to Promote Regeneration
The ultimate goal of our work is to promote in vivo regeneration in patients' nervous systems to enable circuit reformation and the return of lost functions. Based on our work, we have initiated innovative strategies to bring our best fundamental research targets to applied research and drug development. We currently have three projects:

  • Creation of a Peptide Mimic Bank for CNS Regeneration: This project, in collaboration with the teams of Homaira Nawabi (GIN) and Sabine Chierici (DCM), aims to create a bank of peptide mimics based on the best candidates identified in our previous projects. We have established a screening method ranging from embryonic neuron cultures to in vivo survival/regeneration tests to select the best peptides and generate drug candidates.
  • Nanoparticles, Magnetic Fields, and Regeneration: In collaboration with Bernard Dieny (SPINTECH, CEA), we are developing and using new magnetic particles to promote regeneration in the CNS, particularly in the spinal cord.
  • Neuro-implant and Circuit Formation: In collaboration with the teams of Homaira Nawabi and Clément Hebert, we are developing a project on using neuro-implants and electrical stimulation to enable circuit reformation and functional recovery.


take a look to section "join us" for last job offer

We are always looking  for motivated student/PhD student/postdoc. Just send an email with CV and letter of motivation (stephane[dot]belin[at]inserm[dot]fr)

Techniques used :

  • In-vivo model of CNS injury
  • Molecular biology (cloning, PCR…)
  • Virus production and handling (AAV, lenti…)
  • Biochemistry (proteomic and transcriptomic, western blot…)
  • Cell culture (primary neuronal culture and cell lines)
  • Microscopy (confocal, light sheet…)

Collaborations :

Dr Yohan Couté (EDyP, CEA France).

Dr Benoit Laurent (Sherbrook University, Canada).

Dr Frederic Catez (INSERM, Centre Léon Bérard, France).

Dr Sabine Chierici (CNRS, DCM Grenoble, France).

Dr Clement Hebert (INSERM, GIN U1216, France).

Dr Mario Pende (INSERM, Institut Necker Paris France).

Dr Valentina Cigliola (Vanderbilt University, USA)

Dr Homaira Nawabi (INSERM, GIN U1216, France).


Social Network :

X : Nawabi-Belin Lab @N_Blab

     Institut des neurosciences de Grenoble @GINeuroGrenoble

LinkedIn :  Stephane Belin; Institut des Neurosciences de Grenoble

Partners :      

1-                Customization of translational complex regulates mRNA-specific translation
to control CNS regeneration. Julia Schaeffer, Noemie Vilallongue, Beatrice Blot, Nacera El Bakdouri, Charlotte Decourt, Elise Plissonnier, Blandine Excoffier, Antoine Paccard, Jean-Jacques Diaz, Sandrine Humbert, Frederic Catez, Frederic Saudou, Homaira Nawabi*, Stephane Belin*#  Neuron. 2023 Jul 7:S0896-6273(23)00465-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2023.06.005. PMID: 37442131* co-corresponding #  and lead contact.

2-                  The RSK2-RPS6 axis promotes axonal regeneration in the peripheral and central nervous systems

Charlotte Decourt, Julia Schaeffer, Beatrice Blot, Antoine Paccard, Blandine Excoffier, Mario Pende, Homaira Nawabi, Stephane Belin. PLoS Biol. 2023 Apr 17;21(4):e3002044.  doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3002044. eCollection 2023 Apr.

3-                  Guidance landscapes unveiled by quantitative proteomics to control reinnervation in adult visual system

Noemie Vilallongue, Julia Schaeffer, Anne-Marie Hesse, Céline Delpech, Antoine Paccard, Yohan Couté, Stephane Belin*, Homaira Nawabi*.*co-last authors Nature Communications 2022 Oct 13;13(1):6040. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-33799-4.PMID: 36229455 

4-                  Adult Mouse Retina Explants: From ex-vivo to in-vivo Model of Central Nervous System Injuries. Schaeffer J, Delpech C, Albert F, Belin S*, Nawabi H*. Front Mol Neurosci. 2020 Nov 25;13:599948. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2020.599948. eCollection 2020.PMID: 33324161  * co-corresponding and co-last authors

5-                  A non-canonical inhibitory circuit dampens behavioral sensitivity to light. Takuma Sonoda, Jennifer Y. Li1, Nikolas W. Hayes, Jonathan C. Chan, Yudai Okabe, Stephane Belin, Homaira Nawabi, Tiffany M. Schmidt. Science 2020 may 1 68(6490):527-531

6-                  Doublecortin-Like Kinases Promote Neuronal Survival and Induce Growth Cone Reformation via Distinct Mechanisms. Nawabi* H, Belin* S, Cartoni* R, Williams PR, Wang C, Latremolière A, Wang X, Zhu J, Taub DG, Fu X, Yu B, Gu X, Woolf CJ, Liu JS, Gabel CV, Steen JA, He Z. *equal contribution Neuron. 2015 Nov 18;88(4):704-19. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.10.005. Epub 2015 Oct 29.

7-                  Injury-induced decline of intrinsic regenerative ability revealed by quantitative proteomics. Belin* S, Nawabi* H, Wang C, Tang S, Latremoliere A, Warren P, Schorle H, Uncu C, Woolf CJ, He Z, Steen JA. *equal contribution Neuron. 2015 May 20;86(4):1000-14. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.03.060. Epub 2015 Apr 30. (Article cited as Editor’s choice in Science Signaling 26 May 2015 Vol.8 issue378

8-                  Short hairpin RNA against PTEN enhances regenerative growth of corticospinal tract axons after spinal cord injury. Zukor K, Belin S, Wang C, Keelan N, Wang X, He Z. J Neurosci. 2013 Sep 25;33(39):15350-61. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2510-13.2013.

9-                  Evidence for rRNA 2'-O-methylation plasticity: Control of intrinsic translational capabilities of human ribosomes. Erales J, Marchand V, Panthu B, Gillot S, Belin S, Ghayad SE, Garcia M, Laforêts F, Marcel V, Baudin-Baillieu A, Bertin P, Couté Y, Adrait A, Meyer M, Therizols G, Yusupov M, Namy O, Ohlmann T, Motorin Y, Catez F, Diaz JJ.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Dec 5;114(49):12934-12939. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1707674114. Epub 2017 Nov 20.PMID: 29158377

10-          p53 acts as a safeguard of translational control by regulating fibrillarin and rRNA methylation in cancer. Marce*l V, Ghayad* SE, Belin* S, Therizols G, Morel AP, Solano-Gonzàlez E, Vendrell JA, Hacot S,Mertani HC, Albaret MA, Bourdon JC, Jordan L, Thompson A, Tafer Y, Cong R, Bouvet P, Saurin JC,Catez F, Prats

>> Complete list of publications




  • Nathalie Scher, ITA Université Grenoble Alpes
  • Apolline Delaunay, PhD student
  • Celestion Gasnier, ITA Université Grenoble Alpes
  • Ana Saint-Pierre ITA INSERM
  • Albretch Froehlich, Post-doc

News of the team (in french)

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