ILEE Lunch Seminar 7/1

  • When Jan 07, 2020 from 12:45 PM to 02:00 PM (Europe/Brussels / UTC100)
  • Where B33, Biology building, 3rd floor
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Eric Perpète (Chemistry, CPB lab - Chimie Physique des Biomolécules)

The CPB lab (Chimie Physique des Biomolécules, Eric Perpète and Catherine Michaux) receives funding from the Walloon Region (Win2Wal programme) to search for a greener pesticide:
The majority of insecticides belong to neurotoxins. They have specific neurological targets, such as sodium channels for pyrethrins and pyrethroids, or various components of the acetylcholine system for organophosphates, carbamates and neonicotinoids. Thus, they also have several toxicological effects on non-target living organisms, including humans. New classes of chemicals with new modes of action are therefore highly demanded. One current strategy is to develop bio-insecticides that target and disrupt biochemical functions of the insect.
Trehalose (α-D-glucopyranosyl-α-D-glucopyranoside) is the main form of energy storage in the haemolymph of insects. It is a non-reducing disaccharide composed of two glucose units linked by an α, α-1,1-glucosidic bond that is easily converted to glucose to mobilise reserves for example during flight activity. In addition, trehalose ensures the stability of proteins during thermal or osmotic stress and contributes to the regulation of food intake.
The degradation of trehalose can be achieved by several metabolic pathways, including hydrolysis. In this case, trehalase (α-glucoside-1-glucohydrolase, EC catalyses the irreversible hydrolysis of trehalose into two glucose molecules. The inhibition of trehalase induces hypoglycaemia in the insect and results in a considerable reduction of glucose-related metabolism and, ultimately, a dysfunction of the life-sustaining biological systems of the body.
The major objective of PEBIOTRA is to establish a proof of concept of the efficacy and selectivity of the inhibitors of trehalase with regard to a major pest, the aphid. This innovative approach is highly specific and does not endanger beneficial insects nor natural predators of aphids.
The CPB aims at the understanding of the structure, physico-chemical properties and dynamic aspects of biomolecular systems (including proteins), and the description of their interactions. The specificity of the lab is based on the mix of experimental and theoretical methods. This multidisciplinary approach renders a strategic position crossing biology, physics and chemistry and allows the combination of biotechnological, biomedical and environmental issues or the design of new materials.

Please order your sandwich before Monday, 6/1/20, 18h!!

Consult the presentation of Virgile Neyman (PhD student of Eric Perpète) on the new Pebiotra project.