Isabelle Marcotte


Ph.D., Directrice adjointe Biophysique
Université du Québec à Montréal
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Research field

Our research laboratory relies on the versatility and wide spectrum applications of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (SS-NMR) spectroscopy to study membrane systems (proteins and lipids) as well as natural protein fibres. 1. Biological membrane systems Our research interests target the action mechanism of therapeutic molecules involving interactions with biological membrane systems. It comprises three major aspects that address important health issues. 1) The first aspect aims at determining the molecular characteristics and interactions responsible for the blockage of heart hERG (human ether-à-gogo- related gene) potassium channels by prescription drugs resulting in a secondary effect known as the long QT syndrome (LQTS). This syndrome is characterized by a prolongation of the repolarization interval of the cardiac wave which can provoke ventricular arrhythmia called “Torsades de Pointes” often responsible for heart failure. We investigate the interaction of hERG-active drugs with hERG domains and their membrane environment. 2) The focus of the second aspect is to better understand the toxicity mechanism of nanoparticles (NPs) and develop NP-based antibiotics. More specifically, we study the mechanism of membrane penetration of fullerene and custom-made NPs with model eukaryote and bacterial membranes. 3) Finally, we are developing gut membrane permeation assays for the optimization of drug formulations. This aim of this project is to improve drug bioavailability by optimizing their absorption in the gastro-intestinal tract, which could help reducing the dosage used in therapies. 2. Structural study of mussel byssus Nature has designed high-performance proteins critical for the survival of different species, such as spider silk and mussel byssus. The byssus is made of collagen-rich fibres anchoring the molluscs to solid substrates. Using blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) from Magdalene Islands, we investigate the molecular structure responsible for the peculiar extensibility and strength of the byssus.

Publications récentes

  • Arnold, A.A. , Marcotte, I. (2009), “Studying natural structural protein fibers by solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance”, Concepts in Magnetic Resonance Part A: Bridging Education and Research.
  • Marcotte, I. , Van Beek, J.D. , Meier, B.H. (2007), “Molecular disorder and structure of spider dragline silk investigated by two-dimensional solid-state NMR spectroscopy”, Macromolecules.
  • Marcotte, I. , Be´langer, A. , Auger, M. (2006), “The orientation effect of gramicidin a on bicelles and Eu 3+-doped bicelles as studied by solid-state NMR and FT-IR spectroscopy”, Chemistry and Physics of Lipids.
  • Marcotte, I. , Auger, M. (2005), “Bicelles as model membranes for solid-and solution-state NMR studies of membrane peptides and proteins”, Concepts in Magnetic Resonance Part A: Bridging Education and Research.
  • Marcotte, I. , Separovic, F. , Auger, M. , Gagne´, S.M. (2004), “A Multidimensional 1H NMR Investigation of the Conformation of Methionine-Enkephalin in Fast-Tumbling Bicelles”, Biophysical Journal.