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Da Costa Barbara

Barbara DA COSTA

Ph.D stutent in anthropobiology and biochemistry, AMIS Lab. UMR 5288, MedEvo group, Paul Sabatier University – Toulouse III, France.
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Research topic :
Influence of mtDNA background (haplogroups) on mitochondrial metabolism.

Current research :
The overall goal of my doctoral work is to highlight the molecular and biochemical mechanisms by which some haplogroups could change the mitochondrial metabolism. We carried out transmitochondrial cell lines (Cybrid) from major European haplogroups (H, J, T, U and K), which have the particularity to share a same nuclear genetic background but differ in their mtDNA genotype. We started and will continue the characterization of these cybrids at cellular, biochemical and molecular levels to access to the mechanisms involved in the influence of haplogroups on the mitochondrial energetic metabolism : (1) mtDNA levels, (2) mitochondrial mRNA levels, (3) mitochondrially expressed protein levels, (4) assembled respiratory chain enzyme levels, (5) respiratory chain enzyme activities, (6) respiratory rate and threshold effect determination, (7) ATP production, (8) ROS production and (9) membrane potential. Those analyses will be completed by using the Dr Stéphane Ransac’s in silico model, which allow us to evaluate and visualize the impact of structural changes due to some polymorphisms defining haplogroups, on respiratory chain activity. Then, we will use our experimental data to validate the hypotheses proposed by this model.

This project should give evidence of the mtDNA haplogroups role on mitochondrial metabolism and should propose a modulate vision of mitochondrial pathologies for their study and diagnosis, by bringing out the notion of personalized medicine. Indeed, as each haplogroup could modulate in different way mitochondrial metabolism, each individual could have a personal response to the same mutation or pathology. In future, mtDNA genetics background should be take in account to find new strategies or new target for mitochondrial diseases therapies.

Curriculum and research experience :
2009 : BTS in biotechnologies (Bordeaux). Dissertation : « Mitochondrial pathologies diagnosis »
2010 : Licence 3 Clinical Research and validation, oncology context (Poitiers-Toulouse) ;
2012 : Master 1 Human pathologies (Marseille). Dissertation : « Effect of inactivation of GRASP55 protein on JAMs, in presence of TNFα et IFNϒ » ;
2013 : Master 2 Anthopobiology and human population genetics (Toulouse). Dissertation : « Influence of mtDNA background (haplogroups) on mitochondrial metabolism »
2013-present : PhD stutent in Molecular Anthropology UMR 5288 - Anthropologie Moléculaire et Imagerie de Synthèse (Toulouse). Doctoral work : « Influence of mtDNA background (haplogroups) on mitochondrial metabolism »

Poster communication :
« Influence of mtDNA background (haplogroups) on mitochondrial pathologies » for the 8th congress of Meetochondrie (2015) and the 17th congress of French Group of Bioenergetics (2015).