Neurotransmission and signaling


Research center

17 rue du Fer à Moulin
75005 Paris


Université Pierre et Marie Curie
Université Pierre et Marie Curie


Marianne Coutures
UMRS 839


Giralt A, Coura R, Girault JA. Pyk2 is essential for astrocytes mobility following brain lesion. Glia. 2016 Apr;64(4):524-36. doi: 10.1002/glia.22946.  

Conformational dynamics of the focal adhesion targeting domain control specific functions of focal adhesion kinase in cells. Kadaré G, Gervasi N, Brami-Cherrier K, Blockus H, El Messari S, Arold ST, Girault JA. J Biol Chem. 2015 290:478-91. 

Dendritic geometry shapes neuronal cAMP signalling to the nucleus. Li L, Gervasi N, Girault JA. Nat Commun. 2015  6:6319. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7319.

 Gene expression analyses identify Narp contribution in the development of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia. Charbonnier-Beaupel F, Malerbi M, Alcacer C, Tahiri K, Carpentier W, Wang C, During M, Xu D, Worley PF, Girault JA, Hervé D, Corvol JC. J Neurosci. 2015 35:96-111.

FAK dimerization controls its kinase-dependent functions at focal adhesions. Brami-Cherrier K, Gervasi N, Arsenieva D, Walkiewicz K, Boutterin MC, Ortega A, Leonard PG, Seantier B, Gasmi L, Bouceba T, Kadaré G, Girault JA*, Arold ST*. EMBO J. 2014 33:356-70.

Fields of research

Neuropharmacology / cell signaling

Research Theme

Our goal is to identify signaling mechanisms that underlie brain plasticity leading to long-lasting behavioral alterations. Our major model of study is the striatum that plays a crucial role in the control of movements, motivated behaviors, formation of habits, and procedural memory. The striatum is involved in several neurological and psychiatric diseases including Parkinson disease and addiction. Dopamine controls the acute function of striatal neurons and their long-lasting plasticity, thus contributing to reinforcement learning.

Drugs of abuse divert these processes by directly increasing dopamine transmission. Similar mechanisms are involved in side effects of L-DOPA in Parkinsonian patients. We study signaling pathways controlled by dopamine, glutamate, endocannabinoids and other neurotransmitters, which involve G proteins, protein kinases, phosphatases and gene expression. We attempt to identify the role of these pathways in simple behaviors and to identify assemblies of neurons in which they are activated. We also investigate other signaling pathways including non-receptor tyrosine kinases of the FAK family.