Nathalie Mazure (C3M – INSERM U1085, Nice) has a well-established expertise in the field of Hypoxia that refers to lower-than-normal oxygen conditions in cancer. She has been working for many years now on hypoxic mitochondria and more specifically on voltage-dependent anion channel protein 1(VDAC1) and its truncated form. VDAC1 is the major protein of the mitochondrial outer membrane of all eukaryotes. Because of its membrane situation, VDAC functions as a kind of Heimdall guardian of the Bïfrost controlling the entry and exit of metabolites from the cytoplasm to the mitochondrion and vice versa. Although VDAC1 has not always been recognized as a valuable target, it now seems that it has its place as a potential therapeutic target for both cancer and other diseases.
More recently, N. Mazure was able to establish a link between the presence of the truncated form of VDAC1 under hypoxia and the absence of the primary cilium, a small sensory antenna involved in very important signaling pathways such as Wnt. Her new challenge is to discover the link between the primary cilium and VDAC1.