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Are birds demigods of Glycation resistance ? (AGEs)

Dernière mise à jour : lundi 17 juin 2019, par Catherine Berger

The biology and chemistry departments of the IPHC (CNRS, University of Strasbourg) are seeking a postdoctoral associate to apply for a Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship to join a plurisdisciplinary project on resistance of birds to high glycemia.

A hallmark of ageing is the progressive dysfunction of glucose metabolism, which ultimately affects healthy lifespan. This physiological decline is related to a loss of insulin sensitivity and an increase in circulating glucose circulating that give rise to the so-called metabolic syndrome. When glycemia is high, the nascent ability of carbohydrates to chemically react with proteins and lipids becomes problematic, a fact important to the metabolic theory of ageing. Glycation corresponds to the non-enzymatic covalent bonding of, e.g. a glucose molecule to a protein or lipid molecule by an irreversible Amadori rearrangement. Abnormal glycation promotes diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, and ultimately ageing. Studying glycation in birds is a unique opportunity to explore potential mechanisms driving the diversity of animal ageing rates. Birds have the highest blood glucose levels among vertebrates, and despite this (and higher metabolic rates), their lifespan is proportionally 2-3 times greater than in mammals. This postdoctoral program is part of a larger international (Canada, Norway, France) and interdisciplinary (chemistry and biology) project dealing with protective mechanisms against glycation that may have evolved in birds. Our main objectives are to uncover (i) the links between bird’s supposed resilience to glycation and life-history evolution, and (ii) the nature of the underlying protective mechanisms. The postdoctoral program is devoted to the realization of the evolutionary tasks 1 and 2, i.e. a multi-species phylogenetic approach of glycation and life-history traits relationships, and an experimental approach testing the influence of AGEs on zebra finches physiology.

Key requirements :
Strong statistical skills in phylogenetic analysis. Good understanding of life history evolution and in animal physiology. Experience with biochemistry, biomolecular lab work and/or avian experimentation. Ability to collaborate with chemists working on proteomics. Strong CV, with publications from the PhD and/or postdoc.

What you will learn :
Pluridisciplinary skills in life history evolution, ecophysiology and proteomics. The postdoc will work in between two departments developing different approaches, which should be an open-mind facilitator for future projects.

Key references :

Récapet, C., A. Sibeaux, et al. (2016). "Selective disappearance of individuals with high levels of glycated haemoglobin in a free-living bird." Biology Letters 12(8) : 20160243.

Criscuolo, F., G. Sorci, et al. (2018). "Age-related response to an acute innate immune challenge in mice : proteomics reveals a telomere maintenance-related cost." Proceedings of the Royal Society B : Biological Sciences 285 : 20181877.

Plumel, M. I., M. Benhaim-Delarbre, et al. (2016). "Differential proteomics reveals age-dependent liver oxidative costs of innate immune activation in mice." Journal of Proteomics 135 : 181-190.

Contact :

Dr. François Criscuolo
Département Ecologie, Physiologie et Ethologie
23 rue becquerel
Mail :

Dr. Fabrice Bertile
Département Sciences Analytiques
23 rue becquerel
Mail :