PIBBS is a «research resource» facility for the local, national and international research communities. It offers scientific expertise and a range of cutting-edge instruments. Its specificity and its major strength are the combination of state-of-the art and innovative structural biology approaches (nuclear magnetic resonance, x-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, and bio/cheminformatics) with biophysical technologies (atomic-force microscopy, single-molecule fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy). Therefore, its originality is to offer a fully multidisciplinary and integrated approach to understand the biomolecule structure-function links.

Application Portfolio:

  • Studies of structures and structural analyses of protein/protein or nucleic acid/protein interactions,
  • Study of the biomolecular dynamics and of in vitro and in vivo interactions (folding, assembly, localization, diffusion, conformational changes),
  • Drug discovery using approaches based on fragments and the click chemistry,
  • Topography and quantification of the mechanical features of biological samples,
  • Structure/function studies.

Main expertise/Services:

  • Bioinformatics analysis. We develop tools for structural modelling of very low homology proteins that are very useful for the design of protein constructs for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and crystallization assays. These tools are also used for predicting ligands, molecule design projects, and crystallographic data in phase. We propose models of protein structures for the scientific community, and we start the in silico screening of ligands.
  • NMR analyses to determine the structure in solution and studies of protein/protein or nucleic acid/protein interactions
  • Crystallography for solving high-resolution structures
  • Electron cryomicroscopy and tomography
  • Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) combined with single-molecule localization microscopy and high-speed AFM
  • Routine biophysical and structural characterization (light scattering, circular dichroism, standard fluorescence). These techniques are important steps before crystallization assays, for example. Fluorescence anisotropy, time-resolved fluorescence and titration calorimetry allows determining the affinities, the thermodynamics and the kinetics of biomolecular interactions, and to understand the structure-function relationships involved in these systems.
  • Advanced fluorescence spectroscopy (FCS, FCCS, RICS, Number & Molecular Brightness, fast FLIM, single-molecule FRET with PIE)
  • Advanced fluorescence microscopy (PALM/STORM).

Access and service policy:

We also propose a production and analytical biochemistry service. Indeed, one of the bottlenecks in structural biology and biophysics is the expression and production of pure and functional biomolecules. If required our equipment can be used for molecule production, purification and analysis, in the context of the facility.

The facility is open to academic researchers and companies. Concerning the access policy, our users can directly operate the equipment (fee-based service). In practice, most projects requiring the facility services are complex and long. Therefore, they are organized as a real scientific cooperation, involving the complementary high-level expertise of many researchers and engineers in different domains.

The facility has the IBiSA label and is involved in the French national distributed infrastructures FRISBI, France BioImaging (PIA) and ChemBioFrance.


Application notes:



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