Arabidopsis thaliana

Heat stress

RNA Binding Proteins


Post-transcriptional regulations


I earned my PhD degree in molecular biology at the Université Paul Sabatier (Toulouse, France). My thesis reported the that Gar1p is a core component of the H/ACA snoRNPs required for 18S pre-rRNA maturation and contributed to demonstrate that H/ACA snoRNAs act as guides of rRNA pseudouridylations. After graduating, in 1998 I decided to join Pr. Tollervey’s team at ICMB (University of Edinburgh) for a post-doctorate. My work demonstrated for the first time the existence of a regulated nuclear pre-mRNA turnover pathway in budding yeast.

I was awarded a permanent research position at CNRS in 2002 and worked for 5 years at the GReD in Clermont-Ferrand (France) in the team of Pr. Jean-Marc Deragon.

In 2007, I moved to the Plant Genome and Development Laboratory (LGDP, University of Perpignan, France) and got a Research Director position from CNRS in 2015. Since then I am PI of my own research team.

In my reasearch group, we work to get an understanding of how plants acclimate to heat stress through the cytoplasmic post-transcriptional reprogramming of gene expression. We also address the question of the importance of translation, stability and storage control of mRNAs across development. Our research develops into three main axes, using Arabidopsis thaliana as model organism :

– The role of the RNA Binding Proteins from the La and Related Protein (LARP) family in development and heat stress.

– The role of m6A and m6A readers in the heat stress response.

– The role of the mRNA co-translational decay process in heat stress and development.


Along my scientific careed I acquired a strong expertise in molecular biology in particular in the field of mRNA regulations, and over the past 15 years in plant molecular biology.

The biological questions my team addresses are tackled through integrative plant biology approaches. People in my group are skilled in genetics, reverse genetics, plant transgenesis, RNA molecular biology, purification of polysomes, transcriptomics (RNA-seq, RIP-Seq, Me-RIP-Seq, mRNA degradome (GMUCT), translatomics), proteomics, protein biochemistry, microscopy and evolutionary analyses of proteins.



Scutenaire J, Deragon JM, Jean V, Benhamed M, Raynaud C, Favory JJ, Merret R@Bousquet-Antonelli C@. (2018) The YTH Domain Protein ECT2 Is an m6A Reader Required for Normal Trichome Branching in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell 30: 986-1005.

Merret R, Carpentier MC, Favory JJ, Picart C, Descombin J, Bousquet-Antonelli C, Tillard P, Lejay L, Deragon JM, Charng YY. (2017) Heat Shock Protein HSP101 Affects the Release of Ribosomal Protein mRNAs for Recovery after Heat Shock. Plant Physiology 174: 1216-1225

Deragon JM, Bousquet-Antonelli C.(2015) The role of LARP1 in translation and beyond.Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA. 6:399-417. Review. 

Merret R, Nagarajan VK, Carpentier MC, Park S, Favory JJ, Descombin J, Picart C, Charng YY, Green PJ, Deragon JM, Bousquet-Antonelli C. Heat-induced ribosome pausing triggers mRNA co-translational decay in Arabidopsis thaliana. Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Apr 30;43(8):4121-32 

Merret, R., Descombin, J., Juan, Y., Favory, J., Carpentier, M., Chaparro, C., Charng, Y., Deragon, J., and Bousquet-Antonelli, C@. (2013). XRN4 and LARP1 are required for a heat-triggered mRNA decay pathway involved in plant acclimation and survival during thermal stress. Cell reports 5, 1279-1293.

Merret, R*., Martino, L.*, Bousquet-Antonelli, C.*,$, Fneich, S., Descombin, J., Billey, E., Conte, M.R.$, and Deragon, J.M. (2013b). The association of a La module with the PABP-interacting motif PAM2 is a recurrent evolutionary process that led to the neofunctionalization of La-related proteins. RNA 19, 36-50. *: equal contribution; $: corresponding authors.

Bousquet-Antonelli, C., and Deragon, J. (2009). A comprehensive analysis of the La-motif protein superfamily. RNA 15, 750-764.