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MSAP USR 3290 CNRS Laboratory

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Founded in January 2010, the USR 3290 Miniaturisation for Synthesis, Analysis and Proteomics, under the direction of Caroline Tokarski is a service and research unit that is at the interface of chemistry by his membership in the FR 2638, Michel Chevreul Institute and biology through its membership in the FRABio FR3688, Federation of Research "Structural & Functional Biochemstry of Biomolecular Assemblies". For service component USR 3290 MSAP is labeled IBiSA (Infrastructures in Biology Health and Agronomy) and is one of the sites of TGE FT-ICR and platform SIRIC (Site Integrated Research on Cancer) Lille.

The USR 3290 is structured around three areas: mass spectrometry, separation techniques, organic synthesis and physical chemistry. These crafts are available in a service component focused on:

  • The mass spectrometry and proteomics (Christian Rolando, DR; Caroline Tokarski, PR)

And a research component that includes three scientific themes, strong interactions:

  • Instrumental development (Christian Rolando, DR)
  • Chemicals and flow chromatography (Mael Penhoat, MCF)
  • Analytical developments: biomolecules, bio-based (Caroline Tokarski, PR)


These different themes and service component lead us to work with most units of the Chevreul Institute and FRABio FR3688. Structurally, the Unit is organized on a non-hierarchical model, each researcher or teacher researcher who support a themes and each engineer an analytical axes.


The theme proteomic analysis is a unifying theme for the other axis of the group. Indeed, it is:

  • The main reason instrumental investment in mass spectrometry whose implementation is supported by our group (FT-MS high field MALDI TOF / TOF)
  • The engine of most of the group’s analytical developments (new electrophoresis gels, specific fluorescent probes, surface chemistry and MALDI open capillary column type),
  • At the heart of our collaborations biological purposes (especially the detection of biomarkers of different diseases related to aging)
  • Is a new field for the analysis of complex systems such as archaeological residues
  • And causes miniaturization efforts have allowed us to address the organic reactivity studies in micro / nano reactors.


Proteomics is an integrating science. Indeed subjects with high added values to be able to involve from a biological sample and to identify and quantify proteins and post-translational modifications (phosphorylation, glycosylation). The main steps are:

  • Protein extraction is a critical step, and that is the formulation in terms of chemistry to extract the expected proteins (particularly membrane proteins)
  • Labeling them with specific reagents for quantification
  • The separation involves a very complex set of chromatographic techniques (two-dimensional electrophoresis, exchange and size exclusion chromatography, immunoaffinity chromatography)
  • Spectrometric analysis coupled with mass liquid chromatography nanoscale (flow is 200 nanoliters per minute). Typically 1000 peptides can be detected in an assay and identified several hundred
  • The Bioinformatics treatment is a major bottleneck. Current analytical techniques often lead to the identification of hundreds of proteins which requires elaborate statistical treatments.