Team TrEE
Phone: 04 57 42 18 97
Address: Bâtiment Jean Roget, Place du Commandant Nal, Domaine de la Merci
Office: 513
Research themes

I combine biochemical, genetic and evolutionary approaches on model micro-organisms to advance our molecular understanding of the biosynthesis and function of respiratory chains, which are central to cellular bioenergetics. For the last 10 years, I mostly focused on the redox lipid ubiquinone/coenzyme Q. CoQ belongs to the family of isoprenoid quinones, compounds that transfer electrons and protons within respiratory chains. My collaborators and I have identified several new genes involved in ubiquinone biosynthesis and we are now trying to obtain the first structure of a CoQ biosynthetic complex. We are also studying the physiology and evolution of the pathway which appeared on Earth more than 2 billion years ago. At last, we have recently extended our research to other isoprenoid quinones and we are trying to understand their roles and trafficking within complex bacterial communities.


microorganisms, metabolism, bioenergetics, evolution, quinones, ubiquinone, respiratory chaines

Supervised thesis
Sophie-Carole CHOBERT : "Etude de l'origine et de la diversification des voies de biosynthèse des quinones respiratoires"
Morgane ROGER-MARGUERITAT : "Mécanismes d'échanges de quinones et impact sur le microbiote intestinal"

Complete list of publications:



Selected Publications:


Ubiquinone Biosynthesis over the Entire O2 Range: Characterization of a Conserved O2-Independent Pathway

Pelosi, L., Vo, C. D., Abby, S. S., Loiseau, L., Rascalou, B., Hajj Chehade, M., Faivre, B., Gousse, M., Chenal, C., Touati, N., Binet, L., Cornu, D., Fyfe, C. D., Fontecave, M., Barras, F., Lombard, M.*, Pierrel, F*.

mBio (2019) 10: e01319-19        

DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01319-19


A soluble metabolon synthesizes the isoprenoid lipid Ubiquinone

Hajj Chehade, M., Pelosi, L., Fyfe, C., Loiseau, L., Rascalou, B., Brugiere, S., Kazemzadeh, K., Vo, T. D., Ciccone, L., Aussel, L., Coute, Y., Fontecave, M., Barras, F., Lombard, M. & Pierrel, F. *

Cell Chemical Biology (2019) 26:482-492

DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2018.12.001


Impact of Chemical Analogs of 4-Hydroxybenzoic Acid on Coenzyme Q Biosynthesis: From Inhibition to Bypass of Coenzyme Q Deficiency.

Pierrel F.*

Front Physiol. (2017) 8:436

DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00436


Evolution of Ubiquinone Biosynthesis: Multiple Proteobacterial Enzymes with Various Regioselectivities To Catalyze Three Contiguous Aromatic Hydroxylation Reactions

Pelosi L., Ducluzeau A. L., Loiseau L., Barras F., Schneider D., Junier I., Pierrel F.*

mSystems (2016) 1: e00091-16

DOI: 10.1128/mSystems.00091-16


Mechanistic Details of Early Steps in Coenzyme Q Biosynthesis Pathway in Yeast

Payet L. A., Leroux M., Willison J. C., Kihara A., Pelosi L., Pierrel F. *

Cell Chemical Biology (2016) 23: 1241-1250

DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2016.08.008



Active collaborations:

Marc Fontecave (Collège de France, Paris)

Frédéric Barras (Institut Pasteur, Paris)

Axel Magalon (LCB, Marseille)

Barbara Schoepp-Cothenet (BIP, Marseille)

Leonardo Salviati (Padova University, Italy)

Martin Ott (Stockholm University, Sweden)

Volker Wendisch (Bielefeld University, Germany)