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Dr. Thierry Tron's picture
AMU iSm2 Service 342
Campus Scientifique de St Jérôme
Marseille cedex 20

Phone number
0491 28 84 40

Career path


Habilitation to supervise research, Aix Marseille University, 2010

PhD, cellular biology & microbiology, Aix Marseille University, 1991

M. S., microbiology (molecular biology), Aix Marseille University, 1986

B. S., biochemistry, Aix Marseille University, 1984


09/2016-        Head of the BiosCiences laboratory, ISM2, Aix Marseille University, France

2014               CNRS research director (DR2), Aix Marseille University, France

1998-2014     CNRS researcher (CR1) , Aix Marseille University, France

1994-1998     CNRS researcher (CR2) , Aix Marseille University, France

1991-1994     Human Frontier PostDoc research fellow, Dartmouth Medical School, USA

1991               FEBS research fellow (3 months), Biochemistry Dept., Bologne University, Italy

1991               Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale PostDoc (7 months), CNRS Marseille, France

1988-1990     European Union Mobility fellow, Catholic University, Louvain la Neuve, Belgium


PhD level: Doctorate School of Industrial Biotechnology, Federico II University, Napoli : lectures on heterologous expression of metalloenzymes, artificial enzymes, 2012, 2014, 2016.

M. S.level: EU FP7 funded summer schools, ChemBioMeme (2010-2012) and BioMaSolUti (2013-2014) : lectures on heterologous expression of metalloenzymes, artificial enzymes, hybrid photo-catalysts.

Research themes

My research interests are in the area of biochemistry at the interface between biological, catalytic and inorganic chemistry. With my group we are interested in studying metalloenzymes, in particular copper containing oxidases, that we functionalize with different nano-objects (e. g. transition metal complexes) to obtain hybrid catalysts with original properties. We are currently developing researches on the following topics: 1) bioinspired photo-oxidases allowing a renewable Oxygen Atom Tranfer Reaction, 2) original hybrid Pd-based oxygenases as novel catalysts for environmentally friendly industrial processes, 3) surface-ordered enzyme for high performance bio-cathodes, and 4) surface-modified enzymes with an efficient control of the selectivity.


Catalysts based on surface functionalized laccases

with Yasmina Mekmouche, Viviane Robert, Pierre Rousselot Pailley, Jalila Simaan


Laccases are well known biocatalysts with great robustness, high oxidation power and substrate versatility.[1] Their unique set of copper centres - a near-surface located mononuclear type 1 and an embedded tri-nuclear cluster (TNC) made of a type 2 and a binuclear type 3 - couple the oxidation of substrates (organic or metal ions) to dioxygen reduction.[2] We shape new catalysts based on oriented functionalizations of a laccase surface with different “plug-ins”.
 From our initial demonstrations on bi-molecular systems - a sensitizer/laccase system coupling the light driven four-electron reduction of dioxygen to water[3] to the photo-oxidation of styrene[4] or a Pd(II)/ laccase system competent for the aerobic oxidation of alcohol in mild conditions[5] -  our latest architectures are based on the oriented grafting of the enzyme surfacewith prospects on olefin oxidation[6] and laccase functionalized electrode materials[7].


Collaborations: Prof. Athanassios Coutsolelos (Univ. Crete), Dr. Alan Legoff (Univ. Grenoble-Alpes), Dr. Victor Guallar (Barcelona Supecomputer Center), Prof. Ally Aukauloo (Univ. Paris Saclay), Dr. WInfried Leibl (CEA Saclay)


  1. T. Tron, in Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins, Springer, New York, 1066 (2013)
  2. E. Solomon, U. Sundaram, T. Machonkin, Chem. Rev., 96, 2563 (1996)
  3. T. Lazarides et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 135, 3095 (2013)
  4. L. Schneider et al., Chem. Sus. Chem., 8, 3048
  5. Y. Mekmouche et al., Chem. Sci., 6,1247 (2015)

  6. V. Robert, et al., Chem. Plus Chem., 82, 607 (2017)
  7. N. Lalaoui et al., ACS Catalysis, 6, 1894 (2016)
Administrative responsabilities

Head of the BiosCiences Laboratory (35 staffs: CNRS researchers,  Professors,  Assistant Professors, Engineers, Technicians)

Publications (52)
ReferenceGraphical Abstracts
Chemical Modification of 1-Aminocyclopropane Carboxylic Acid (ACC) Oxidase: Cysteine Mutational Analysis, Characterization, and Bioconjugation with a Nitroxide Spin Label

Sybille Tachon, Eugénie Fournier, Christophe Decroos, Pascal Mansuelle, Emilien Etienne, Marc Maresca, Marlène Martinho, Valérie Belle, Thierry Tron, Ariane Jalila Simaan, Molecular Biotechnology, 2019. <hal-02157289>
Evolution of the feruloyl esterase MtFae1a from Myceliophthora thermophila towards improved catalysts for antioxidants synthesis

Simona Varriale, Gabriella Cerullo, Io Antonopoulou, Paul Christakopoulos, Ulrika Rova, Thierry Tron, Régis Fauré, Peter Jütten, Alexander Piechot, Joana Brás, Carlos Fontes, Vincenza Faraco, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 2018, 102, 5185-5196. <hal-01783621>
Electrochemical Water Oxidation and Stereoselective Oxygen Atom Transfer Mediated by a Copper Complex

Maria-Chrysanthi Kafentzi, Raffaello Papadakis, Federica Gennarini, Amélie Kochem, Olga Iranzo, Yves Le Mest, Nicolas Le Poul, Thierry Tron, Bruno Faure, A. Jalila Simaan, Marius Réglier, Chemistry - A European Journal, 2018. <hal-01711795>
Controlling the polymerization of coniferyl alcohol with cyclodextrins

Lionel Tarrago, Camille Modolo, Mehdi Yemloul, Viviane Robert, Pierre Rousselot-Pailley, Thierry Tron, New Journal of Chemistry, 2018, 42, 11770-11775. <cea-01939414>
Probing the Surface of a Laccase for Clues towards the Design of Chemo-Enzymatic Catalysts

Viviane Robert, Emanuele Monza, Lionel Tarrago, Ferran Sancho, Anna De falco, Ludovic Schneider, Eloïne Npetgat ngoutane, Yasmina Mekmouche, Pierre Rousselot Pailley, A. Jalila Simaan, Victor Guallar, Thierry Tron, ChemPlusChem, 2017, 82, 607-614. <hal-02089386>
Characterization of Cu(II)-reconstituted ACC Oxidase using experimental and theoretical approaches

Nadia El Bakkali-Tahéri, Sybille Tachon, Maylis Orio, Sylvain Bertaina, Marlène Martinho, Viviane Robert, Marius Réglier, Thierry Tron, Pierre Dorlet, A. Jalila Simaan, Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 2017, 623-624, 31 - 41. <hal-01627933>
Direct Electron Transfer between a Site-Specific Pyrene-Modified Laccase and Carbon Nanotube/Gold Nanoparticle Supramolecular Assemblies for Bioelectrocatalytic Dioxygen Reduction

Noémie Lalaoui, Pierre Rousselot-Pailley, Viviane Robert, Yasmina Mekmouche, Reynaldo Villalonga, Michael Holzinger, Serge Cosnier, Thierry Tron, Alan Le Goff, ACS Catalysis, 2016, 6, 1894 - 1900. <hal-01644589>
Laccases as palladium oxidases

Yasmina Mekmouche, Ludovic Schneider, Pierre Rousselot-Pailley, Bruno Faure, A. Jalila Simaan, Constance Bochot, Marius Réglier, Thierry Tron, Chem. Sci., 2015, 6, 1247 - 1251. <hal-01475415>
Visible-Light-Driven Oxidation of Organic Substrates with Dioxygen Mediated by a [Ru(bpy) 3 ] 2+ /Laccase System

Ludovic Schneider, Yasmina Mekmouche, Pierre Rousselot-Pailley, A. Jalila Simaan, Viviane Robert, Marius Réglier, Ally Aukauloo, Thierry Tron, ChemSusChem, 2015, 8, 3048 - 3051. <hal-01475419>
Gram-scale production of a basidiomycetous laccase in Aspergillus niger

Yasmina Mekmouche, Simeng Zhou, Angela M Cusano, Eric Record, Anne Lomascolo, Viviane Robert, a Jalila Simaan, Pierre Rousselot-Pailley, Sana Ullah, Florence Chaspoul, Thierry Tron, Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, 2014, 1-3. <hal-01268150>