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The Department's buildings are currently open for wet laboratory work only. We have carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and have introduced a number of new measures to ensure the safety of our staff, including reduced building occupancy, strict social distancing, 'family'-based working, and increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. All staff who can work remotely will do so for the foreseeable future. Please continue to contact us by email until further notice.

Department of Biochemistry


Simon Ladevèze

Joined the Hollfelder group: July 2017
Background and Current Projects: My studies at the University of Toulouse makes me consider myself as a general biochemist. My research interests are centred in the field of structural biology and protein structure/function relationships, particularly for enzymes belonging to the field of glycobiology. My PhD at INSA Toulouse with Dr G. Veronese focussed on bacterial Carbohydrate Active Enzymes (CAZymes) from human gut bacteria that participate in the degradation of glycans present in the human gut. This work opened new perspectives for studying, and potentially also for controlling, interactions between host and gut microbes. It also had industrial relevance as a new process of high added value mannosylated oligosaccharide synthesis by reverse-phosphorolysis was developed.
I then moved to Aix-Marseille University to work with Dr J.G Berrin and Dr B. Henrissat on CAZymes of fungal origin, particularly those of yeasts and filamentous fungi that are efficient wood degraders. My work on their unique CAZyme arsenal which give them these abilities was focussing on the family of Lytic Polysaccharide Monooxygenases (LPMOs). These recently discovered enzymes have revolutionised the view we see lignocellulosic biomass degradation. This work had strong implications in 2G biofuels production and industrial Biocatalysis.
My work in Cambridge is now focussing on enzyme evolution, particularly on CAZymes evolution. These studies aim to understand which are the molecular determinants that give these enzymes their specificity to a given substrate. Indeed, carbohydrates are chemically and structurally strongly similar molecules that may vary only on the relative position of a hydroxyl. So, what make these enzymes so specific? And which are the molecular determinants that make some CAZymes strictly specific while other are promiscuous? Beyond finding the answer to these questions, the ultimate goal of my work aims at evolving a CAZyme that could be a general catalyst, robust, stable, and acting efficiently on various related substrates.
Interests:  I like outdoor sports such as skiing or hiking but I am mostly a sea lover, and I spend a lot of time around boats or enjoying underwater diving. When the weather is bad I generally spend some time doing scale modelling, especially of wooden boats. I am a pure historyaholic, spending a lot of time in museums or watching documentaries. Naturally, as a French guy from Toulouse area I love watching rugby and I know some things about wine and gastronomy.


[1] Ladevèze S, Laville E, Despres J, Mosoni P, Potocki-Véronèse G. Mannoside recognition and degradation by bacteria. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc. Dec 2016. Read online

[2] Guillet V, Galandrin S, Maveyraud L, Ladevèze S, Mariaule V, Bon C, Eynard N, Daffé M, Marrakchi H, Mourey L. Insight into Structure-Function Relationships and Inhibition of the Fatty Acyl-AMP Ligase (FadD32) Orthologs from Mycobacteria. J Biol Chem 2016, 291(15):7973-89. Read online

[3] Cuskin F, Baslé A, Ladevèze S, Day AM, Gilbert HJ, Davies GJ, Potocki-Véronèse G, Lowe EC. The GH130 Family of Mannoside Phosphorylases Contains Glycoside Hydrolases That Target β-1,2-Mannosidic Linkages in Candida Mannan. J Biol Chem 2015, 290(41):25023-33. Read online

[4] Ladevèze S, Cioci G, Roblin P, Mourey L, Tranier S, Potocki-Véronèse G. Structural bases for N-glycan processing by mannoside phosphorylase. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr 2015, 71(Pt 6):1335-46. Read online

[5] Brissonnet Y, Ladevèze S, Tezé D, Fabre E, Deniaud D, Daligault F, Tellier C, Šesták S, Remaud-Simeon M, Potocki-Veronese G, Gouin SG. Polymeric iminosugars improve the activity of carbohydrate-processing enzymes. Bioconjug Chem 2015, 26(4):766-72. Read online

[6] Ladevèze S, Tarquis L, Cecchini DA, Bercovici J, André I, Topham CM, Morel S, Laville E, Monsan P, Lombard V, Henrissat B, Potocki-Véronèse G. Role of glycoside phosphorylases in mannose foraging by human gut bacteria. J Biol Chem 2013, 288(45):32370-83. Read online


Simon Ladevèze

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