Scientific objectives

 

The goal of project DYNAMO is an in-depth understanding of the biogenesis of energy-transducing membranes by integrating knowledge from research devoted to the regulation of gene expression, to structural and membrane biology and to bioenergetics. The project focuses on three major areas through three distinct but complementary tasks:

Task 1: Gene expression from bacteria to organelles

The principal goal of Task 1 is the comparison of post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in bacteria (Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Synechocystis sp.) and organelles (principally cp in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) with four main sub-tasks: A comparison of the mechanisms and regulation of mRNA decay and translation in cp and bacteria; an investigation of the potential role of small regulatory RNAs in controlling cp gene expression; a comparison of global networks controlling gene expression at the post-transcriptional level in bacteria and cp.

Task 2: Membrane biogenesis and dynamics

The main objective of Task 2 is to compare the dynamics and biogenesis of membrane systems across evolution in three biological models: Escherichia coli, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii chloroplasts, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondria. In yeast, we study of a family of ancestral large GTPases that modulate fission and fusion of lipid bilayers, the Dynamin Related Proteins (DRPs), with particular emphasis on their role in membrane fusion. Following the recommendation of the 2015 mid-term review, we have extended our focus on structure-function studies of key membrane proteins involved in transport and signalling.

Task 3: Supramolecular organization of membrane proteins and membranes

The main aim of DYNAMO Task 3 is to provide an integrated view of the electron transfer chain by coupling structural and functional studies going from the electron to the supramolecular organisation of complexes. Our goal is to better understand the individual players in electron transfer in the b6f complex from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and the Rieske/cytb complex of Bacillus subtilis and the importance of quinones in bioenergetic membranes.

 

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