Objectives

Science

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 coliBacillus 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 b6complex from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and the Rieske/cytb complex of Bacillus subtilis and the importance of quinones in bioenergetic membranes.

Teaching

DYNAMO also has a mission to teach and to nurture the development of the next generation of young scientists. Members of the consortium are involved in teaching efforts all the way from high-school to Masters level courses. In addition to these courses, we teach practival modules in our own labs to expose budding scientists to the excitement and rigors of working at the bench. DYNAMO scientists are members of three different Parisian universities, Sorbonne UniversitéUniversité de Paris and Paris-Sciences-et-Lettres. Added to the renowned public education efforts provided by the Collège de France and the top tier higher level education provided by the Ecole Normale Supérieure, our teaching efforts cover a broad swath of the south Paris area. Since its inception, DYNAMO has progressively increased its teaching activities at Masters level and has so far trained about 150 students in structural biology, bioenergetics, microbiology, chemistry, molecular and synthetic biology. Our teaching activities have access to advanced facilities such as the unique display wall at Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique. Our vision is that mutualisation is the best way to offer high-level Masters level training by top scientists independently of their institutional origin.