Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire, CNRS, Orléans, France

M. Spotheim-Maurizot

website: http://web.cnrs-orleans.fr/%7Ewebcbm/charlier/mch-an4.htm

Our team studies the effects of ionising radiations on biomolecules : DNA and proteins. The study of these molecules in a controlled environment allows to approach the molecular mechanisms of the radiation-induced damage and to understand the influence of various cellular components (natural scavengers, intermolecular interactions) on the outcome of irradiations. It allows to follow and to explain the modulation of the damage distribution by structural factors such as the DNA and protein conformation and the structure of their complexes with various ligands. Moreover, the consequences of DNA and protein damage on their conformation and functional properties such as their binding to large and small molecules, allostery,…can be observed and explained. The radioprotection of DNA and of the proteins by small ligands and their mutual radioprotection inside DNA-protein complexes can be revealed, quantified and explained.

The study of the radiation-induced damage on DNA and protein molecules allows also to follow and to explain the differences of biological effects of low and high LET radiations.

Thus the topics of our present and future research are:

Radiation-induced damage to proteins involved in DNA structuring and gene regulation: identification of damages, role of protein structure, structure of damaged proteins, consequences on DNA binding.

Radiation-induced damage to DNA-protein complexes: survival of the complexes, inducer efficiency, role of the structure of the complex, occurrence of new complexes, mutual radioprotection of partners.

Comparison of damages induced by low (gamma rays) and high LET (fast neutrons, argon ions) radiations in DNA, proteins and DNA-protein complexes.

The research team involves two groups of CBM-CNRS, Orléans, France : one directed by M. Charlier  and one directed by F. Culard. We are directly collaborating with the group of M. Begusova at the Nuclear Physics Institute, Prague, Czech Republic.

COST P9 Workings group(s) of interest: WG3