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Home > Departments > Genome Biology > Dominique FOURMY : Structure and dynamics of RNA

Dominique FOURMY : Group Presentation

We are working at the interface of several disciplines. Our current work focuses on understanding protein synthesis using molecular and structural approaches with some new developments in nanotechnology.

Research interests

Translation is a key process in biology and it finalizes gene expression. A large ribonucleoprotein particle called the ribosome is responsible for decoding the genetic code written on the mRNA and synthetizing the corresponding polypeptides. In bacteria, the multistep process of translation is the target of most of the clinically used antibiotics. Bacterial drug resistance has become a serious threat to human health and even the best bactericidal antibiotics can be inefficient against dormant bacteria. Therefore it is crucial to understand better how currently available antibiotics kill bacteria. We are interested in discovering the mechanism of action of some of the most commonly used antibiotics. We are combining different tools from molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry and fluorescence microscopy.

For eukaryotes, protein synthesis is mainly regulated at the step of initiation rather than during the phases of elongation and termination. This mechanism allows a strict control of gene expression. Translation initiation is a complex process where more than 10 factors are involved. We are investigating the mechanism of action of some of these factors and how they regulate initiation.

Finally, it is essential to characterize translation in live cells and we are developing new tools toward this goal. Ribosome is essential to life and understanding its function at the molecular level will impact biology and medicine. Our study of translation is linked with antimicrobial therapy, cancer and cell infection by retroviruses.

mRNA recognition by winged-helix domains of elongation factor SelB.
Digital cell free protein synthesis from single DNA molecules in microchamber arrays.Scale bar is 50 µm.

Key Words :

Translation, ribosome, antibiotic, initiation, antibiotherapy, nanotechnology, microscopy, fluorescence.

Contacts :


FOURMY Dominique [Senior Researcher - CNRS]
Structure and dynamics of RNA [Leader]
01 69 82 38 84 Gif - Bât 26


YOSHIZAWA Satoko [Senior Researcher - CNRS]
Structure and dynamics of RNA
01 69 82 38 84 Gif - Bât 26

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