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Team 4 : Maintenance and segregation of the mitochondrial genome

Team leader : José GUALBERTO

Research topics

  • Mitochondrial genome dynamics and maintenance (more)
  • Mitochondrial transfection (more)
  • Mitochondrial regulation, cross-talk and reverse genetics (more)

IBMP web site of the team

Role in MitoCross

First goal

The plant mitochondrial gene sequences evolve very slowly. This is supposedly because plant mitochondria contain an active DNA recombination system that allows copy correction of mutations. This system promotes a dynamic structure of the mitochondrial genome, but with a tight control by specific nuclear-encoded factors. We aim to characterize the recombination mechanisms involved in the dynamics and repair of the mitochondrial DNA in plants.

Second goal

At the heart of the recombination system of plant mitochondria there are RecA proteins encoded by nuclear genes of prokaryotic origin that were lost in animal lineages and recombination seems to be rare in mammalian mitochondria. We aim to provide mitochondria of human cell lines with plant mitochondrial RecAs and promote recombination-mediated copy correction, in particular for pathogenic mutations in the organelle DNA.

Third goal

The team discovered the natural competence of mitochondria for DNA import and established the functionality of the imported DNA. On that basis, we will develop mitochondrial transfection in model plant and human cell lines, using DNA-binding mitochondriotropic nanocarriers as a vehicle to introduce functional gene constructs into the cells and drive the DNA towards the organelles, with special reference to complementation of pathogenic mutations in the mitochondrial DNA.

Fourth goal

Exploiting the mitochondrial tRNA import pathway, the team established a system to target customized RNAs into the organelles in vivo. Targeting a catalytic RNA allowed, for the first time in a higher eukaryote, the directed knockdown of a mitochondrial RNA. With this strategy, we want to manipulate plant mitochondrial RNA levels for regulation studies, reverse genetics and control of cytoplasmic male sterility. We also aim to extend in vivo RNA shuttling to the mitochondria in mammalian cells.


Current members

Former members

Déborah Schatz, PhD Student Mitocross, thèse de Doctorat soutenue le 21Juin 2021
Arnaud Fertet, PhD Student, CIFRE, Thèse de Doctorat soutenue le 17 Septembre 2020
Nicolas Chevigny, PhD Student, LabEx MitoCross,Thèse de Doctorat soutenue le 14 Juin 2019
André Dietrich DR CNRS retired since 2018
Pierre Mercier, contractuel LabEx MitoCross till November 2016
Clémentine Wallet, LabEx MitoCross, Thèse de Doctorat soutenue le 26 Avril 2016
Monique Leret retired since 2014

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Dec 7 2023

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