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Laboratory of Interactions Protein-Metal

Published on 8 July 2015

At the worldwide level, energy production is presently based for a large part on fossil resources and nuclear industry. Considering the increasing societal demand concerning environmental issues associated with energy production, it is necessary to investigate the consequences of these industries on living organisms. In line with the scientific policy of the CEA, and notably within the context of the CEA's "Toxicologie" transverse program, the Laboratory of Protein-Metal Interactions develops research in the field of environmental nuclear toxicology. Our main objectives are to better understand the consequences of bacteria exposure to radionuclides, determine molecular determinants of the speciation of the toxic species of interest in cells and at the protein level, and to develop innovative biotechnologies for biodetection and bioremediation strategies.

The objectives of the Laboratory are:

  • The analysis of the response of environmental bacteria to the exposure to radionuclides, in particular Uranium. Currently, studied environmental bacteria are soil's bacteria from naturally uranium-rich environments and bacteria isolated from a waste-storage trench of the exclusion zone of Tchernobyl.
  • The analysis of proteins targets of radionuclides and of structural determinants of metal sites properties in (metallo)proteins
  • The engineering of chelating peptides/proteins specific of radionucleides -in particular uranium- for biodetection or bioremediation purposes.

Technicals :

These projects are developed by a multidisciplinary approach of microbial ecology, genetics, genomics, biochemistry, biophysics (spectroscopy UV-Vis, fluorescence, infra-red spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, microcalorimetry).

Head of laboratory :
Catherine Berthomieu
Centre CEA Cadarache, Bât 185, 13 108 St Paul lez Durance Cedex
Tel : ​04 42 25 43 84