Chemistry of biological processes
Collège de France, Paris

Diector : Professor Marc Fontecave

The research unit is connected to the Chemistry Department of the University Pierre et Marie Curie.

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The research projects of the laboratory join in the field of molecular chemistry, inorganic (coordination and organometallic chemistry) and biological (protein chemistry). They involve the implementation of skills in chemical, organic and inorganic, synthesis, in chemical analysis (electrochemistry in particular) and in catalysis, as well as in enzymology and in structural biology. An important activity of crystallization of proteins and determination of their three-dimensional structures leans on a platform of high technicality (glove boxes, robots, microscopes).
The studied systems are complex enzymes which display interesting and original structural organizations and chemical reactivities (enzymatic mechanisms). They have potential applications in particular in the field of the health, energy and biocatalysis. Few examples of projects are those concerning natural and artificial hydrogenases (project 1), enzymes (flavoproteins and metalloenzymes) involved in the biosynthesis of ubiquinone (project 2) or enzymes of maturation of nucleic acids (project 3). 
These systems, more particularly their active sites, constitute unique sources of inspiration for the synthetic chemists. This biomimetic or bioinspired chemistry approach allows to develop original catalysts, in particular for applications in the field of the new energy technologies. The objective is to work out electrodes and photoelectrodes for technological devices for storage of renewable energies (solar) through the (photo) decomposition of water into hydrogen and oxygen or through the reduction of the CO2 in energy-dense carbon molecules.

The research projects of the unity are the following ones:

Research project 1

Artificial Photosynthesis: Transformation of Water and Carbon Dioxide into Fuels

Group Leader: Marc Fontecave

Permanent staff involved in the projectCaroline Mellot-Draznieks (DR 2 CNRS), Yun Xu-Li (IR HC CNRS), Philippe Simon (IR 2 CNRS), Victor Mougel (CR 2 CNRS), Maria Gomez-Mingot (IR CDF), Ludovic Pecqueur (IR CDF) and Marc Fontecave (Pr CDF)

Students (PhD and post-docs)Thibault Fogeron, Grégoire Paille, Dilan Karapinar, Cecilia Papini, Ngoc Huan Tran, Tanya Todorova, David Wakerley, Sarah Lamaison, Hemlata Agarwala, Ahmed Mouchfik, Laura Ellezam, Yifan Deng

Project Overview  [1998.0Ko]

Research project 2

Multi-protein complex for ubiquinone biosynthesis: biochemical and structural studies

Permanent staff involved in the project: Murielle Lombard, Ludovic Pecqueur, Bruno Faivre, Marc Fontecave

Students (PhD and post-docs)Cameron Fyfe, Chau-Duy-Tam Vo

Project overview  [1016.0Ko]

Research project 3

RNA maturation enzymes

Permanent staff involved in the project: Béatrice Golinelli-Pimpaneau, Djemel Hamdane, Murielle Lombard, Bruno Faivre, Marc Fontecave

Students (PhD and post-docs): Ornella Bimai

Project overview  [2188.0Ko]

Team Members

Laboratoire Fontecave - 2016