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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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François Lecointe

François Lecointe
Researcher (CR1)

Present position

Researcher at INRA in the Phage team of the Micalis institute

Key words

Bacterial and phage genome dynamic, DNA recombination, double strand breaks repair, end joining, genetic and physical interactions

Scientific goals

My scientific project leads to the understanding, at the molecular level, of DNA recombination mechanisms responsible for the genome dynamic in bacteria and their phages, with a focus on pathways able to repair DNA double strand breaks, the most genotoxic DNA lesions that cells can encounter and a prerequisite to DNA recombination events. My research focuses particularly on two DSB repair mechanisms: the non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and the single strand annealing (SSA), an alternative end joining pathway. I also have a particular interest for the cross-talk between bacterial and phage DNA repair mechanisms and want to highlight if bacteria (or phages) have hijacked phage- (or bacterial) DNA recombination pathways for their own interest.  Our general approach consists in purifying and characterizing proteins of interest, identifying the protein and/ or DNA interacting with them, studying effect of inactivation of genes of interest and finally understanding the function of these genetic and physical interactions in vivo.

Scientific career

2015    Researcher at INRA, Jouy en Josas, Micalis Unit in the Dr M.A. Petit team. Study of end joining mechanisms of temperate phages in E. coli.

2007    Researcher at INRA, Jouy en Josas, Micalis Unit in the Dr. P. Noirot team. Dynamic study of multi-protein complexes involved in genome expression in B. subtilis. Characterization of the molecular mechanism of the illegitimate recombination in B.subtilis

2004    Researcher at INRA, Jouy en Josas, Génétique Microbienne Unit in the Dr. P. Polard team. Identification of SSB-interacting proteins in B. subtilis and characterization of the role of these interactions in genome dynamic

2004    Post-doctoral period: 3 months at Paris XI University, Orsay, Pr. H. van Tilbeurgh team. Structural study of the DNA topoisomerase VI of archae and of the DNA polymerase X of D. radiodurans

2002    Post-doctoral period: 2 years at Paris XI University, Orsay, Pr. S. Sommer team, Study of the radioresistance mechanism in D. radiodurans

1998    PhD at CNRS, laboratoire d’Enzymologie et Biochimie Structurales, Gif/Yvette, Dr H. Grojean team. Study of tRNA nucleotide modification enzymes and their roles in the cellular metabolism of S. cerevisiae


PhD in Microbiology obtained in Paris VI University, France

Five typical publlications

Multiple and Variable NHEJ-Like Genes Are Involved in Resistance to DNA Damage in Streptomyces ambofaciens. (2016) Hoff G, Bertrand C, Zhang L, Piotrowski E, Chipot L, Bontemps C, Confalonieri F, McGovern S, Lecointe F, Thibessard A, Leblond P. Front Microbiol.7:1901.

C-terminal region of bacterial Ku controls DNA bridging, DNA threading and recruitment of DNA ligase D for double strand breaks repair. (2016) McGovern S, Baconnais S, Roblin P, Nicolas P, Drevet P, Simonson H, Piétrement O, Charbonnier JB, Le Cam E, Noirot P, Lecointe F. Nucleic Acids Res. pii: gkw149