[phenixbb] Postdoctoral position in Grenoble, France - Living deep

Eric Girard eric.girard at ibs.fr
Fri Mar 25 03:45:45 PDT 2011

*Living deep: Structural basis of piezophilic adaptation*
ELMA group. Institut de Biologie Structurale J.-P. Ebel -- Grenoble -- 

We are recruiting a post-doctoral scientist interested in life 
adaptation to extreme conditions. The position is for 2 years and is 
funded by the french national agency for research (ANR)

A high-pressure environment characterizes our planet. For more than 60 % 
of the biosphere pressure is greater than 100 bars and it can reach 1000 
bars in the deepest sea trenches, like the Marianna's trench. However, 
in these extreme conditions, a vast biodiversity of adapted 
micro-organisms (piezophiles) can be encountered. So far, the molecular 
mechanisms that facilitate proteins function under high pressure remain 
obscurs. Beside interests to understand fundamental protein folding 
processes and life evolution, this information is essential to develop 
biotechnological application from deep sea enzymes.
This work will be performed in the framework of a collaborative network 
including ENS Lyon and IFREMER-UBO in Brest in which a new archaeon from 
the Pyroccoccus phylum was recently discovered and was called Pyrococcus 
yayanosii CH1. This microbe is the first obligate piezophile as it is 
only able to grow under pressure (optimal growth: 98°C and 520 bars).
The project is based on the study of two protein families, for which the 
biochemistry is well handled by the team: large peptidases complexes and 
lactate/malate dehydrogenase (LDH/MalDH). These proteins play key roles 
in metabolic adaptation to deep sea ecosystem and allow combining 
structural approaches (protein crystallography, small-angle 
scattering...) and biochemical approaches (oligomer stability, enzymatic 
activity measurements...). The candidate will study the molecular 
effects of high pressure/temperature by comparing the structural and 
functional properties of different proteases and
LDH/MalDH from Thermococcus and Pyrococcus phylums (including Pyrococcus 
yayanossi CH1) isolated at various water depths.

The ELMA team possesses a fully-fledged wet laboratory for all 
biochemical steps and the project will benefit from privileged access to 
large facilities (synchrotron and neutron sources) as well as from 
latest developments in high-pressure biophysics: high-pressure protein 
crystallography, for which the ELMA team is a world leader, small-angle 
x-ray scattering under high-pressure, UV-Visible spectrophotometer and 
fluorimeter both equipped with a high-pressure vessel.

The candidate should have a background in biochemistry with a strong 
interest in structural approaches or a physico-chemistry background with 
a strong interest for biophysics.
Candidatures, including CV, intention letter and the names and contact 
information of referees, as well as informal inquiries should be sent to 
Eric Girard (eric.girard at ibs.fr) and Bruno Franzetti (bruno.franzetti 
at ibs.fr).

Relevant publications from the team:
Coquelle et al (2007) Activity, stability and structural studies of 
lactate dehydrogenases adapted to extreme thermal environments. J Mol 
Biol 374: 547-562.
Dura et al (2009) The structural and biochemical characterizations of a 
novel TET peptidase complex from Pyrococcus horikoshii reveal an 
integrated peptide degradation system in hyperthermophilic Archaea. Mol 
Microbiol 72: 26-40.
Girard et al. (2011). Structure-function perturbation and dissociation 
of tetrameric urate oxidase by high-hydrostatic pressure. Biophys J 98: 


Eric Girard
Extremophiles and Large Macromolecular Assemblies (ELMA) group
Institut de Biologie Structurale J.-P. Ebel
41, Rue Jules Horowitz
38027 Grenoble Cedex 1, France
Web site:http://www.ibs.fr/


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