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Telomere & Genome Stability


Our group is interested in the molecular bases of the cellular response to DNA damage and telomere dysfunction. Typical responses include repair of the damage, adaptation to checkpoint activation or cell death. We investigate the cell-to-cell variations in these processes and aim at characterizing their molecular underpinning and functional consequences for genome stability. To do so, we use interdisciplinary approaches combining molecular biology, genetics and mathematical modeling with single-cell methods, such as microfluidics coupled to fluorescent microscopy.

We use two microorganisms as models: the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

Specific topics covered by our research include:

  • Adaptation to DNA damage, its heterogeneity and contribution to genome instability in yeast;
  • Function of the Polo kinase Cdc5 in response to DNA damage;
  • Mathematical modeling of the response to DNA damage;
  • Characterization of replicative senescence at the single-cell level and telomerase-independent survivors, in both yeast and Chlamydomonas;
Selected Publications
Coutelier H, Ilioaia O, Le Peillet J, Hamon M, D'Amours D, Teixeira MTeresa, Xu Z. The Polo kinase Cdc5 is regulated at multiple levels in the adaptation response to telomere dysfunction. Genetics. (2022).
Roux P, Salort D, Xu Z. Adaptation to DNA damage as a bet-hedging mechanism in a fluctuating environment. R Soc Open Sci. 8(8), pp.210460 (2021).
Chaux F, O'Donnell S, Craig RJ, Eberhard S, Vallon O, Xu Z. Architecture and evolution of subtelomeres in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Nucleic Acids Res. pp.2021.01.29.428817 (2021).
Martin H, Doumic M, Teixeira MTeresa, Xu Z. Telomere shortening causes distinct cell division regimes during replicative senescence in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Cell Biosci. 11(1), pp.180 (2021).
Xu Z, Teixeira MTeresa. The many types of heterogeneity in replicative senescence. Yeast. (ja), (2019).
Coutelier H, Xu Z. Adaptation in replicative senescence: a risky business. Curr Genet. (2019).
Eberhard S, Valuchova S, Ravat J, Fulneček J, Jolivet P, Bujaldon S, Lemaire SD, Wollman F-A, Teixeira MTeresa, Riha K, Xu Z. Molecular characterization of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii telomeres and telomerase mutants. Life Science Alliance. 2, (2019).
Coutelier H, Xu Z, Morisse MChenda, Lhuillier-Akakpo M, Pelet S, Charvin G, Dubrana K, Teixeira MTeresa. Adaptation to DNA damage checkpoint in senescent telomerase-negative cells promotes genome instability. Genes Dev. 32(23-24), pp.1499-1513 (2018).
Eugène S, Bourgeron T, Xu Z. Effects of initial telomere length distribution on senescence onset and heterogeneity. J Theor Biol. 413, pp.58-65 (2017).
Bourgeron T, Xu Z, Doumic M, Teixeira MTeresa. The asymmetry of telomere replication contributes to replicative senescence heterogeneity. Sci Rep. 5, pp.15326 (2015).
Xu Z, Fallet E, Paoletti C, Fehrmann S, Charvin G, Teixeira MTeresa. Two routes to senescence revealed by real-time analysis of telomerase-negative single lineages. Nat Commun. 6, pp.7680 (2015).
Xu Z, Duc KDao, Holcman D, Teixeira MTeresa. The length of the shortest telomere as the major determinant of the onset of replicative senescence. Genetics. 194(4), pp.847-57 (2013).

Open Positions