Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire

SFBBM - Dina Surdin Prize 2018

Clément Charenton

Clément Charenton, 29 y.o., studied biology at École Normale Supérieure de Cachan. He specialised in structural biology and biochemistry during his Master Degree “biomolecular engineering” at Paris Sud University. He then obtained his PhD at the biochemistry lab of École Polytechnique, under the supervision of Marc Graille.

During his PhD he described the molecular basis for the control of mRNA decapping, a biological process that commits messenger RNAs to degradation through elimination of their protective 5’ cap. Clément combined x-ray crystallography with biochemistry and molecular biology (in collaboration with the group of Bertrand Séraphin). He defined how the decapping enzyme Dcp2 is recruited to its mRNA substrates and coordinated with the exonuclease Xrn1, which degrades decapped mRNAs. His work also revealed the first structure of the decapping enzyme Dcp2 in an active conformation bound to two activators and its reaction product. This structure has rationalised a decade of functional studies on the decapping enzyme.
Clément has now joined the group of Kiyoshi Nagai (MRC-LMB, Cambridge, UK) to study the spliceosome using cryoEM.