Centro Andaluz de Biología Molecular y Medicina Regenerativa
Hélène Gaillard

Email: helene.gaillard@cabimer.es

Main Research Lines:

  1. Temporal and spatial regulation of the repair of bulky and oxidative DNA lesions
  2. Cellular responses to DNA and RNA damage

Many cellular processes including transcription, replication and DNA repair occur concomitantly in living cells and their correct coordination requires still poorly understood cross-talk mechanisms. I am interested in deciphering the mechanisms acting at the interface between these basic processes therewith safeguarding cellular integrity.

After my Ph.D at the Swiss Federal Technology School in Zürich (ETHZ, Switzerland; under the supervision of Prof. Fritz Thoma) working on the impact of nucleosome packaging and remodelling on the repair of UV-induced DNA lesions in vitro, I joined the team of Prof. Andrés Aguilera at the University of Seville (Spain) to study the implication of the THO complex and other RNA biogenesis factors in transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair (TC-NER) in budding yeast. Beside this primary research line, I started to assess the existence of an RNA-damage specific response and discovered that RNA accumulates in cytoplasmic granules upon UV irradiation. In 2011, I became Assistant Professor at the University of Seville and co-founded Suntec solar S.L., a Spin-off company of the University of Seville dedicated to the development of intelligent UV-filter to be used in cosmetics. I consolidated my expertise on the cross-talks between DNA repair, transcription, and replication in eukaryotic cells as a Senior Investigator at the CABIMER.

Since January 2019, I am Associate Professor at the University of Seville and work in close collaboration with Prof. Ralf Wellinger. We have recently discovered that manganese is a physiologically relevant TORC1 activator both in yeast and human and are developing new common research lines on the spatio-temporal regulation of transcription, replication, and DNA repair upon oxidative damage. Any failure in the cellular ‘signalling interactome’ promotes human disease and aging, and the final goal of my research is to understand the basic mechanisms behind metabolic changes and genome integrity. This knowledge is required to exploit novel therapeutic options or the repositioning of known drugs.

ORCID: 0000-0002-5740-0641

ResearcherID: 6603013625

Scopus: 6603013625

Projects (past 5 years)

– P20-RT-01220. Un enfoque fosfoproteómico hacia la comprensión y el tratamiento de una enfermedad rara. Junta de Andalucía (Programa de ayudas a la I+D+i en el ámbito del PAIDI 2020, convocatoria 2020). Principal investigator: Ralf Erik Wellinger. Universidad de Sevilla. 05/10/2021-30/06/2023.

– 2019/00000747. Dinámica de la cromatina y dependencia del ciclo celular en la reparación por escisión de nucleótidos. Universidad de Sevilla (VI Plan Propio de Investigación y Transferencia). Principal investigator: Hélène Gaillard. Universidad de Sevilla. 01/10/2019-31/12/2019.

– 2018/00000495. Análisis molecular y funcional de nuevos factores implicados en la reparación por escisión de nucleótidos. Universidad de Sevilla (VI Plan Propio de Investigación y Transferencia). Principal investigator: Hélène Gaillard. Universidad de Sevilla. 01/06/2018-31/12/2018.

– ERC2014-0015 Advanced. R-loops as a major modulator of transcription-associated recombination and chromatin dynamics. European Research Council. Principal investigator: Andrés Aguilera López. Universidad de Sevilla. 01/12/2015-30/11/2020.

– 15/0098. RNA-DNA hybrids as a source of genome instability in cancer. Worldwide Cancer Research (formerly known as AICR). Principal investigator: Andrés Aguilera López. Universidad de Sevilla. 01/01/2015-31/12/2017.

– P11-CTS-7962. Protección ante el Daño Celular Causado por la Luz Solar: Valoración de Nuevos Filtros UV. Junta de Andalucía (Proyecto de Excelencia 2011). Principal investigator: Ralf Erik Wellinger. Universidad de Sevilla. 26/03/2013-31/12/2017.

Publications (past 10 years)

– Nicastro, R.*, GAILLARD H*., Zarzuela, L., Péli-Gulli M-P., Fernández-García E., Tomé M., Garía-Rodríguez N., Durán R.V., De Virgilio C. and Wellinger, R.E. 2022 Manganese is a Physiologically Relevant TORC1 Activator in Yeast and Mammals. *co-first authors. Preprint available at https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.12.09.471923.

– Kosar, M., Giannattasio M., Piccini D., Maya-Mendoza A., García-Benítez F., Bartkova J., Barroso S.I., GAILLARD H., Martini E., Restuccia U., Ramirez-Otero M.A., Garre M., Verga E., Andújar-Sánchez M., Maynard S., Hodny Z., Costanzo V., Kumar A., Bachi A., Aguilera A., Bartek J. and Foiani M. 2021. The human nucleoporin Tpr protects cells from RNA-mediated replication stress. Nature Communications, 12:3937.

GAILLARD H*., Santos-Pereira J.M. and Aguilera A*. 2019. The Nup84 complex coordinates the DNA damage response to warrant genome integrity. Nucleic Acids Research, 47:4054-4067. *corresponding authors

Access the recommendation on F1000Prime

GAILLARD H*., García-Benítez F. and Aguilera A*. 2018. Gene gating at nuclear pores prevents the formation of R loops. Molecular and Cellular Oncology 5: e1405140. *corresponding authors

– García-Benítez F., GAILLARD H*. and Aguilera A*. 2017. Physical proximity of chromatin to nuclear pores prevents harmful R loop accumulation contributing to maintain genome stability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114:10942-10947. *corresponding authors

GAILLARD H. and Aguilera A. 2016. Transcription as a threat to genome integrity. Annual Review of Biochemistry 85:291-317.

GAILLARD H., García-Muse T. and Aguilera A. 2015. Replication stress and cancer. Nature Reviews Cancer 15:276-289.

– Aguilera A. and GAILLARD H. 2014. Transcription and recombination: when RNA meets DNA. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology 6: a016543.

GAILLARD H. and Aguilera A. 2014. Cleavage factor I links transcripiton termination to DNA damage response and genome integrity maintenance in Saccharomyces cerevisae. PLoS Genetics 10: e1004203.

GAILLARD H., Herrera-Moyano E. and Aguilera A. 2013. Transcription-associated genome instability. Chemical Reviews 113: 8638-8661.

GAILLARD H*. and Aguilera A . 2013. Transcription coupled repair at the interface between transcription elongation and mRNP biogenesis. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Gene Regulatory Mechanisms 1829: 141-150. *corresponding author