Guillaume Francois Chanfreau, Ph.D.

Laboratory Address:
Young Hall 4034,4044

Work Address:
Young Hall 4054A

Lab Director, Chanfreau Lab
Professor, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology
Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Member, Gene Regulation GPB Home Area, Graduate Program in Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology, JCCC Gene Regulation Program Area, Molecular Biology Institute
Researcher, Biochemistry, Development and Gene Regulation, Proteomics and Bioinformatics
Research Interests
We are interested in how eukaryotic cells regulate their gene expression programs, focusing most particularly on the post-transcriptional steps. A first research topic in the laboratory is focused on the study the the S.cerevisiae homolog of RNase III, a model enzyme to understand the function of a double-stranded RNA endonuclease in the biology of eukaryotic cells. We have shown that this enzyme is implicated in the processing of a large number of non coding RNAs, as well as in the surveillance of many mRNAs, including some controlling iron uptake. Genomic studies are being performed to understand the genomic targets of this enzyme as well as other ribonucleases. A second research topic is focused on the biogenesis of small nucleolar ribonucleoprotein particles (snoRNPs). Box H/ACA snoRNPs are crucial molecules in the metabolism of ribosomal RNA, and this class of snoRNPs has gained widespread interest since it was discovered that mutations within H/ACA snoRNP components lead to the genetic disease dyskeratosis congenita. We have discovered a novel complex of two yeast proteins that are required for the biogenesis of box H/ACA snoRNPs. Our current work is focused on elucidating the mechanisms by which these proteins promote the assembly of the snoRNP.

Professor Chanfreau was born and raised in Paris France in 1968 and did his undergraduate studies in Lyon, France. He graduated in 1989, and then spent a year preparing for the highest competitive examination for teachers in France (Agregation), which he obtained in 1990. After a one-year hiatus in the army for his military service in the mountain infantry in the French alps, he started his graduate studies in 1991 at the Pasteur Institute in Paris to work on intron ribozymes with Dr Alain Jacquier. He graduated in 1995 and decided to go to San Francisco for his postdoctoral studies, to work with Christine Guthrie and learn yeast genetics. He went back to Paris in 1997 after obtaining a position of research scientist at the CNRS, but decided to go back to the US in 1999, when he joined the ranks of the faculty at UCLA. He married his wife Catherine in 2001, and they are raising two sons, Antoine, born in 2003 and Jeremy, born in 2005. Aside from research, teaching and raising his kids, Professor Chanfreau enjoys going scuba diving and making movies out of his dives. His favorite diving destinations are the "golden triangle" Galapagos-Cocos-Malpelo Island in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. His movies have been projected at several underwater film festivals.


A selected list of publications:

Lee Yueh-Jung, Lee Chrissie Young, Grzechnik Agnieszka, Gonzales-Zubiate Fernando, Vashisht Ajay A, Lee Albert, Wohlschlegel James, Chanfreau Guillaume F   RNA polymerase I stability couples cellular growth to metal availability Molecular cell, 2013; 51(1): 105-15.
Hartman Elon, Wang Zhonghua, Zhang Qi, Roy Kevin, Chanfreau Guillaume, Feigon Juli   Intrinsic dynamics of an extended hydrophobic core in the S. cerevisiae RNase III dsRBD contributes to recognition of specific RNA binding sites Journal of molecular biology, 2013; 425(3): 546-62.
Sayani Shakir, Chanfreau Guillaume F   Sequential RNA degradation pathways provide a fail-safe mechanism to limit the accumulation of unspliced transcripts in Saccharomyces cerevisiae RNA (New York, N.Y.), 2012; 18(8): 1563-72.
Lee Yueh-Jung, Huang Xinhe, Kropat Janette, Henras Anthony, Merchant Sabeeha S, Dickson Robert C, Chanfreau Guillaume F   Sphingolipid signaling mediates iron toxicity Cell metabolism, 2012; 16(1): 90-6.
Egecioglu Defne E, Kawashima Tadashi R, Chanfreau Guillaume F   Quality control of MATa1 splicing and exon skipping by nuclear RNA degradation Nucleic acids research, 2012; 40(4): 1787-96.
Koo Bon-Kyung, Park Chin-Ju, Fernandez Cesar F, Chim Nicholas, Ding Yi, Chanfreau Guillaume, Feigon Juli   Structure of H/ACA RNP protein Nhp2p reveals cis/trans isomerization of a conserved proline at the RNA and Nop10 binding interface Journal of molecular biology, 2011; 411(5): 927-42.
Wang Zhonghua, Hartman Elon, Roy Kevin, Chanfreau Guillaume, Feigon Juli   Structure of a yeast RNase III dsRBD complex with a noncanonical RNA substrate provides new insights into binding specificity of dsRBDs Structure (London, England : 1993), 2011; 19(7): 999-1010.
Toesca Isabelle, Nery Camille R, Fernandez Cesar F, Sayani Shakir, Chanfreau Guillaume F   Cryptic transcription mediates repression of subtelomeric metal homeostasis genes PLoS genetics, 2011; 7(6): e1002163.
Egecioglu Defne E, Chanfreau Guillaume   Proofreading and spellchecking: A two-tier strategy for pre-mRNA splicing quality control RNA (New York, N.Y.), 2011; 17(3): 383-9.
Chanfreau Guillaume F   A dual role for RNA splicing signals EMBO reports, 2010; 11(10): 720-1.
Chanfreau Guillaume   InvIGOrating mRNAs during Quiescence Molecular cell, 2010; 38(3): 317-8.
Kawashima Tadashi, Pellegrini Matteo, Chanfreau Guillaume F   Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay mutes the splicing defects of spliceosome component mutations RNA (New York, N.Y.), 2009; 15(12): 2236-47.
Singh Mahavir, Gonzales Fernando A, Cascio Duilio, Heckmann Nathanael, Chanfreau Guillaume, Feigon Juli   Structure and functional studies of the CS domain of the essential H/ACA ribonucleoparticle assembly protein SHQ1 The Journal of biological chemistry, 2009; 284(3): 1906-16.
Sayani Shakir, Janis Michael, Lee Chrissie Young, Toesca Isabelle, Chanfreau Guillaume F   Widespread impact of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay on the yeast intronome Molecular cell, 2008; 31(3): 360-70.
Merchant Sabeeha S, et al.   The Chlamydomonas genome reveals the evolution of key animal and plant functions Science, 2007; 318(5848): 245-50.
Oberstrass Florian C, Lee Albert, Stefl Richard, Janis Michael, Chanfreau Guillaume, Allain Frederic HT   Shape-specific recognition in the structure of the Vts1p SAM domain with RNA Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol, 2006; 13(2): 160-7.
Egecioglu Defne E, Henras Anthony K, Chanfreau Guillaume F   Contributions of Trf4p- and Trf5p-dependent polyadenylation to the processing and degradative functions of the yeast nuclear exosome RNA, 2006; 12(1): 26-32.
Chanfreau Guillaume F   CUTting genetic noise by polyadenylation-induced RNA degradation Trends Cell Biol, 2005; 15(12): 635-7.
Henras Anthony K, Sam Mui, Hiley Shawna L, Wu Haihong, Hughes Timothy R, Feigon Juli, Chanfreau Guillaume F   Biochemical and genomic analysis of substrate recognition by the double-stranded RNA binding domain of yeast RNase III RNA, 2005; 11(8): 1225-37.
Zer Cindy, Chanfreau Guillaume   Regulation and surveillance of normal and 3'-extended forms of the yeast aci-reductone dioxygenase mRNA by RNase III cleavage and exonucleolytic degradation J. Biol. Chem, 2005; 280(32): 28997-9003.
Lee Albert, Henras Anthony K, Chanfreau Guillaume   Multiple RNA surveillance pathways limit aberrant expression of iron uptake mRNAs and prevent iron toxicity in S. cerevisiae Mol. Cell, 2005; 19(1): 39-51.
Yang Pok Kwan, Hoareau Coralie, Froment Carine, Monsarrat Bernard, Henry Yves, Chanfreau Guillaume   Cotranscriptional recruitment of the pseudouridylsynthetase Cbf5p and of the RNA binding protein Naf1p during H/ACA snoRNP assembly Mol. Cell. Biol, 2005; 25(8): 3295-304.
Sam Mui, Henras Anthony K, Chanfreau Guillaume   A conserved major groove antideterminant for Saccharomyces cerevisiae RNase III recognition Biochemistry, 2005; 44(11): 4181-7.
Sam Mui, Hwang Jung H, Chanfreau Guillaume, Abu-Omar Mahdi M   Hydroxyl radical is the active species in photochemical DNA strand scission by bis(peroxo)vanadium(V) phenanthroline Biochemistry, 2004; 43(26): 8447-55.
Henras Anthony K, Bertrand Edouard, Chanfreau Guillaume   A cotranscriptional model for 3'-end processing of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae pre-ribosomal RNA precursor RNA, 2004; 10(10): 1572-85.
Wu Haihong, Henras Anthony, Chanfreau Guillaume, Feigon Juli   Structural basis for recognition of the AGNN tetraloop RNA fold by the double-stranded RNA-binding domain of Rnt1p RNase III Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A, 2004; 101(22): 8307-12.
Lee Chrissie Young, Lee Albert, Chanfreau Guillaume   The roles of endonucleolytic cleavage and exonucleolytic digestion in the 5'-end processing of S. cerevisiae box C/D snoRNAs RNA, 2003; 9(11): 1362-70.
Chanfreau Guillaume   Conservation of RNase III processing pathways and specificity in hemiascomycetes Eukaryotic Cell, 2003; 2(5): 901-9.
Danin-Kreiselman Michal, Lee Chrissie Young, Chanfreau Guillaume   RNAse III-mediated degradation of unspliced pre-mRNAs and lariat introns Mol. Cell, 2003; 11(5): 1279-89.
Yang Pok Kwan, Rotondo Giuseppe, Porras Tanya, Legrain Pierre, Chanfreau Guillaume   The Shq1p.Naf1p complex is required for box H/ACA small nucleolar ribonucleoprotein particle biogenesis The Journal of biological chemistry, 2002; 277(47): 45235-42.