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Transcriptional regulation of the rod-specific transcription factor, Nrl

Abstract : The Neural Retina Leucine zipper transcription factor (Nrl) plays a central role in rod photoreceptor development and homeostasis, by activating the expression of rod-specific genes such as the visual photopigment, Rhodopsin. Nrlhave been also associated with Retinitis Pigmentosa, making this gene an interesting model for understanding genetic programs controlling photoreceptors development and homeostasis.This thesis work aimed at characterizing regulatory mechanisms of Nr/ expression during retinal development. Using in vivo electroporation of reporter vectors carrying distinct portions of Nrlpromoter into neonatal mouse retina, we identified minimal sequences required for expression photoreceptors-specific expression. We identified RORI3 as being required for this expression and showed that OTX2, CRX and CREB transcription factors also directly bind to the defined regulatory regions.We designed a novel adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector containing a minimal Nrl promoter fragment of 0.3 kb, and showed that it is well-suited for gene delivery specifically into photoreceptors.We also showed that NRL, CRX, and NR2E3, the main transcriptional regulators of Rhodopsin, display rhythmic expression over 24 h. and that Nrl might undergo cyclic activation by RORB which is part of the photoreceptor circadian clock. Finally, we investigated the role of a novel Rhodopsin transcriptional regulator, NonO, identified in theRhodopsin proximal promoter region. We demonstrated that NonO co-activates Rhodopsin promoter along with NRL and CRX. By knocking down this gene during retinal development we provided evidence for its role in rod development and homeostasis.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 11:07:09 AM
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Marie Audrey Kautzmann. Transcriptional regulation of the rod-specific transcription factor, Nrl. Neurobiology. Université de Strasbourg, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012STRAJ060⟩. ⟨tel-00790423⟩

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