Etude des fonctions cellulaires de SAMHD1, facteur de restriction du VIH-1

Abstract : Understanding host pathogen interactions reveals not only important information regarding the replication cycle of the pathogen but it often leads to the discovery and better understanding of key biological processes of the host. The aim of my PhD was to decipher the cellular functions of the HIV-1 restriction factor SAMHD1. SAMHD1 (SAM domain and HD domain-containing protein 1) is expressed in most human tissues. This protein is able to hydrolyze cellular deoxyribonucleotides triphosphate (dNTP) and possesses a nuclease activity primarily against single stranded RNA. Mutations in SAMHD1 have been described in patients suffering from an auto-immune disease causing premature death of newborns. This phenotype suggests a role of SAMHD1 in the control of immune response. Moreover, SAMHD1 restricts HIV-1 in non-cycling cells. The HIV-2 accessory protein Vpx induces SAMHD1 degradation by the proteasome, conferring cell permissiveness to HIV. In fact, the antiviral activity of SAMHD1 has been extended to other viruses including Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and Hepatitis B virus. Nevertheless, the mechanism by which SAMHD1 restrict HIV replication is debated. It was initially thought to act by depleting the dNTP pool but recent studies highlighted a potential role of SAMHD1 nuclease function in degrading HIV-1 genomic RNA. Many studies aiming at understanding the antiviral activity of SAMHD1 are being pursued, whereas little is known about the cellular function of this protein. The fact that SAMHD1 is able to regulate the cellular dNTP pool and to interact with nucleic acids suggests a key role of this protein in cellular processes, such as DNA replication and repair. During my PhD, I showed that SAMHD1 modulates the cell cycle, as the overexpression of this protein slows down cell proliferation. I also observed that SAMHD1 overexpression increases cellular sensitivity to double strand DNA breaks-inducing agents. Moreover I discovered that, after double strand breaks induction, SAMHD1 is specifically regulated by phosphorylation on its threonine 592 and recruited at the damaged sites. Other studies confirmed the importance of SAMHD1 regulation along the cell cycle as its overexpression and depletion both decrease cell proliferation. In addition to my observations, some studies suggested that SAMHD1 is important to maintain genomic integrity, presumably through its implication in DNA repair. Altogether, these results promote SAMHD1 as a key player in cellular homeostasis. I additionally showed that SAMHD1 expression is reduced in 80% of patients suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). SAMHD1 loss is therefore correlated to the development of a disease due to disturbances of cellular integrity. Looking at samples from different types of tumors, I showed that SAMHD1 loss is shared between all tested cancers, although at lesser extent than in CLL. My PhD work underlines the central role of SAMHD1 to maintain cellular integrity.
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Submitted on : Monday, August 17, 2015 - 9:05:53 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 6:14:38 AM
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Tania Louis. Etude des fonctions cellulaires de SAMHD1, facteur de restriction du VIH-1. Sciences du Vivant [q-bio]. Université de Montpellier, 2015. Français. ⟨tel-01184833⟩

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