Rôle des facteurs de la réparation de l’ADN dans la dynamique du génome au sein du système immunitaire

Abstract : The immune system is particularly dependent on DNA damage response (DDR) pathways. The development of the adaptive immune system requires certain DDR mechanisms, in particular during the V(D)J recombination and during class switch recombination (CSR), furthermore, the hematopoietic system is very sensitive to spontaneous DNA lesions. Therefore, there are many immune deficiencies in human directly related to a DDR deficiency. The identification of the responsible gene is important for appropriate genetic counseling. Today, we have access to powerful genetic screening tools, in particular next generation sequencing (NGS) and the list of genes responsible for immune deficiency is growing rapidly. The first part of this work focuses on the development of a new screening tool for DDR defects, in particular in the case of immune deficiency, and evaluation of clinical interest. This test is based on the observation of a bias of the TCRα repertoire in circulating T lymphocytes when thymocytes lifespan is diminished and we know that DDR defect causes decreased thymocyte survival. We have developed two techniques, by molecular biology and by flow cytometry, to detect a potential bias of the TCRα repetoire and assess the suitability of this test in some immunodeficiencies linked to a DDR defect. A significant bias was detected in the case of ATM and NHEJ factor deficiency. Furthermore, we have established a cohort of patients suffering from common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) with a clinical presentation highly suggestive of DDR defect, in collaboration with the Clinical Immunology Service of Hôpital Saint-Louis (Paris). Functional test for DDR defect and genetic analysis (CGHarray, whole exome sequencing) were performed in these patients to identify new genes involved in CVID. Among the 18 patients analyzed until now, five cases of cellular sensitivity to genotoxic agents have been detected and a candidate gene was identified in 15 of them. These results are still preliminary and our team will pursue genetic and functional characterization of the identified mutations. Finally, we undertook genetic and functional exploration of two mutations identified in a young patient with combined immunodeficiency (CID) associated with a lymphoproliferative disease and autoimmunity, and in whom a cellular hypersensitivity to mitomycin C, a DNA crosslinking agent, was detected. The first mutation was identified in the ELKS gene, which codes for a factor involved in DNA repair. Functional complementation of this gene demonstrates the involvement of this mutation in the hypersensitivity of patient’s cells to MMC. We have developed a conditional knockout mouse model of this gene in hematopoietic cells that did not show any defect in development of the immune system. The second mutation was identified in BACH2 gene encoding a transcriptional repressor involved in the development of the immune system. Knockout mice for this gene have a similar phenotype to the immune deficiency described in this patient. Investigations on this mutation are ongoing in the patient and among family members that also carry the mutation.
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Sophie Kaltenbach. Rôle des facteurs de la réparation de l’ADN dans la dynamique du génome au sein du système immunitaire. Génétique. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015USPCB037⟩. ⟨tel-01356265⟩

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