Computational analysis of transcriptional regulation in metazoans

Abstract : This HDR thesis presents my work on transcriptional regulation in metazoans (animals). As a computational biologist, my research activities cover both the development of new bioinformatics tools, and contributions to a better understanding of biological questions. The first part focuses on transcription factors, with a study of the evolution of Hox and ParaHox gene families across meta- zoans, for which I developed HoxPred, a bioinformatics tool to automatically classify these genes into their groups of homology. Transcription factors regulate their target genes by binding to short cis-regulatory elements in DNA. The second part of this thesis introduces the prediction of these cis-regulatory elements in genomic sequences, and my contributions to the development of user- friendly computational tools (RSAT software suite and TRAP). The third part covers the detection of these cis-regulatory elements using high-throughput sequencing experiments such as ChIP-seq or ChIP-exo. The bioinformatics developments include reusable pipelines to process these datasets, and novel motif analysis tools adapted to these large datasets (RSAT peak-motifs and ExoProfiler). As all these approaches are generic, I naturally apply them to diverse biological questions, in close collaboration with experimental groups. In particular, this third part presents the studies uncover- ing new DNA sequences that are driving or preventing the binding of the glucocorticoid receptor. Finally, my research perspectives are introduced, especially regarding further developments within the RSAT suite enabling cross-species conservation analyses, and new collaborations with exper- imental teams, notably to tackle the epigenomic remodelling during osteoporosis.
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Habilitation à diriger des recherches
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Morgane Thomas-Chollier. Computational analysis of transcriptional regulation in metazoans. Quantitative Methods [q-bio.QM]. Ecole normale supérieure - ENS PARIS, 2016. ⟨tel-01362020⟩

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