Identification of a tissue-specific cofactor of polycomb repressive complex 2

Abstract : The Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) plays an essential role in development by maintaining gene repression through the deposition of H3K27me3. A variety of cofactors have been shown to control its function in cells of various origins however little is known about PRC2 regulation during gametogenesis. During my PhD, I took advantage of murine models where Ezh2 and Ezh1 were knocked-in, I isolated nuclear extracts from whole adult testis and, identified a new polypeptide interacting with PRC2. This protein is specifically expressed in gonads, is of unknown function and does not contain any conserved domain. I have confirmed its interaction with PRC2, identified the domain of interaction with PRC2 and shown that it could tether PRC2 to chromatin. Thanks to a knockout mouse model, I demonstrated that the protein is required for female fertility, whereas its ablation brings to a global increase of H3K27me3 PRC2-associated mark in male germ cells with little consequences on male fertility. I also contributed to the characterization of the interplay between the long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) HOTAIR and PRC2 complex. Many lncRNAs have been proposed to modulate chromatin-modifying complexes action on chromatin. With the help of novel RNA-tethering system, HOTAIR inducible expression causes transgene repression independently from PRC2. Forced overexpression of HOTAIR also has little impact on transcriptome in breast cancer cells. Generally, PRC2 binding to RNA is not required for chromatin targeting. Taken together these results shed light to the mechanism of a new-identified cofactor regulating PRC2 in the gonads and contribute to dissect PRC2-RNA relationship at molecular level.
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Roberta Ragazzini. Identification of a tissue-specific cofactor of polycomb repressive complex 2. Gametogenesis. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017PA066196⟩. ⟨tel-01882398v2⟩

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