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Régulation épigénétique de l’expression de FOXL2 et voies activées en aval de ce gène dans la gonade

Abstract : FOXL2 is a major gene for ovarian differentiation and functions. In humans, FOXL2 haploinsufficiency induces eyelid malformations with or without premature ovarian failure (BPES type I or II). In some cases, abnormalities of FOXL2 expression are related to deletions of regions located far upstream of this gene, indicating the presence of distal activators. The existence of this long-range regulation has also been demonstrated in the goat species by our laboratory. The natural mutation PIS (Polled Intersex Syndrome) when homozygous induces the silencing of FOXL2 expression in XX gonads, leading to the development of testes instead of ovaries. Thus, during my PhD, I worked on two different aspects: (i) the analysis of FOXL2-activated targets/pathways in the gonad, and (ii) the study of the long-range regulation of FOXL2 expression.Regarding the first point, gene function analysis of the candidate gene Dmx12 required the establishment of a conditional knock-out in the mouse gonad (Dmxl2 total KO is lethal at birth). In males, a 60% decrease in sperm production was observed at puberty during the first wave of spermatogenesis.Regarding the second point, the study of a putative regulatory region of FOXL2 expression allowed to define highly conserved elements harbouring typical enhancer epigenetic profile. Then, I established an in vitro model of FOXL2 locus “epigenome editing”, using the CRISPR/dCas9-p300 technology to modify the epigenetic mark H3K27ac. In the long term, this work may lead to the development of "epigenetic drugs" to support the expression of FOXL2 and restore the fertility of patients with a mutation of this gene.
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Clara Gobe. Régulation épigénétique de l’expression de FOXL2 et voies activées en aval de ce gène dans la gonade. Biologie de la reproduction. Université Paris-Saclay, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLS476⟩. ⟨tel-01988150⟩

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