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Rôle de l'autophagie dans la réponse de l'hôte suite à l'infection par des Escherichia Coli producteurs de colibactine isolés de patients atteints d'un cancer colorectal

Abstract : Several studies have shown a role of intestinal microbiota in CRC etiology, which is the third cause of death by cancer in the world. Especially, colonic mucosa of CRC patient is abnormally colonized with E. coli strains which often carry the pathogenic pks island, leading to the synthesis of a genotoxin called by colibactin. Colibactin-producing E. coli strains induce DNA double strand breaks, chromosomic aberration and senescence in host cells enhancing the cellular proliferation and tumorigenesis in mouse models of CRC. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of autophagy, a key process in cellular homeostasis, in host defense against infection by pks-harboring E. coli (E. coli/pks+). We showed the increased expression of different autophagy-related genes in the mucosa of CRC patients colonized with E. coli/pks+ compared to that of patients colonized with E. coli without the pks island. In vitro and in vivo, we showed that autophagy is activated in intestinal epithelial cells upon infection in order to limit the pro-tumoral effects of E. coli/pks+. In a murine model of CRC, the ApcMin/+ mouse model, deficient for the Atg16l1 autophagy gene specifically in intestinal epithelial cells, we have shown a complex role of autophagy in colorectal carcinogenesis. Indeed, in uninfected conditions, autophagy plays a pro-tumoral role. However, following infection with the E. coli/pks+ 11G5 strain, mice deficient for autophagy exhibit increased tumorigenesis, accompanied by increased DNA damage, cell proliferation, and inflammation. These results suggest that autophagy is necessary to inhibit the pro-tumoral effects of E. coli/pks+ strains and thus limit the colorectal carcinogenesis induced by the latter. Future works using mouse models of CRC are required to study the role of autophagy in colonic tumorigenesis suppression following infection with E. coli/pks+. Different mechanism such as inhibition of cellular proliferation and immune response, modification of the composition of the gut microbiota will be analyzed. Together, those results will highlight the role of autophagy as a host defense mechanism against the pro-tumoral effects of pks-harboring E. coli strains. This work could also open the door to new therapeutic options in the treatment of CRC and therefore have a great impact on public health.
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Cécily Lucas. Rôle de l'autophagie dans la réponse de l'hôte suite à l'infection par des Escherichia Coli producteurs de colibactine isolés de patients atteints d'un cancer colorectal. Cancer. Université Clermont Auvergne, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018CLFAS016⟩. ⟨tel-02095733⟩

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