Le variant d'histone H3.3 dans la spermatogenèse : inactivation des chromosomes sexuels et régulation des piARN

Abstract : In last decades, male fertility has been steadily declining worldwide. Even if environmental factors have an undeniable responsibility, the fact remains that both genetic and epigenetic alterations also seem to be widely implicated. The understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms that regulate male fertility is recent but essential to develop a new therapeutic approaches. In this context, the objective of my thesis work focused on the study of the role of histone variant H3.3 in spermatogenesis. H3.3 has the ability to replace the H3 canonical histone in chromatin thus modifying the epigenetic properties of chromatin. H3.3 is necessary for spermatogenesis but its role remains unclear. Used to several mouse models, my thesis work has shown that the H3.3B form is essential for male reproduction and especially for the meiosis/post-meiosis transition. During this transition, there is a strong regulation of piRNAs, retrotransposons and sex chromosomes. Our experiments reveal at the first time that the loss of H3.3B resulted in down-regulation of the expression of piRNA. In contrast, the absence of H3.3B is also associated with increased expression of all sex chromosom genes as well as of both RLTR10B and RLTR10B2 retrotransposons. These expression changes result in altered spermatogenesis and infertility. By ChIP-seq experiments, we observed that H3.3 is markedly enriched on the piRNA clusters, RLTR10B and RLTR10B2 retrotransposons and the whole sexual chromosomes. All these experiments allowed bettering characterizing the regulatory function of histone H3.3B during spermatogenesis. In particular, he demonstrates that H3.3B, depending on its chromatin localization, is involved in either up-regulation or down-regulation of expression of defined chromatin regions. These results show the importance of epigenetic controls during spermatogenesis and open new tracks for understanding the causes of male infertility.
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Émeline Fontaine. Le variant d'histone H3.3 dans la spermatogenèse : inactivation des chromosomes sexuels et régulation des piARN. Biologie du développement. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018GREAV045⟩. ⟨tel-02275795⟩



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