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Implication des lysines acétyl transférases dans les mécanismes ALTernatifs de maintenance des télomères

Abstract : Some cancer cells can use a telomerase-independent mechanism, known as alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT), to elongate their telomeres. ALT cells present unusual characteristics: extremely long and heterogeneous telomeres that colocalize with PML bodies to form nuclear structures called ALT-associated PML Bodies (APB), and high frequency of exchange events between sisters chromatid telomere referred to as Telomeric Sister Chromatid Exchange (T-SCE). Although it is agreed that homologous recombination is the key mechanism allowing the maintenance of the telomeres of ALT cells, the molecular actors involved are not yet known. We identified new actors potentially involved in the ALT mechanism: general control non-derepressible 5 (GCN5) and P300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF). Although they represent transcription factors, they can also acetylate non-histone proteins. They are mutually exclusive subunits in SAGA-like complexes. Here, we reveal that down regulation of GCN5 and PCAF had differential effects on some phenotypic characteristics of ALT cells. While GCN5 knockdown increased T-SCE and telomere instability, PCAF knockdown decreased T-SCE, APBs formation and telomere instability. GCN5 and PCAF knockdowns had thus differential effects on ALT, up-regulating it or down-regulating it respectively. Our results suggest that in ALT cells GCN5 is present at telomeres and opposes telomere recombination and does not affect the formation of APBs, unlike PCAF which may indirectly favour them and stimulate the APB formation. Then we evaluate the mechanisms by which PCAF and GCN5 contribute to the maintenance of telomeres in ALT cells. We have proposed that the participation of these two proteins should involve regulating the turnover of the telomeric protein TRF1 via USP22, a deubiquitinase identified for the first time as a component of APBs. In addition, the interest of targeting lysine acetyl transferase activities in ALT cells to oppose the maintenance of telomeres was subsequently tested in vitro using inhibitors alone or combined to irradiation. We have shown that ALT cells are particularly sensitive to the inhibition of acetyltransferases activities using Anacardic Acid (AA). AA treatment recapitulates the effect of PCAF knockdown on several ALT features, suggesting that AA decreased the ALT mechanism through the inhibition of lysine transferase activity of PCAF, but not that of GCN5. Furthermore, AA specifically sensitizes human ALT cells to radiation as compared to telomerase-positive cells suggesting that the inhibition of lysine acetyltransferases activity may be used to increase the radiotherapy efficiency against ALT cancers.
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Dalal Bakhos Al Douaihy. Implication des lysines acétyl transférases dans les mécanismes ALTernatifs de maintenance des télomères. Génétique. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018USPCB009⟩. ⟨tel-02466959⟩

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