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Fonctions atypiques de la protéine Tau : rôles dans la protection des acides nucléiques et le métabolisme des ARN

Abstract : Tauopathies are neurodegenerative disorders characterized by a progressive intraneuronal accumulation of hyperphosphorylated Tau leading to neuronal death. The most well-known tauopathy is Alzheimer Disease (AD). Numerous studies suggest that oxidative stress is one of the early mechanisms involved in AD. An increase in oxidative DNA and RNA damage occurs at early stages of AD. The mechanisms underlying the alteration of nucleic acid integrity during the course of AD are unclear. In addition to its well-described role in microtubule stabilization, Tau is an essential player in the protection of neuronal nucleic acid integrity. Indeed, we recently reported that Tau protect DNA and RNA integrity in vivo under physiological and hyperthermic conditions, which is known to be a strong inducer of oxidative stress. However, no study has been conducted to test the effects of Tau pathology on the protective function of Tau. This is the first objective of my thesis.To do that, we used a transgenic Tau pathology mouse model. With age, these mice develop a progressive Tau hyperphosphorylation and aggregation. We demonstrate, in this model, that hyperthermia selectively induces nucleic acid damage in neurons that display early Tau pathology without Tau fibrils. In these neurons, nucleic acid damage is strictly correlated with prefibrillar Tau oligomers. A similar association between prefibrillar Tau oligomers and nucleic acid oxidative damage was observed in AD brains. Pretreatment with Methylene Blue (MB), a Tau aggregation inhibitor reduced hyperthermia-induced Tau oligomerization as well as nucleic acid damage. These results suggest that Tau oligomerization triggers the loss of the nucleic acid protective function of Tau. This study highlights the existence of a critical window of DNA and RNA vulnerability during the progression of Tau pathology.In the second part of this manuscript, we have focused on the relationship between Tau and RNA. It has been reported that Tau bind to RNA. Although this interaction has been known for 20 years, the function of this interaction is still unclear. Based on this observation, we hypothesize that Tau is involved in RNA metabolism. Proteins interacting with Tau have been purified using the tandem affinity purification methodology. Thus, the DEAD box protein 6 (DDX6), known to be an actor of RNA metabolism, has been identified as a new Tau partner. DDX6 is a RNA helicase implicated in miRNA gene silencing mechanism. This project aims to understand Tau-DDX6 complex function in physiological conditions and its impact on tauopathies. We validate the interaction between Tau and DDX6, and identify Tau sequences involved in the interaction. Our results suggest that Tau-DDX6 complex enhance Let-7a activity. Interestingly, Tau mutations involved in inherited tauopathies impair Tau-DDX6 interaction and abolish the effect of Tau on Let-7a activity. All these results highlight a new and atypical function of Tau in microRNA pathway. This undescribed function offers promising prospects for the role of Tau in RNA metabolism and suggest a potential impact of Tau pathology on regulation of microRNA pathway.
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Alban Chauderlier. Fonctions atypiques de la protéine Tau : rôles dans la protection des acides nucléiques et le métabolisme des ARN. Médecine humaine et pathologie. Université du Droit et de la Santé - Lille II, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016LIL2S054⟩. ⟨tel-02613476⟩

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