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Les 20 dernières publications

The RNA helicase DDX17 controls the transcriptional activity of REST and the expression of proneural microRNAs in neuronal differentiation.

Author(s) : Lambert M, Terrone S, Giraud G, Benoit-Pilven C, Cluet D, Combaret V, Mortreux F, Auboeuf D, Bourgeois C,
Journal : Nucleic Acids Res
The Repressor Element 1-silencing transcription factor (REST) represses a numberof neuronal genes in non-neuronal cells or in undifferentiated neural progenitors. Here, we report that the DEAD box RNA helicase DDX17 controls important REST-related processes that are critical during the early phases of neuronal differentiation. First, DDX17 associates with REST, promotes its binding to the promoter of a subset of REST-targeted genes and co-regulates REST transcriptional repression activity. During neuronal differentiation, we observed a downregulation of DDX17 along with that of the REST complex that contributes to the activation of neuronal genes. Second, DDX17 and its paralog DDX5 regulate the expression of several proneural microRNAs that are known to target the REST complex during neurogenesis, including miR-26a/b that are also direct regulatorsof DDX17 expression. In this context, we propose a new mechanism by which RNA helicases can control the biogenesis of intronic miRNAs. We show that the processing of the miR-26a2 precursor is dependent on RNA helicases, owing to an intronic regulatory region that negatively impacts on both miRNA processing and splicing of its host intron. Our work places DDX17 in the heart of a pathway involving REST and miRNAs that allows neuronal gene repression.

Single cell expression analysis uncouples transdifferentiation and reprogramming

Author(s) : Francesconi M, Di Stefano B, Berenguer C, de Andres M, Mendez Lago M, Guillaumet-Adkins A, Rodriguez-Esteban G, Gut M, Gut I, Heyn H, Lehner B, Graf T,
Journal : bioRxiv
Many somatic cell types are plastic, having the capacity to convert into other specialized cells (transdifferentiation)(1) or into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs, reprogramming)(2) in response to transcription factor over-expression. To explore what makes a cell plastic and whether these different cell conversion processes are coupled, we exposed bone marrow derived pre-B cells to two different transcription factor overexpression protocols that efficiently convert them either into macrophages or iPSCs and monitored the two processes over time using single cell gene expression analysis. We found that even in these highly efficient cell fate conversion systems, cells differ in both their speed and path of transdifferentiation and reprogramming. This heterogeneity originates in two starting pre-B cell subpopulations, large pre-BII and the small pre-BII cells they normally differentiate into. The large cells transdifferentiate slowly but exhibit a high efficiency of iPSC reprogramming. In contrast, the small cells transdifferentiate rapidly but are highly resistant to reprogramming. Moreover, the large B cells induce a stronger transient granulocyte/macrophage progenitor (GMP)-like state, while the small B cells undergo a more direct conversion to the macrophage fate. The large cells are cycling and exhibit high Myc activity whereas the small cells are Myc low and mostly quiescent. The observed heterogeneity of the two cell conversion processes can therefore be traced to two closely related cell types in the starting population that exhibit different types of plasticity. These data show that a somatic cell’s propensity for either transdifferentiation and reprogramming can be uncoupled.

Genomics of cellular proliferation in periodic environmental fluctuations.

Author(s) : Salignon J, Richard M, Fulcrand E, Duplus-Bottin H, Yvert G,
Journal : Mol Syst Biol
Living systems control cell growth dynamically by processing information from their environment. Although responses to a single environmental change have beenintensively studied, little is known about how cells react to fluctuating conditions. Here, we address this question at the genomic scale by measuring therelative proliferation rate (fitness) of 3,568 yeast gene deletion mutants in out-of-equilibrium conditions: periodic oscillations between two environmental conditions. In periodic salt stress, fitness and its genetic variance largely depended on the oscillating period. Surprisingly, dozens of mutants displayed pronounced hyperproliferation under short stress periods, revealing unexpected controllers of growth under fast dynamics. We validated the implication of the high-affinity cAMP phosphodiesterase and of a regulator of protein translocationto mitochondria in this group. Periodic oscillations of extracellular methionine, a factor unrelated to salinity, also altered fitness but to a lesser extent and for different genes. The results illustrate how natural selection acts on mutations in a dynamic environment, highlighting unsuspected genetic vulnerabilities to periodic stress in molecular processes that are conserved across all eukaryotes.

HTLV-1 Tax plugs and freezes UPF1 helicase leading to nonsense-mediated mRNA decay inhibition.

Author(s) : Fiorini F, Robin J, Kanaan J, Borowiak M, Croquette V, Le Hir H, Jalinot P, Mocquet V,
Journal : Nat Commun
Up-Frameshift Suppressor 1 Homolog (UPF1) is a key factor for nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), a cellular process that can actively degrade mRNAs. Here, we study NMD inhibition during infection by human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-1) and characterise the influence of the retroviral Tax factor on UPF1 activity. Tax interacts with the central helicase core domain of UPF1 and might plug the RNA channel of UPF1, reducing its affinity for nucleic acids. Furthermore, using a single-molecule approach, we show that the sequential interaction of Tax with a RNA-bound UPF1 freezes UPF1: this latter is less sensitive to the presence of ATP and shows translocation defects, highlighting the importance of this feature for NMD. These mechanistic insights reveal how HTLV-1 hijacks the central component of NMD to ensure expression of its own genome.

Evolution of mitotic spindle behavior during the first asymmetric embryonic division of nematodes.

Author(s) : Valfort A, Launay C, Semon M, Delattre M,
Journal : PLoS Biol
Asymmetric cell division is essential to generate cellular diversity. In many animal cells, the cleavage plane lies perpendicular to the mitotic spindle, and it is the spindle positioning that dictates the size of the daughter cells. Although some properties of spindle positioning are conserved between distantly related model species and different cell types, little is known of the evolutionary robustness of the mechanisms underlying this event. We recorded thefirst embryonic division of 42 species of nematodes closely related to Caenorhabditis elegans, which is an excellent model system to study the biophysical properties of asymmetric spindle positioning. Our recordings, corresponding to 128 strains from 27 Caenorhabditis and 15 non-Caenorhabditis species (accessible at, constitute a powerful collection of subcellular phenotypes to study the evolution of various cellular processes across species. In the present work, we analyzed our collection to the study of asymmetric spindle positioning. Although all the strains underwent an asymmetric first cell division, they exhibited large intra-and inter-species variations in the degree of cell asymmetry and in several parameters controlling spindle movement, including spindle oscillation, elongation, and displacement. Notably, these parameters changed frequently during evolution with no apparent directionality in the species phylogeny, with the exception of spindle transverse oscillations, which were an evolutionary innovation at the base of the Caenorhabditis genus. These changes were also unrelated to evolutionary variations in embryo size. Importantly, spindle elongation, displacement, and oscillation each evolved independently. This finding contrasts starkly with expectations based on C. elegans studies and reveals previously unrecognized evolutionary changes in spindle mechanics. Collectively, these data demonstrate that, while the essential process of asymmetric cell division has been conserved over the course of nematode evolution, the underlying spindle movement parameters can combine in various ways. Like other developmental processes, asymmetric cell division is subject tosystem drift.

The Ectodysplasin receptor EDAR acts as a tumor suppressor in melanoma by conditionally inducing cell death.

Author(s) : Vial J, Royet A, Cassier P, Tortereau A, Dinvaut S, Maillet D, Gratadou-Hupon L, Creveaux M, Sadier A, Tondeur G, Leon S, Depaepe L, Pantalacci S, de la Fouchardiere A, Micheau O, Dalle S, Laudet V, Mehlen P, Castets M,
Journal : Cell Death Differ
Ectodysplasin receptor EDAR is seen as a typical Tumor Necrosis Factor receptor (TNFR) family member known to interact with its ligand Eda-A1, and signaling mainly through the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) and c-jun N-terminal kinases pathways. Mutations in genes that encode proteins involved in EDAR transduction cascade cause anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. Here, we report an unexpected pro-apoptotic activity of EDAR when unbound to its ligand Eda-A1, which is independent of NF-kappaB pathway. Contrarily to other death receptors, EDAR doesrecruit caspase-8 to trigger apoptosis but solely upon ligand withdrawal, thereby behaving as the so-called dependence receptors. We propose that pro-apoptotic activity of unbound EDAR confers it a tumor suppressive activity. Along this line, we identified loss-of-pro-apoptotic function mutations in EDAR gene in human melanoma. Moreover, we show that the invalidation of EDAR in mice promotesmelanoma progression in a B-Raf mutant background. Together, these data support the view that EDAR constrains melanoma progression by acting as a dependence receptor.

Condensin controls cellular RNA levels through the accurate segregation of chromosomes instead of directly regulating transcription.

Author(s) : Hocquet C, Robellet X, Modolo L, Sun X, Burny C, Cuylen-Haering S, Toselli E, Clauder-Munster S, Steinmetz L, Haering C, Marguerat S, Bernard P,
Journal : Elife
Condensins are genome organisers that shape chromosomes and promote their accurate transmission. Several studies have also implicated condensins in gene expression, although any mechanisms have remained enigmatic. Here, we report on the role of condensin in gene expression in fission and budding yeasts. In contrast to previous studies, we provide compelling evidence that condensin plays no direct role in the maintenance of the transcriptome, neither during interphase nor during mitosis. We further show that the changes in gene expression in post-mitotic fission yeast cells that result from condensin inactivation are largely a consequence of chromosome missegregation during anaphase, which notably depletes the RNA-exosome from daughter cells. Crucially, preventing karyotype abnormalities in daughter cells restores a normal transcriptome despite condensin inactivation. Thus, chromosome instability, rather than a direct role of condensin in the transcription process, changes gene expression. This knowledge challenges the concept of gene regulation by canonical condensin complexes.

PDZ domain-binding motif of Tax sustains T-cell proliferation in HTLV-1-infected humanized mice.

Author(s) : Peres E, Blin J, Ricci E, Artesi M, Hahaut V, Van den Broeke A, Corbin A, Gazzolo L, Ratner L, Jalinot P, Duc Dodon M,
Journal : PLoS Pathog
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the etiological agent of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL), an aggressive malignant proliferation of activated CD4+ T lymphocytes. The viral Tax oncoprotein is critically involved in both HTLV-1-replication and T-cell proliferation, a prerequisite to the development of ATLL. In this study, we investigated the in vivo contribution of the Tax PDZ domain-binding motif (PBM) to the lymphoproliferative process. To that aim, we examined T-cell proliferation in humanized mice (hu-mice) carrying a human hemato-lymphoid system infected with either a wild type (WT) or a Tax PBM-deleted (DeltaPBM) provirus. We observed that the frequency of CD4+ activated T-cells in the peripheral blood and in the spleen was significantly higher in WTthan in DeltaPBM hu-mice. Likewise, human T-cells collected from WT hu-mice and cultivated in vitro in presence of interleukin-2 were proliferating at a higher level than those from DeltaPBM animals. We next examined the association of Tax with the Scribble PDZ protein, a prominent regulator of T-cell polarity, in human T-cells analyzed either after ex vivo isolation or after in vitro culture. We confirmed the interaction of Tax with Scribble only in T-cells from the WT hu-mice. This association correlated with the presence of both proteins in aggregates at the leading edge of the cells and with the formation of long actinfilopods. Finally, data from a comparative genome-wide transcriptomic analysis suggested that the PBM-PDZ association is implicated in the expression of genes regulating proliferation, apoptosis and cytoskeletal organization. Collectively,our findings suggest that the Tax PBM is an auxiliary motif that contributes to the sustained growth of HTLV-1 infected T-cells in vivo and in vitro and is essential to T-cell immortalization.