Étude de la régulation génique par les microARN dans les cellules germinales

Authors: Dallaire, Alexandra
Advisor: Simard, Martin
Abstract: Post-transcriptional regulation plays a key role in controlling animal development and diseases. Among all post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms identified to date, microRNAs play a central role. They constitute a large class of short non-coding RNAs that were discovered in C. elegans and have been reported in all metazoans. MicroRNAs are transcribed by RNA polymerase II as a long primary transcript that will undergo two successive cleavage steps to form the mature microRNA. The mature microRNA is the loaded onto an Argonaute protein to form an effector complex, the miRISC. MicroRNAs associate with the 3' untranslated region of their target mRNAs to repress their translation and/or initiate their degradation. The dynamic orchestration of these processes is not well understood, but at the moment is thought to be largely dependent on a key Argonaute partner, GW182. In developmental contexts such as oogenesis and early embryogenesis, the expression of maternally supplied mRNAs is tightly controlled. In oocytes, translational repression rather than irreversible mRNA decay, is preferred to accumulate and maintain a pool of maternal mRNAs whose timely expression is critical later in development. MicroRNAs are abundant in the germ line and therefore could potentially participate in this regulation. This leads us to study the function of microRNAs in germ cells. The aim of my PhD was to compare the molecular mechanisms used by microRNAs in germline and somatic cells to better understand how they regulate gene expression. Using a combination of proteomic analyzes and in vivo microRNA activity reporters, we were able to dissect the composition and function of germline and somatic miRISCs. We uncover a GW182- independent silencing mechanism used by germline miRNAs to both repress and unexpectedly stabilize their target mRNA. Interestingly, miRNA binding sites are sufficient to localize a germline reporter transcript to the perinuclear region. Finally, we identify GLH-1, a germline P granule component, as an miRISC cofactor involved in the repression of germline microRNA targets. Collectively, my doctoral work helps us gain new insights about the mechanisms used by microRNAs to regulate gene expression.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2018
Open Access Date: 12 July 2019
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/35467
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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