Popard Henri

Master’s degree student
Actin Recruitment in Artificial Cellular Protrusions :
The TNTs (Tunnelling nanotubes) are inter cellular protrusions observed between neural ans development and seem to have a role in the transport of cellular material. 
My experiments face this question from the biophysics side and are aiming to characterize the actin formation inside the TNTs. 
I use an optical trap to form artificial tubes and quantify the action polymerisation by brightfield microscopy. The model that I use are neural cells and adding drugs that inhibit the cytoskeleton help to define the role of the proteins involved. 

DNA translocases Rrp1 and Rrp2 have distinct roles at centromeres and telomeres that ensure genome

The regulation of telomere and centromere structure and function is essential for maintaining genome integrity. Rrp1 and Rrp2 are orthologues of Uls1, a SWI2/SNF2 DNA translocase and SUMO-targeted ubiquitin ligase. Here, we show that Rrp1 or Rrp2 overproduction leads to chromosome instability and growth defects, a reduction in global histone levels and mislocalisation of centromere-specific histone Cnp1. These phenotypes depend on putative DNA translocase activities of Rrp1 and Rrp2, suggesting that Rrp1 and Rrp2 may be involved in modulating nucleosome dynamics. Furthermore, we confirm that Rrp2, but not Rrp1, acts at telomeres, reflecting a previously described interaction between Rrp2 and Top2. In conclusion, we identify roles for Rrp1 and Rrp2 in maintaining centromere function by modulating histone dynamics, contributing to the preservation of genome stability during vegetative cell growth.

Intragenic meiotic recombination in Schizosaccharomyces pombe is sensitive to environmental

Changes in environmental temperature influence cellular processes and their dynamics, and thus affect the life cycle of organisms that are unable to control their cell/body temperature. Meiotic recombination is the cellular process essential for producing healthy haploid gametes by providing physical links (chiasmata) between homologous chromosomes to guide their accurate segregation. Additionally, meiotic recombination-initiated by programmed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs)-can generate genetic diversity and, therefore, is a driving force of evolution. Environmental temperature influencing meiotic recombination outcome thus may be a crucial determinant of reproductive success and genetic diversity. Indeed, meiotic recombination frequency in fungi, plants and invertebrates changes with temperature. In most organisms, these temperature-induced changes in meiotic recombination seem to be mediated through the meiosis-specific chromosome axis organization, the synaptonemal complex in particular. The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe does not possess a synaptonemal complex. Thus, we tested how environmental temperature modulates meiotic recombination frequency in the absence of a fully-fledged synaptonemal complex. We show that intragenic recombination (gene conversion) positively correlates with temperature within a certain range, especially at meiotic recombination hotspots. In contrast, crossover recombination, which manifests itself as chiasmata, is less affected. Based on our observations, we suggest that, in addition to changes in DSB frequency, DSB processing could be another temperature-sensitive step causing temperature-induced recombination rate alterations.

Thibaud Pivron

Widespread overexpression from the four DNA hypermethylated HOX clusters in aggressive (IDHwt)

In human, the 39 coding HOX genes and 18 referenced non-coding antisense transcripts are arranged in four genomic clusters named HOXA, B, C, and D. This highly conserved family belongs to the homeobox class of genes that encode transcription factors required for normal development. Therefore, HOX gene deregulation might contribute to the development of many cancer types. Here, we study HOX gene deregulation in adult glioma, a common type of primary brain tumor. We performed extensive molecular analysis of tumor samples, classified according to their isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH1) gene mutation status, and of glioma stem cells. We found widespread expression of sense and antisense HOX transcripts only in aggressive (IDHwt) glioma samples, although the four HOX clusters displayed DNA hypermethylation. Integrative analysis of expression-, DNA methylation- and histone modification signatures along the clusters revealed that HOX gene upregulation relies on canonical and alternative bivalent CpG island promoters that escape hypermethylation. H3K27me3 loss at these promoters emerges as the main cause of widespread HOX gene upregulation in IDHwt glioma cell lines and tumors. Our study provides the first comprehensive description of the epigenetic changes at HOX clusters and their contribution to the transcriptional changes observed in adult glioma. It also identified putative « master » HOX proteins that might contribute to the tumorigenic potential of glioma stem cells.

X-rays minibeam radiation therapy at a conventional irradiator: Pilot evaluation in F98-glioma

Minibeam radiation therapy (MBRT) is a type of spatial fractionated radiotherapy that uses submillimetric beams. This work reports on a pilot study on normal tissue response and the increase of the lifespan of glioma-bearing rats when irradiated with a tabletop x-ray system. Our results show a significant widening of the therapeutic window for brain tumours treated with MBRT: an important proportion of long-term survivals (60%) coupled with a significant reduction of toxicity when compared with conventional (broad beam) irradiations. In addition, the clinical translation of the minibeam treatment at a conventional irradiator is evaluated through a possible human head treatment plan.

Morphology and genomic hallmarks of breast tumours developed by ATM deleterious variant carriers.

The ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene is a moderate-risk breast cancer susceptibility gene; germline loss-of-function variants are found in up to 3% of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) families who undergo genetic testing. So far, no clear histopathological and molecular features of breast tumours occurring in ATM deleterious variant carriers have been described, but identification of an ATM-associated tumour signature may help in patient management.

David Goldgar

Genetically encoded live-cell sensor for tyrosinated microtubules.

Microtubule cytoskeleton exists in various biochemical forms in different cells due to tubulin posttranslational modifications (PTMs). Tubulin PTMs are known to affect microtubule stability, dynamics, and interaction with MAPs and motors in a specific manner, widely known as tubulin code hypothesis. At present, there exists no tool that can specifically mark tubulin PTMs in living cells, thus severely limiting our understanding of their dynamics and cellular functions. Using a yeast display library, we identified a binder against terminal tyrosine of α-tubulin, a unique PTM site. Extensive characterization validates the robustness and nonperturbing nature of our binder as tyrosination sensor, a live-cell tubulin nanobody specific towards tyrosinated microtubules. Using this sensor, we followed nocodazole-, colchicine-, and vincristine-induced depolymerization events of tyrosinated microtubules in real time and found each distinctly perturbs the microtubule polymer. Together, our work describes a novel tyrosination sensor and its potential applications to study the dynamics of microtubule and their PTM processes in living cells.

Charly Kengne Kuetche

Marilou Sarrut

Morgane Marcou

Julie Lecarpentier

Maroulio Pertesi

Om Kulkarini

Yue Jiao

Differential normal skin transcriptomic response in total body irradiated mice exposed to scattered

Proton therapy allows to avoid excess radiation dose on normal tissues. However, there are some limitations. Indeed, passive delivery of proton beams results in an increase in the lateral dose upstream of the tumor and active scanning leads to strong differences in dose delivery. This study aims to assess possible differences in the transcriptomic response of skin in C57BL/6 mice after TBI irradiation by active or passive proton beams at the dose of 6 Gy compared to unirradiated mice. In that purpose, total RNA was extracted from skin samples 3 months after irradiation and RNA-Seq was performed. Results showed that active and passive delivery lead to completely different transcription profiles. Indeed, 140 and 167 genes were differentially expressed after active and passive scanning compared to unirradiated, respectively, with only one common gene corresponding to RIKEN cDNA 9930021J03. Moreover, protein-protein interactions performed by STRING analysis showed that 31 and 25 genes are functionally related after active and passive delivery, respectively, with no common gene between both types of proton delivery. Analysis showed that active scanning led to the regulation of genes involved in skin development which was not the case with passive delivery. Moreover, 14 ncRNA were differentially regulated after active scanning against none for passive delivery. Active scanning led to 49 potential mRNA-ncRNA pairs with one ncRNA mainly involved, Gm44383 which is a miRNA. The 43 genes potentially regulated by the miRNA Gm44393 confirmed an important role of active scanning on skin keratin pathway. Our results demonstrated that there are differences in skin gene expression still 3 months after proton irradiation versus unirradiated mouse skin. And strong differences do exist in late skin gene expression between scattered or scanned proton beams. Further investigations are strongly needed to understand this discrepancy and to improve treatments by proton therapy.

Meiosis, a New Playground for Retrotransposon Evolution.

Retrotransposons provide both threats and evolutionary opportunities for their hosts. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Laureau et al. describe a fascinating host-retrotransposon relationship that may lead to retrotransposon domestication: Ty3/Gypsy exploit meiosis networks to sustain their transcription, while the host deploys RNA-binding proteins to prevent their translation.

Deciphering the Early Mouse Embryo Transcriptome by Low-Input RNA-Seq.

Early preimplantation embryos are precious and scarce samples that contain limited numbers of cells, which can be problematic for quantitative gene expression analyses. Nonetheless, low-input genome-wide techniques coupled with cDNA amplification steps have become a gold standard for RNA profiling of as minimal as a single blastomere. Here, we describe a single-cell/single-embryo RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) method, from embryo collection to sample validation steps prior to DNA library preparation and sequencing. Key quality controls and external Spike-In normalization approaches are also detailed.

Do assisted reproductive technologies and in vitro embryo culture influence the epigenetic control

Do assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and in vitro embryo culture influence the epigenetic control of imprinted genes (IGs) and transposable elements (TEs) in children?