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Cellular mechanisms


Anne-Claire Jacomin

Functions of deubiquitinating enzymes in inflammation and autophagy: Regulation of the mammalian TNF-R1 pathway by USP36 and genetic screening to identify deubiquitinating enzymes involved in autophagy in Drosophila

Published on 28 February 2014


Thesis presented February 28, 2014

Abstract​:
The survival of living organisms is based on their ability to adapt to their environment and to maintain their cellular integrity. During my PhD, I was interested in two of these aspects: first, the innate immunity and inflammatory response through the study of the NF-κB-associated  pathways, and then in autophagy, consisting in the ability of a cell to degrade some cellular components or intracellular pathogens. The rapid activation/inactivation of these cellular processes is permitted by the post-translational modifications of some components. Among these changes, protein ubiquitination, consisting in the covalent binding of ubiquitin mono- or polymers on target proteins, appears to be an essential mechanism. In this context, my work consisted on one hand, in showing the function of the deubiquitinating enzyme USP36 in the regulation of the immune pathway depending on the TNFα​-associated receptor 1 (TNF -R1) pathway in cultured human cells. Using cellular and biochemical approaches, I showed that USP36 is a specific negative regulator of this pathway, constitutively associated with the receptor and which contributes to the regulation of the ubiquitination status of RIP1, which plays a major role in signal transduction. From this study, we conclude that USP36 is a key component of the TNF-R1 pathway, allowing for the repression of this pathway without stimulation and promoting the return to the steady-state after TNFα ​treatment. On the other hand, I performed a genetic screen in vivo in Drosophila for the identification of deubiquitinating enzymes involved in regulating autophagy. I identified UBPY and USP12, whose loss-of-function affects both progression of autophagy and endocytosis. Further investigations allowed us to establish that an intact endocytic pathway is required for productive autophagy.​


Keywords:
Ubiquitination, NF-κB, signal transduction, autophagy, endocytosis, Drosophila