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Identification et caractérisation de polymorphismes génétiques impliqués dans la réponse à l’imatinib dans la leucémie myéloïde chronique

Abstract : Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a rare myeloproliferative syndrome treated by tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as imatinib. Despite its efficacy, resistance to treatment is a persistent clinical issue. Notably, genetic variants causing alterations in apoptosis may explain heterogeneity of imatinib sensitivity between patients. First, the goal was to look for candidate variants. For that purpose, a panel of 45 apoptotic genes was assessed by next-generation sequencing on 24 CML patients, 12 sensitive and 12 resistant to imatinib treatment. Using informatics tools, 473 polymorphisms were detected. As the number of sequenced samples was limited, novel statistical methods had to be developed to interpret the results. The variant frequency in resistant and sensitive patients was compared to variant frequency in the general population and visualized using descriptive statistics. This strategy allowed to obtain a restricted list of 95 polymorphisms that might be involved in resistance to the treatment. Then, genes were ranked according to variant allele enrichment. At the end, three candidate genes were chosen and sequenced for 103 CML patients. This methodology, automated using a computer algorithm, permitted to highlight a nonsynonymous variant in the BCL RAMBO gene, significantly found more often in resistant patients. Second, the objective was to characterize the role of this variant in response to imatinib using model cell lines modified by CRISPR-Cas9 technology. BCL-RAMBO knock-out cells were obtained and allowed to demonstrate the major role of BCL-RAMBO protein in apoptosis inhibition. Additionally, cell lines carrying the variant were created using a new CRISPR-Cas9 mediated technique: the whole exon carrying the nucleotide of interest was replaced with a variant exon. The amino acid change induced by the identified polymorphism was associated with a loss of sensitivity to imatinib treatment in these cell lines as suggested after patient sequencing. These data indicate that BCL-RAMBO, anti apoptotic factor in a CML cell line, could become a novel therapeutic target to overcome drug inefficacy for a subset of resistant patients.
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Florence Lichou. Identification et caractérisation de polymorphismes génétiques impliqués dans la réponse à l’imatinib dans la leucémie myéloïde chronique. Génétique. Université de Bordeaux, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019BORD0066⟩. ⟨tel-03228257⟩

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