PINning down the parasite: epigenetic mechanisms in theileria-host interactions
Pr Jonathan WEITZMAN
Université Paris Diderot, UMR7216 Epigenetics and Cell Fate, France
Thursday, June 21st 2018 - 10:30 a.m.
- Auditorium, IGBMC
Hosted by Bertrand SERAPHIN
We study host-parasite interactions to gain insights into the signaling pathways and epigenetic mechanisms controlling cellular phenotypes. We focus on Theileria, the only eukaryotic parasite which can induce host cell transformation, and investigate how the intracellular parasite hijacks host pathways to maintain cell transformation in bovine leukocytes. For example, we used this model to identify the first Smyd3 target gene directly involved in cancer metastasis and discovered novel targets for oncogenic microRNAs. Comparative parasite genomics allowed us to identify the first example of a parasite-encoded, secreted, proto-oncogene hijacking a known oncogenic signaling pathway. Together, these studies of Theileria-infected leukocytes reveal an innovative model to explore the plasticity of cellular phenotypes, the determinants of cancer cell identities and the evolutionary strategies of interacting cellular systems.