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Title: Regulation of oocyte-specific chromatin organisation during prophase I by the histone demethylase Kdm5/Lid and other proteins
Author: Zhaunova, Liudmila
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 0332
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2017
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In Drosophila oocytes, chromosomes undergo dynamic reorganisation during the prophase of the first meiotic division. This is essential to prepare chromatin for synapsis, recombination and consequent chromosome segregation. The progression of meiotic prophase I is well described, while the molecular mechanisms and regulation of these dramatic chromosomal reorganisations are not well understood. Histone modifying enzymes are major regulators of chromatin structure, however, our knowledge of their roles in meiotic prophase I is still limited. In this work, I investigated the role of the histone demethylase Kdm5/Lid, which removes one of the trimethyl groups at Lys4 of Histone 3 (H3K4me3). I showed that Kdm5/Lid is important for the assembly of the synaptonemal complex, pairing of homologous centromeres, and the karyosome formation. Additionally, Kdm5/Lid promotes crossing over and therefore ensures accurate chromosome segregation. Although loss of Kdm5/Lid dramatically increased the level of H3K4me3 in oocytes, catalytically inactive Kdm5/Lid rescued the above cytological defects. Thereby, I found that Kdm5/Lid regulates chromatin architecture in meiotic prophase I oocytes independently of its demethylase activity. To further identify the regulators of meiotic chromatin organisation during prophase I, I carried out a small-scale RNAi screen for karyosome defects. I found that depletion of ubiquitin ligase components, SkpA, Cul-3 and Ubc-6, disrupted the karyosome formation and the assembly of the synaptonemal complex. The success of the small-scale screen motivated me to initiate the genome-scale RNAi screen for karyosome defects. I found 40 new genes that, when depleted, strongly impaired karyosome morphology. Further studies are required to confirm and elucidate their role in chromatin organisation in oocytes. Overall, my findings have advanced our understanding of the regulation of chromatin reorganisation during oocyte development. Because of the conservation between Drosophila and human meiosis, this study provides novel insights into the regulation of meiotic progression in human oocytes.
Supervisor: Ohkura, Hiro ; Hardwick, Kevin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: chromosomal reorganisations ; Kdm5/Lid ; Drosophila ; chromosome segregation ; H3K4me3 ; oocytes