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Transposable elements, their controllers and the genesis of human-specific transcriptional networks

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "TRANSPOS-X" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: BATIMENT CE 3316 STATION 1
postcode: 1015

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Switzerland [CH]
 Project website
 Total cost 2˙500˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙500˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-AdG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-01-01   to  2021-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Transposable elements (TEs) account for more than two thirds of the human genome. They can inactivate genes, provide novel coding functions, sprinkle chromosomes with recombination-prone repetitive sequences, and modulate cellular gene expression through a wide variety of transcriptional and posttranscriptional influences. As a consequence, TEs are considered as essential motors of evolution yet they are occasionally associated with disease, causing about one hundred Mendelian disorders and possibly contributing to several human cancers. As expected for such genomic threats, TEs are subjected to tight epigenetic control imposed from the very first days of embryogenesis, in part owing to their recognition by sequence-specific RNA- and protein-based repressors. It is generally considered that the evolutionary selection of these TE controllers reflects a simple host-pathogen arms race, and that their action results in the early and permanent silencing of their targets. We have recently uncovered new evolutionary evidence and obtained genomic and functional data that invalidate this dual assumption, and suggest instead that transposable elements and their epigenetic controllers establish species-specific transcriptional networks that play critical roles in human development and physiology. The general objective of the present proposal is to explore the breadth of this phenomenon, to decipher its mechanisms, to unveil its functional implications, and to probe how this knowledge could be exploited for basic research, biotechnology and clinical medicine.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Annamaria Kauzlaric, Suk Min Jang, Mehdi Morchikh, Marco Cassano, Evarist Planet, Monsef Benkirane, Didier Trono
KAP1 targets actively transcribed genomic loci to exert pleomorphic effects on RNA polymerase II activity
published pages: 20190334, ISSN: 0962-8436, DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2019.0334
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 375/1795 2020-03-05
2020 Alberto De Iaco, Sonia Verp, Sandra Offner, Delphine Grun, Didier Trono
DUX is a non-essential synchronizer of zygotic genome activation
published pages: dev177725, ISSN: 0950-1991, DOI: 10.1242/dev.177725
Development 147/2 2020-02-13
2018 Andrea Coluccio, Gabriela Ecco, Julien Duc, Sandra Offner, Priscilla Turelli, Didier Trono
Individual retrotransposon integrants are differentially controlled by KZFP/KAP1-dependent histone methylation, DNA methylation and TET-mediated hydroxymethylation in naïve embryonic stem cells
published pages: , ISSN: 1756-8935, DOI: 10.1186/s13072-018-0177-1
Epigenetics & Chromatin 11/1 2019-06-13
2017 Gabriela Ecco, Michael Imbeault, Didier Trono
KRAB zinc finger proteins
published pages: 2719-2729, ISSN: 0950-1991, DOI: 10.1242/dev.132605
Development 144/15 2019-06-13
2018 Suk Min Jang, Annamaria Kauzlaric, Jean-Pierre Quivy, Julien Pontis, Benjamin Rauwel, Andrea Coluccio, Sandra Offner, Julien Duc, Priscilla Turelli, Geneviève Almouzni, Didier Trono
KAP1 facilitates reinstatement of heterochromatin after DNA replication
published pages: , ISSN: 0305-1048, DOI: 10.1093/nar/gky580
Nucleic Acids Research 2019-06-13
2017 Marco Cassano, Sandra Offner, Evarist Planet, Alessandra Piersigilli, Suk Min Jang, Hugues Henry, Markus B. Geuking, Catherine Mooser, Kathy D. McCoy, Andrew J. Macpherson, Didier Trono
Polyphenic trait promotes liver cancer in a model of epigenetic instability in mice
published pages: 235-251, ISSN: 0270-9139, DOI: 10.1002/hep.29182
Hepatology 66/1 2019-06-13
2017 Didier Trono
A KRABsody for Embryo-Placental Development
published pages: 578-580, ISSN: 1534-5807, DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2017.06.005
Developmental Cell 41/6 2019-06-13
2017 Annamaria Kauzlaric, Gabriela Ecco, Marco Cassano, Julien Duc, Michael Imbeault, Didier Trono
The mouse genome displays highly dynamic populations of KRAB-zinc finger protein genes and related genetic units
published pages: e0173746, ISSN: 1932-6203, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0173746
PLOS ONE 12/3 2019-06-13
2017 Alberto De Iaco, Evarist Planet, Andrea Coluccio, Sonia Verp, Julien Duc, Didier Trono
DUX-family transcription factors regulate zygotic genome activation in placental mammals
published pages: 941-945, ISSN: 1061-4036, DOI: 10.1038/ng.3858
Nature Genetics 49/6 2019-06-13
2019 Julien Pontis, Evarist Planet, Sandra Offner, Priscilla Turelli, Julien Duc, Alexandre Coudray, Thorold W. Theunissen, Rudolf Jaenisch, Didier Trono
Hominoid-Specific Transposable Elements and KZFPs Facilitate Human Embryonic Genome Activation and Control Transcription in Naive Human ESCs
published pages: 724-735.e5, ISSN: 1934-5909, DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2019.03.012
Cell Stem Cell 24/5 2019-08-29
2019 Nozomi Takahashi, Andrea Coluccio, Christian W. Thorball, Evarist Planet, Hui Shi, Sandra Offner, Priscilla Turelli, Michael Imbeault, Anne C. Ferguson-Smith, Didier Trono
ZNF445 is a primary regulator of genomic imprinting
published pages: 49-54, ISSN: 0890-9369, DOI: 10.1101/gad.320069.118
Genes & Development 33/1-2 2019-08-29
2019 Alberto De Iaco, Alexandre Coudray, Julien Duc, Didier Trono
DPPA2 and DPPA4 are necessary to establish a 2C‐like state in mouse embryonic stem cells
published pages: , ISSN: 1469-221X, DOI: 10.15252/embr.201847382
EMBO reports 20/5 2019-08-29
2019 Pierre‐Yves Helleboid, Moritz Heusel, Julien Duc, Cécile Piot, Christian W Thorball, Andrea Coluccio, Julien Pontis, Michaël Imbeault, Priscilla Turelli, Ruedi Aebersold, Didier Trono
The interactome of KRAB zinc finger proteins reveals the evolutionary history of their functional diversification
published pages: , ISSN: 0261-4189, DOI: 10.15252/embj.2018101220
The EMBO Journal 2019-08-29

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