Transposable element dynamics of the hAT element Herves in the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae s.s.
ABSTRACT: Transposable elements are being considered as genetic drive agents for introducing phenotype-altering genes into populations of vectors of human disease. The dynamics of endogenous elements will assist in predicting the behavior of introduced elements. Transposable element display was used to estimate the site-occupancy frequency distribution of Herves in six populations of Anopheles gambiae s.s. The site-occupancy distribution data suggest that the element has been recently active within the sampled populations. All 218 individuals sampled contained at least one copy of Herves with a mean of 3.6 elements per diploid genome. No significant differences in copy number were observed among populations. Nucleotide polymorphism within the element was high (pi = 0.0079 in noncoding sequences and 0.0046 in coding sequences) relative to that observed in some of the more well-studied elements in Drosophila melanogaster. In total, 33 distinct forms of Herves were found on the basis of the sequence of the first 528 bp of the transposase open reading frame. Only two forms were found in all six study populations. Although Herves elements in An. gambiae are quite diverse, 85% of the individuals examined had evidence of complete forms of the element. Evidence was found for the lateral transfer of Herves from an unknown source into the An. gambiae lineage prior to the diversification of the An. gambiae species complex. The characteristics of Herves in An. gambiae are somewhat unlike those of P elements in D. melanogaster.
Project description:Transposable elements have proven to be invaluable tools for genetically manipulating a wide variety of plants, animals, and microbes. Some have suggested that they could be used to spread desirable genes, such as refractoriness to Plasmodium infection, through target populations of Anopheles gambiae, thereby disabling the mosquito's ability to transmit malaria. To achieve this, a transposon must remain mobile and intact after the initial introduction into the genome. Endogenous, active class II transposable elements from An. gambiae have not been exploited as gene vectors/drivers because none have been isolated. We report the discovery of an active class II transposable element, Herves, from the mosquito An. gambiae. Herves is a member of a distinct subfamily of hAT elements that includes the hopper-we element from Bactrocera dorsalis and B. cucurbitae. Herves was transpositionally active in mobility assays performed in Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells and developing embryos and was used as a germ-line transformation vector in D. melanogaster. Herves displays an altered target-site preference from the distantly related hAT elements, Hermes and hobo. Herves is also present in An. arabiensis and An. merus with copy numbers similar to that found in An. gambiae. Preliminary data from an East African population are consistent with the element being transpositionally active in mosquitoes.
Project description:IS630/Tc1/mariner elements are diverse and widespread within insects. The African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, contains over 30 families of IS630/Tc1/mariner elements although few have been studied in any detail. To examine the history of Topi elements in An. gambiae populations, Topi elements (n=73) were sampled from five distinct populations of An. gambiae from eastern and western Africa and evaluated with respect to copy number, nucleotide diversity and insertion site-occupancy frequency. Topi 1 and 2 elements were abundant (10-34 per diploid genome) and highly diverse (pi=0.051). Elements from mosquitoes collected in Nigeria were Topi 2 elements and those from mosquitoes collected in Mozambique were Topi 1 elements. Of the 49 Topi transposase open reading frames sequenced none were found to be identical. Intact elements with complete transposase open reading frames were common, although based on insertion site-occupancy frequency data it appeared that genetic drift was the major force acting on these IS630/Tc1/mariner-type elements. Topi 3 elements were not recovered from any of the populations sampled in this study and appear to be rare elements in An. gambiae, possibly due to a recent introduction.
Project description:The P-element is one of the best understood eukaryotic transposable elements. It invaded Drosophila melanogaster populations within a few decades but was thought to be absent from close relatives, including Drosophila simulans. Five decades after the spread in D. melanogaster, we provide evidence that the P-element has also invaded D. simulans. P-elements in D. simulans appear to have been acquired recently from D. melanogaster probably via a single horizontal transfer event. Expression data indicate that the P-element is processed in the germ line of D. simulans, and genomic data show an enrichment of P-element insertions in putative origins of replication, similar to that seen in D. melanogaster. This ongoing spread of the P-element in natural populations provides a unique opportunity to understand the dynamics of transposable element spread and the associated piwi-interacting RNAs defense mechanisms.
Project description:The proximal promoter regions of heat-shock genes harbor a remarkable number of P transposable element (TE) insertions relative to both positive and negative control proximal promoter regions in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. We have screened the sequenced genomes of 12 species of Drosophila to test whether this pattern is unique to these populations. In the 12 species' genomes, transposable element insertions are no more abundant in promoter regions of single-copy heat-shock genes than in promoters with similar or dissimilar architecture. Also, insertions appear randomly distributed across the promoter region, whereas insertions clustered near the transcription start site in promoters of single-copy heat-shock genes in D. melanogaster natural populations. Hsp70 promoters exhibit more TE insertions per promoter than all other genesets in the 12 species, similarly to in natural populations of D. melanogaster. Insertions in the Hsp70 promoter region, however, cluster away from the transcription start site in the 12 species, but near it in natural populations of D. melanogaster. These results suggest that D. melanogaster heat-shock promoters are unique in terms of their interaction with transposable elements, and confirm that Hsp70 promoters are distinctive in TE insertions across Drosophila.
Project description:The "cut-and-paste" P-element present in some Diptera illustrates two important transposable elements abilities: to move within genomes and to be transmitted between non-mating species, a phenomenon known as horizontal transposon transfer (HTT). Recent studies reported a HTT of the P-element from Drosophila melanogaster to D. simulans. P-elements first appeared in D. simulans European samples collected in 2006 and spread across several populations from Europe, Africa, North America and Japan within seven years. Nevertheless, no P-element was found in South American populations of D. simulans collected between 2002 and 2009. We investigated the presence of the P-element in D. simulans collected in five Brazilian localities between 2018 and 2019, using a combination of methodologies such as PCR, DNA sequencing and FISH on chromosomes. Our experiments revealed the presence of the P-element in all sampled individuals from the five localities. The number of P-elements per individual varied from 11 to 20 copies and truncated copies were also observed. Altogether, our results showed that P-element invasion in D. simulans is at an advanced stage in Brazil and, together with other recent studies, confirms the remarkable rapid invasion of P-elements across worldwide D. simulans populations.
Project description:Transposable elements are abundant, dynamic components of the genome that affect organismal phenotypes and fitness. In Drosophila melanogaster, they have increased in abundance as the species spread out of Africa, and different populations differ in their transposable element content. However, very little is currently known about how transposable elements differ between individual genotypes, and how that relates to the population dynamics of transposable elements overall. The sister species of D. melanogaster, D. simulans, has also recently become cosmopolitan, and panels of inbred genotypes exist from cosmopolitan and African flies. Therefore, we can determine whether the differences in colonizing populations are repeated in D. simulans, what the dynamics of transposable elements are in individual genotypes, and how that compares to wild flies. After estimating copy number in cosmopolitan and African D. simulans, I find that transposable element load is higher in flies from cosmopolitan populations. In addition, transposable element load varies considerably between populations, between genotypes, but not overall between wild and inbred lines. Certain genotypes either contain active transposable elements or are more permissive of transposition and accumulate copies of particular transposable elements. Overall, it is important to quantify genotype-specific transposable element dynamics as well as population averages to understand the dynamics of transposable element accumulation over time.
Project description:The Drosophila melanogaster P-transposable element is an example of mobile DNA transferred horizontally and known to have spread globally over the last 50-60 years. In Drosophila, the P-element causes a syndrome known as 'P-M hybrid dysgenesis' that obstructs normal ovary development in the female progeny of susceptible populations. Despite extensive research, the stability and global population dynamics of P-M dysgenic phenotypes remain poorly understood. Here, we report a recent and rapid transition in the P-M status of D. melanogaster populations from Ukraine. We demonstrate that these populations are currently dominated by the P'-cytotype characterized by active genomic P-elements and unknown from Ukraine just two decades ago. Our results suggest a recent invasion of the P-element in Ukraine, a pattern that matches recent discoveries from Turkey.
Project description:Transposable elements (TEs) are nucleotide sequences found in most studied genomes. These elements are highly diversified and have a large variation in nucleotide structure and mechanisms of transposition. hobo is a member of class II, belonging to hAT superfamily, described inDrosophila melanogaster, and it presents in its Open Reading Frame, a repetitive region encoding the amino acids threonine-proline-glutamic acid (TPE), which shows variability in the number of repeats in some regions of the world. Due to this variability some evolutionary scenarios of the hobo element are discussed, such as the scenario of the invasion of hobo element in populations ofD. melanogaster. In the present study, we investigated 22 DNA sequences of D. melanogaster and seven sequences ofD. simulans, both from South America, to check the number of repetitions of TPE, in order to clarify the evolutionary scenario of thehobo element in these populations. Our results showed a monomorphism in populations of both species in South America, with only three TPE repeats. Hence, we discuss and propose an evolutionary scenario of the invasion of the hobo element in populations of D. melanogaster and D. simulans.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Transposable elements (TEs) are major players in evolution. We know that they play an essential role in genome size determination, but we still have an incomplete understanding of the processes involved in their amplification and elimination from genomes and populations. Taking advantage of differences in the amount and distribution of the Long Interspersed Nuclear Element (LINE), helena in Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans, we analyzed the DNA sequences of copies of this element in samples of various natural populations of these two species. RESULTS: In situ hybridization experiments revealed that helena is absent from the chromosome arms of D. melanogaster, while it is present in the chromosome arms of D. simulans, which is an unusual feature for a TE in these species. Molecular analyses showed that the helena sequences detected in D. melanogaster were all deleted copies, which diverged from the canonical element. Natural populations of D. simulans have several copies, a few of them full-length, but most of them internally deleted. CONCLUSION: Overall, our data suggest that a mechanism that induces internal deletions in the helena sequences is active in the D. simulans genome.
Project description:Transposable elements, known colloquially as 'jumping genes', constitute approximately 45% of the human genome. Cells utilize epigenetic defenses to limit transposable element jumping, including formation of silencing heterochromatin and generation of piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), small RNAs that facilitate clearance of transposable element transcripts. Here we utilize Drosophila melanogaster and postmortem human brain samples to identify transposable element dysregulation as a key mediator of neuronal death in tauopathies, a group of neurodegenerative disorders that are pathologically characterized by deposits of tau protein in the brain. Mechanistically, we find that heterochromatin decondensation and reduction of piwi and piRNAs drive transposable element dysregulation in tauopathy. We further report a significant increase in transcripts of the endogenous retrovirus class of transposable elements in human Alzheimer's disease and progressive supranuclear palsy, suggesting that transposable element dysregulation is conserved in human tauopathy. Taken together, our data identify heterochromatin decondensation, piwi and piRNA depletion and consequent transposable element dysregulation as a pharmacologically targetable, mechanistic driver of neurodegeneration in tauopathy.