Poxvirus protein evolution: family wide assessment of possible horizontal gene transfer events.
ABSTRACT: To investigate the evolutionary origins of proteins encoded by the Poxviridae family of viruses, we examined all poxvirus protein coding genes using a method of characterizing and visualizing the similarity between these proteins and taxonomic subsets of proteins in GenBank. Our analysis divides poxvirus proteins into categories based on their relative degree of similarity to two different taxonomic subsets of proteins such as all eukaryote vs. all virus (except poxvirus) proteins. As an example, this allows us to identify, based on high similarity to only eukaryote proteins, poxvirus proteins that may have been obtained by horizontal transfer from their hosts. Although this method alone does not definitively prove horizontal gene transfer, it allows us to provide an assessment of the possibility of horizontal gene transfer for every poxvirus protein. Potential candidates can then be individually studied in more detail during subsequent investigation. Results of our analysis demonstrate that in general, proteins encoded by members of the subfamily Chordopoxvirinae exhibit greater similarity to eukaryote proteins than to proteins of other virus families. In addition, our results reiterate the important role played by host gene capture in poxvirus evolution; highlight the functions of many genes poxviruses share with their hosts; and illustrate which host-like genes are present uniquely in poxviruses and which are also present in other virus families.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Poxviruses are important pathogens of humans, livestock and wild animals. These large dsDNA viruses have a set of core orthologs whose gene order is extremely well conserved throughout poxvirus genera. They also contain many genes with sequence and functional similarity to host genes which were probably acquired by horizontal gene transfer.Although phylogenetic trees can indicate the occurrence of horizontal gene transfer and even uncover multiple events, their use may be hampered by uncertainties in both the topology and the rooting of the tree. We propose to use synteny conservation around the horizontally transferred gene (HTgene) to distinguish between single and multiple events. RESULTS: Here we devise a method that incorporates comparative genomic information into the investigation of horizontal gene transfer, and we apply this method to poxvirus genomes. We examined the synteny conservation around twenty four pox genes that we identified, or which were reported in the literature, as candidate HTgenes. We found support for multiple independent transfers into poxviruses for five HTgenes. Three of these genes are known to be important for the survival of the virus in or out of the host cell and one of them increases susceptibility to some antiviral drugs. CONCLUSION: In related genomes conserved synteny information can provide convincing evidence for multiple independent horizontal gene transfer events even in the absence of a robust phylogenetic tree for the HTgene.
Project description:Success in smallpox eradication was enabled by the absence of non-human reservoir for smallpox virus. However, other poxviruses with a wider host spectrum can infect humans and represent a potential health threat to humans, highlighted by a progressively increasing number of infections by (re)emerging poxviruses, requiring new improved diagnostic and epidemiological tools. We describe here a real-time PCR assay targeting a highly conserved region of the poxvirus genome, thus allowing a pan-Poxvirus detection (Chordopoxvirinae and Entomopoxvirinae). This system is specific (99.8% for vertebrate samples and 99.7% for arthropods samples), sensitive (100% for vertebrate samples and 86.3% for arthropods samples) and presents low limit of detection (<?1000 DNA copies/reaction). In addition, this system could be also valuable for virus discovery and epidemiological projects.
Project description:The poxviruses (family Poxviridae) are a family of double-stranded viruses including several species that infect humans and their domestic animals, most notably Variola virus (VARV), the causative agent of smallpox. The evolutionary biology of these viruses poses numerous questions, for which we have only partial answers at present. Here we review evidence regarding the origin of poxviruses, the frequency of host transfer in poxvirus history, horizontal transfer of host genes to poxviruses, and the population processes accounting for patterns of nucleotide sequence polymorphism.
Project description:The family Poxviridae contains two subfamilies: the Entomopoxvirinae (poxviruses of insects) and the Chordopoxvirinae (poxviruses of vertebrates). Here we present the first characterization of the genome of an entomopoxvirus (EPV) which infects the North American migratory grasshopper Melanoplus sanguinipes and other important orthopteran pests. The 236-kbp M. sanguinipes EPV (MsEPV) genome consists of a central coding region bounded by 7-kbp inverted terminal repeats and contains 267 open reading frames (ORFs), of which 107 exhibit similarity to previously described genes. The presence of genes not previously described in poxviruses, and in some cases in any other known virus, suggests significant viral adaptation to the arthropod host and the external environment. Genes predicting interactions with host cellular mechanisms include homologues of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein, stress response protein phosphatase 2C, extracellular matrixin metalloproteases, ubiquitin, calcium binding EF-hand protein, glycosyltransferase, and a triacylglyceride lipase. MsEPV genes with putative functions in prevention and repair of DNA damage include a complete base excision repair pathway (uracil DNA glycosylase, AP endonuclease, DNA polymerase beta, and an NAD+-dependent DNA ligase), a photoreactivation repair pathway (cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer photolyase), a LINE-type reverse transcriptase, and a mutT homologue. The presence of these specific repair pathways may represent viral adaptation for repair of environmentally induced DNA damage. The absence of previously described poxvirus enzymes involved in nucleotide metabolism and the presence of a novel thymidylate synthase homologue suggest that MsEPV is heavily reliant on host cell nucleotide pools and the de novo nucleotide biosynthesis pathway. MsEPV and lepidopteran genus B EPVs lack genome colinearity and exhibit a low level of amino acid identity among homologous genes (20 to 59%), perhaps reflecting a significant evolutionary distance between lepidopteran and orthopteran viruses. Divergence between MsEPV and the Chordopoxvirinae is indicated by the presence of only 49 identifiable chordopoxvirus homologues, low-level amino acid identity among these genes (20 to 48%), and the presence in MsEPV of 43 novel ORFs in five gene families. Genes common to both poxvirus subfamilies, which include those encoding enzymes involved in RNA transcription and modification, DNA replication, protein processing, virion assembly, and virion structural proteins, define the genetic core of the Poxviridae.
Project description:To investigate gene loss in poxviruses belonging to the Chordopoxvirinae subfamily, we assessed the gene content of representative members of the subfamily, and determined whether individual genes present in each genome were intact, truncated, or fragmented. When nonintact genes were identified, the early stop mutations (ESMs) leading to gene truncation or fragmentation were analyzed. Of all the ESMs present in these poxvirus genomes, over 65% co-localized with microsatellites-simple sequence nucleotide repeats. On average, microsatellites comprise 24% of the nucleotide sequence of these poxvirus genomes. These simple repeats have been shown to exhibit high rates of variation, and represent a target for poxvirus protein variation, gene truncation, and reductive evolution.
Project description:There is increasing concern for the well-being of cetacean populations around the UK. Tattoo skin disease (characterised by irregular, grey, black or yellowish, stippled cutaneous lesions) caused by poxvirus infection is a potential health indicatora potential health indicator for cetaceans. Limited sequence data indicates that cetacean poxviruses (CPVs) belong to an unassigned genus of the Chordopoxvirinae. To obtain further insight into the phylogenetic relationships between CPV and other Chordopoxvirinae members we partially characterized viral DNA originating from tattoo lesions collected in Delphinidae and Phocoenidae stranded along the UK coastline in 1998-2008. We also evaluated the presence of CPV in skin lesions other than tattoos to examine specificity and sensitivity of visual diagnosis. After DNA extraction, regions of the DNA polymerase and DNA topoisomerase I genes were amplified by PCR, sequenced and compared with other isolates. The presence of CPV DNA was demonstrated in tattoos from one striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), eight harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and one short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and in one 'dubious tattoo' lesion detected in one other porpoise. Seventeen of the 18 PCR positive skin lesions had been visually identified as tattoos and one as a dubious tattoo. None of the other skin lesions were PCR positive. Thus, visual identification had a 94.4% sensitivity and 100% specificity. The DNA polymerase PCR was most effective in detecting CPV DNA. Limited sequence phylogeny grouped the UK samples within the odontocete poxviruses (CPV group 1) and indicated that two different poxvirus lineages infect the Phocoenidae and the Delphinidae. The phylogenetic tree had three major branches: one with the UK Phocoenidae viruses, one with the Delphinidae isolates and one for the mysticete poxvirus (CPV group 2). This implies a radiation of poxviruses according to the host suborder and the families within these suborders.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Sheep poxvirus (SPPV), Goat poxvirus (GTPV) and Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) are the most serious poxviruses of ruminants. They are double stranded DNA viruses of the genus Capripoxvirus, (subfamily Chordopoxvirinae) within the family Poxviridae. The aim of this study was to develop a Loop-mediated isothermal AMPlification (LAMP) assay for the detection of Capripoxvirus (CaPV) DNA. RESULTS: A single LAMP assay targeting a conserved region of the CaPV P32 gene was selected from 3 pilot LAMP assays and optimised by adding loop primers to accelerate the reaction time. This LAMP assay successfully detected DNA prepared from representative CaPV isolates (SPPV, GTPV and LSDV), and did not cross-react with DNA extracted from other mammalian poxviruses. The analytical sensitivity of the LAMP assay was determined to be at least 163 DNA copies/?l which is equivalent to the performance reported for diagnostic real-time PCR currently used for the detection of CaPV. LAMP reactions were monitored with an intercalating dye using a real-time PCR machine, or by agarose-gel electrophoresis. Furthermore, dual labelled LAMP products (generated using internal LAMP primers that were conjugated with either biotin or fluorescein) could be readily visualised using a lateral-flow device. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a simple and rapid approach to detect CaPV DNA that may have utility for use in the field, or in non-specialised laboratories where expensive equipment is not available.
Project description:Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), a member of the capripoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae, is the etiologic agent of an important disease of cattle in Africa. Here we report the genomic sequence of LSDV. The 151-kbp LSDV genome consists of a central coding region bounded by identical 2.4 kbp-inverted terminal repeats and contains 156 putative genes. Comparison of LSDV with chordopoxviruses of other genera reveals 146 conserved genes which encode proteins involved in transcription and mRNA biogenesis, nucleotide metabolism, DNA replication, protein processing, virion structure and assembly, and viral virulence and host range. In the central genomic region, LSDV genes share a high degree of colinearity and amino acid identity (average of 65%) with genes of other known mammalian poxviruses, particularly suipoxvirus, yatapoxvirus, and leporipoxviruses. In the terminal regions, colinearity is disrupted and poxvirus homologues are either absent or share a lower percentage of amino acid identity (average of 43%). Most of these differences involve genes and gene families with likely functions involving viral virulence and host range. Although LSDV resembles leporipoxviruses in gene content and organization, it also contains homologues of interleukin-10 (IL-10), IL-1 binding proteins, G protein-coupled CC chemokine receptor, and epidermal growth factor-like protein which are found in other poxvirus genera. These data show that although LSDV is closely related to other members of the Chordopoxvirinae, it contains a unique complement of genes responsible for viral host range and virulence.
Project description:Interest in bat-related viruses has increased considerably during the last decade, leading to the discovery of a rising number of new viruses in several bat species. Poxviridae are a large, diverse family of DNA viruses that can infect a wide range of vertebrates and invertebrates. To date, only a few documented detections of poxviruses have been described in bat populations on three different continents (America, Africa, and Australia). These viruses are phylogenetically dissimilar and have diverse clinical impacts on their hosts. Herein, we report the isolation, nearly complete genome sequencing, and annotation of a novel poxvirus detected from an insectivorous bat (Hypsugo savii) in Northern Italy. The virus is tentatively named Hypsugopoxvirus (HYPV) after the bat species from which it was isolated. The nearly complete genome size is 166,600 nt and it encodes 161 genes. Genome analyses suggest that HYPV belongs to the Chordopoxvirinae subfamily, with the highest nucleotide identity (85%) to Eptesipoxvirus (EPTV) detected from a microbat Eptesicus fuscus in WA, USA, in 2011. To date, HYPV represents the first poxvirus detected in bats in Europe; thus, its viral ecology and disease associations should be investigated further.
Project description:Poxviruses encode a broad array of proteins that serve to undermine host immune defenses. Structural analysis of four of these seemingly unrelated proteins revealed the recurrent use of a conserved beta-sandwich fold that has not been observed in any eukaryotic or prokaryotic protein. Herein we propose to call this unique structural scaffolding the PIE (Poxvirus Immune Evasion) domain. PIE domain containing proteins are abundant in chordopoxvirinae, with our analysis identifying 20 likely PIE subfamilies among 33 representative genomes spanning 7 genera. For example, cowpox strain Brighton Red appears to encode 10 different PIEs: vCCI, A41, C8, M2, T4 (CPVX203), and the SECRET proteins CrmB, CrmD, SCP-1, SCP-2, and SCP-3. Characterized PIE proteins all appear to be nonessential for virus replication, and all contain signal peptides for targeting to the secretory pathway. The PIE subfamilies differ primarily in the number, size, and location of structural embellishments to the beta-sandwich core that confer unique functional specificities. Reported ligands include chemokines, GM-CSF, IL-2, MHC class I, and glycosaminoglycans. We expect that the list of ligands and receptors engaged by the PIE domain will grow as we come to better understand how this versatile structural architecture can be tailored to manipulate host responses to infection.