APE-type non-LTR retrotransposons of multicellular organisms encode virus-like 2A oligopeptide sequences, which mediate translational recoding during protein synthesis.
ABSTRACT: 2A oligopeptide sequences ("2As") mediate a cotranslational recoding event termed "ribosome skipping." Previously we demonstrated the activity of 2As (and "2A-like sequences") within a wide range of animal RNA virus genomes and non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons (non-LTRs) in the genomes of the unicellular organisms Trypanosoma brucei (Ingi) and T. cruzi (L1Tc). Here, we report the presence of 2A-like sequences in the genomes of a wide range of multicellular organisms and, as in the trypanosome genomes, within non-LTR retrotransposons (non-LTRs)-clustering in the Rex1, Crack, L2, L2A, and CR1 clades, in addition to Ingi. These 2A-like sequences were tested for translational recoding activity, and highly active sequences were found within the Rex1, L2, CR1, and Ingi clades. The presence of 2A-like sequences within non-LTRs may not only represent a method of controlling protein biogenesis but also shows some correlation with such apurinic/apyrimidinic DNA endonuclease-type non-LTRs encoding one, rather than two, open reading frames (ORFs). Interestingly, such non-LTRs cluster with closely related elements lacking 2A-like recoding elements but retaining ORF1. Taken together, these observations suggest that acquisition of 2A-like translational recoding sequences may have played a role in the evolution of these elements.
Project description:Autonomous non-long terminal repeat (non-LTR) retrotransposons and their repetitive remnants are ubiquitous components of mammalian genomes. Recently, we identified non-LTR retrotransposon families, Ingi-1_AAl and Ingi-1_EE, in two hedgehog genomes. Here we rename them to Vingi-1_AAl and Vingi-1_EE and report a new clade "Vingi," which is a sister clade of Ingi that lacks the ribonuclease H domain. In the European hedgehog genome, there are 11 non-autonomous families of elements derived from Vingi-1_EE by internal deletions. No retrotransposons related to Vingi elements were found in any of the remaining 33 mammalian genomes nearly completely sequenced to date, but we identified several new families of Vingi and Ingi retrotransposons outside mammals. Our data suggest the horizontal transfer of Vingi elements to hedgehog, although the vertical transfer cannot be ruled out. The compact structure and trans-mobilization of nonautonomous derivatives of Vingi can make them useful for in vivo retrotransposition assay system.
Project description:Retroposons are ubiquitous transposable elements found in the genomes of most eukaryotes, including trypanosomatids. The African and American trypanosomes (Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma cruzi) contain long autonomous retroposons of the ingi clade (Tbingi and L1Tc, respectively) and short nonautonomous truncated versions (TbRIME and NARTc, respectively), as well as degenerate ingi-related retroposons devoid of coding capacity (DIREs). In contrast, Leishmania major contains only remnants of extinct retroposons (LmDIREs) and of short nonautonomous heterogeneous elements (LmSIDERs). We extend this comparative and evolutionary analysis of retroposons to the genomes of two other African trypanosomes (Trypanosoma congolense and Trypanosoma vivax) and another Leishmania sp. (Leishmania braziliensis). Three new potentially functional retroposons of the ingi clade have been identified: Tvingi in T. vivax and Tcoingi and L1Tco in T. congolense. T. congolense is the first trypanosomatid containing two classes of potentially active retroposons of the ingi clade. We analyzed sequences located upstream of these new long autonomous ingi-related elements, which code for the recognition site of the retroposon-encoded endonuclease. The closely related Tcoingi and Tvingi elements show the same conserved pattern, indicating that the Tcoingi- and Tvingi-encoded endonucleases share site specificity. Similarly, the conserved pattern previously identified upstream of L1Tc has also been detected at the same relative position upstream of L1Tco elements. A phylogenetic analysis of all ingi-related retroposons identified so far, including DIREs, clearly shows that several distinct subfamilies have emerged and coexisted, though in the course of trypanosomatid evolution, only a few have been maintained as active elements in modern trypanosomatid (sub)species.
Project description:Among the few non-structural proteins encoded by the picornaviral genome, the 2A protein is particularly special, irrespective of structure or function. During the evolution of the Picornaviridae family, the 2A protein has been highly non-conserved. We believe that the 2A protein in this family can be classified into at least five distinct types according to previous studies. These five types are (A) chymotrypsin-like 2A, (B) Parechovirus-like 2A, (C) hepatitis-A-virus-like 2A, (D) Aphthovirus-like 2A, and (E) 2A sequence of the genus Cardiovirus. We carried out a phylogenetic analysis and found that there was almost no homology between each type. Subsequently, we aligned the sequences within each type and found that the functional motifs in each type are highly conserved. These different motifs perform different functions. Therefore, in this review, we introduce the structures and functions of these five types of 2As separately. Based on the structures and functions, we provide suggestions to combat picornaviruses. The complexity and diversity of the 2A protein has caused great difficulties in functional and antiviral research. In this review, researchers can find useful information on the 2A protein and thus conduct improved antiviral research.
Project description:In this study, we conducted the activity, diversity, and density analysis of transposable elements (TEs) across five avian genomes (budgerigar, chicken, turkey, medium ground finch, and zebra finch) to explore the potential reason of small genome sizes of birds. We found that these avian genomes exhibited low density of TEs by about 10% of genome coverages and low diversity of TEs with the TE landscapes dominated by CR1 and ERV elements, and contrasting proliferation dynamics both between TE types and between species were observed across the five avian genomes. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that CR1 clade was more diverse in the family structure compared with R2 clade in birds; avian ERVs were classified into four clades (alpha, beta, gamma, and ERV-L) and belonged to three classes of ERV with an uneven distributed in these lineages. The activities of DNA and SINE TEs were very low in the evolution history of avian genomes; most LINEs and LTRs were ancient copies with a substantial decrease of activity in recent, with only LTRs and LINEs in chicken and zebra finch exhibiting weak activity in very recent, and very few TEs were intact; however, the recent activity may be underestimated due to the sequencing/assembly technologies in some species. Overall, this study demonstrates low diversity, activity, and density of TEs in the five avian species; highlights the differences of TEs in these lineages; and suggests that the current and recent activity of TEs in avian genomes is very limited, which may be one of the reasons of small genome sizes in birds.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Transposable elements (TEs) have the potential to produce broad changes in the genomes of their hosts, acting as a type of evolutionary toolbox and generating a collection of new regulatory and coding sequences. Several TE classes have been studied in Neotropical cichlids; however, the information gained from these studies is restricted to the physical chromosome mapping, whereas the genetic diversity of the TEs remains unknown. Therefore, the genomic organization of the non-LTR retrotransposons Rex1, Rex3, and Rex6 in five Amazonian cichlid species was evaluated using physical chromosome mapping and DNA sequencing to provide information about the role of TEs in the evolution of cichlid genomes. RESULTS: Physical mapping revealed abundant TE clusters dispersed throughout the chromosomes. Furthermore, several species showed conspicuous clusters accumulation in the centromeric and terminal portions of the chromosomes. These TE chromosomal sites are associated with both heterochromatic and euchromatic regions. A higher number of Rex1 clusters were observed among the derived species. The Rex1 and Rex3 nucleotide sequences were more conserved in the basal species than in the derived species; however, this pattern was not observed in Rex6. In addition, it was possible to observe conserved blocks corresponding to the reverse transcriptase fragment of the Rex1 and Rex3 clones and to the endonuclease of Rex6. CONCLUSION: Our data showed no congruence between the Bayesian trees generated for Rex1, Rex3 and Rex6 of cichlid species and phylogenetic hypothesis described for the group. Rex1 and Rex3 nucleotide sequences were more conserved in the basal species whereas Rex6 exhibited high substitution rates in both basal and derived species. The distribution of Rex elements in cichlid genomes suggests that such elements are under the action of evolutionary mechanisms that lead to their accumulation in particular chromosome regions, mostly in heterochromatins.
Project description:Chicken genomes contain approximately 30,000 chicken repeat 1 (CR1) elements scattered among single-copy sequences, but no information has yet been presented to account for how these elements could have dispersed. The fact that CR1 elements have common (although atypical) 3' ends and variable 5' truncations suggested to us that they might belong to the class of non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons that encode reverse transcriptases. From an analysis of unusually large CR1 elements, we now provide evidence for the presence of such a reverse transcriptase open reading frame. CR1 elements are distantly related to previously described non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons; however, we find that frog and torpedo ray genomes contain dispersed open reading frame segments that have > 50% identity to the CR1 open reading frame. This result suggests that CR1-like elements exist in several vertebrate classes that have evolved independently for approximately 400 million years.
Project description:Although DNA transposons often generated internal deleted derivatives such as miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements, short internally deleted elements (SIDEs) derived from nonlong terminal-repeat retrotransposons are rare. Here, we found a novel SIDE, named Persaeus, that originated from the chicken repeat 1 (CR1) retrotransposon Zenon and it has been found widespread in Lepidoptera insects. Our findings suggested that Persaeus and the partner Zenon have experienced a transposition burst in their host genomes and the copy number of Persaeus and Zenon in assayed genomes are significantly correlated. Accordingly, the activity though age analysis indicated that the replication wave of Persaeus coincided with that of Zenon. Phylogenetic analyses suggested that Persaeus may have evolved at least four times independently, and that it has been vertically transferred into its host genomes. Together, our results provide new insights into the evolution dynamics of SIDEs and its partner non-LTRs.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Retroviral LTRs, paired or single, influence the transcription of both retroviral and non-retroviral genomic sequences. Vertebrate genomes contain many thousand endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) and their LTRs. Single LTRs are difficult to detect from genomic sequences without recourse to repetitiveness or presence in a proviral structure. Understanding of LTR structure increases understanding of LTR function, and of functional genomics. Here we develop models of orthoretroviral LTRs useful for detection in genomes and for structural analysis. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Although mutated, ERV LTRs are more numerous and diverse than exogenous retroviral (XRV) LTRs. Hidden Markov models (HMMs), and alignments based on them, were created for HML- (human MMTV-like), general-beta-, gamma- and lentiretroviruslike LTRs, plus a general-vertebrate LTR model. Training sets were XRV LTRs and RepBase LTR consensuses. The HML HMM was most sensitive and detected 87% of the HML LTRs in human chromosome 19 at 96% specificity. By combining all HMMs with a low cutoff, for screening, 71% of all LTRs found by RepeatMasker in chromosome 19 were found. HMM consensus sequences had a conserved modular LTR structure. Target site duplications (TG-CA), TATA (occasionally absent), an AATAAA box and a T-rich region were prominent features. Most of the conservation was located in, or adjacent to, R and U5, with evidence for stem loops. Several of the long HML LTRs contained long ORFs inserted after the second A rich module. HMM consensus alignment allowed comparison of functional features like transcriptional start sites (sense and antisense) between XRVs and ERVs. CONCLUSION: The modular conserved and redundant orthoretroviral LTR structure with three A-rich regions is reminiscent of structurally relaxed Giardia promoters. The five HMMs provided a novel broad range, repeat-independent, ab initio LTR detection, with prospects for greater generalisation, and insight into LTR structure, which may aid development of LTR-targeted pharmaceuticals.
Project description:Expression of viral proteins frequently includes non-canonical decoding events ('recoding') during translation. '2A' oligopeptides drive one such event, termed 'stop-carry on' recoding. Nascent 2A peptides interact with the ribosomal exit tunnel to dictate an unusual stop codon-independent termination of translation at the final Pro codon of 2A. Subsequently, translation 'reinitiates' on the same codon, two individual proteins being generated from one open reading frame. Many 2A peptides have been identified, and they have a conserved C-terminal motif. Little similarity is present in the N-terminal portions of these peptides, which might suggest that these amino acids are not important in the 2A reaction. However, mutagenesis indicates that identity of the amino acid at nearly all positions of a single 2A peptide is important for activity. Each 2A may then represent a specific solution for positioning the conserved C-terminus within the peptidyl-transferase centre to promote recoding. Nascent 2A peptide:ribosome interactions are suggested to alter ribosomal fine structure to discriminate against prolyl-tRNA(Pro) and promote termination in the absence of a stop codon. Such structural modifications may account for our observation that replacement of the final Pro codon of 2A with any stop codon both stalls ribosome processivity and inhibits nascent chain release.
Project description:While some transposable elements (TEs) have been found in the sequenced genomes of frog species, detailed studies of these elements have been lacking. In this work, we investigated the occurrence of the Rex1 element, which is widespread in fish, in anurans of the genus Physalaemus. We isolated and characterized the reverse transcriptase (RT)-coding sequences of Rex1 elements of five species of this genus.The amino acid sequences deduced from the nucleotide sequences of the isolated fragments allowed us to unambiguously identify regions corresponding to domains 3-7 of RT. Some of the nucleotide sequences isolated from Physlaemus ephippifer and P. albonotatus had internal deletions, suggesting that these fragments are likely not active TEs, despite being derived from a Rex1 element. When hybridized with metaphase chromosomes, Rex1 probes were revealed at the pericentromeric heterochromatic region of the short arm of chromosome 3 of the P. ephippifer karyotype. Neither other heterochromatin sites of the P. ephippifer karyotype nor any chromosomal regions of the karyotypes of P. albonotatus, P. spiniger and P. albifrons were detected with these probes.Rex1 elements were found in the genomes of five species of Physalaemus but clustered in only the P. ephippifer karyotype, in contrast to observations in some species of fish, where large chromosomal sites with Rex1 elements are typically present.