APOBEC3G oligomerization is associated with the inhibition of both Alu and LINE-1 retrotransposition.
ABSTRACT: Alu and LINE-1 (L1), which constitute ~11% and ~17% of the human genome, respectively, are transposable non-LTR retroelements. They transpose not only in germ cells but also in somatic cells, occasionally causing cancer. We have previously demonstrated that antiretroviral restriction factors, human APOBEC3 (hA3) proteins (A-H), differentially inhibit L1 retrotransposition. In this present study, we found that hA3 members also restrict Alu retrotransposition at differential levels that correlate with those observed previously for L1 inhibition. Through deletion analyses based on the best-characterized hA3 member human APOBEC3G (hA3G), its N-terminal 30 amino acids were required for its inhibitory activity against Alu retrotransposition. The inhibitory effect of hA3G on Alu retrotransposition was associated with its oligomerization that was affected by the deletion of its N-terminal 30 amino acids. Through structural modeling, the amino acids 24 to 28 of hA3G were predicted to be located at the interface of the dimer. The mutation of these residues resulted in abrogated hA3G oligomerization, and consistently abolished the inhibitory activity of hA3G against Alu retrotransposition. Importantly, the anti-L1 activity of hA3G was also associated with hA3G oligomerization. These results suggest that the inhibitory activities of hA3G against Alu and L1 retrotransposition might involve a common mechanism.
Project description:Long interspersed element 1 (L1) is the only currently active autonomous retroelement in the human genome. Along with the parasitic SVA and short interspersed element Alu, L1 is the source of DNA damage induced by retrotransposition: a copy-and-paste process that has the potential to disrupt gene function and cause human disease. The retrotransposition process is dependent upon the ORF2 protein (ORF2p). However, it is unknown whether most of the protein is important for retrotransposition. In particular, other than the Cys motif, the C terminus of the protein has not been intensely examined in the context of retrotransposition. Using evolutionary analysis and the Alu retrotransposition assay, we sought to identify additional amino acids in the C terminus important for retrotransposition. Here, we demonstrate that Gal4-tagged and untagged C-terminally truncated ORF2p fragments possess residual potential to drive Alu retrotransposition. Using sight-directed mutagenesis we identify that while the Y1180 amino acid is important for ORF2p- and L1-driven Alu retrotransposition, a mutation at this position improves L1 retrotransposition. Even though the mechanism of the contribution of Y1180 to Alu and L1 mobilization remains unknown, experimental evidence rules out its direct involvement in the ability of the ORF2p reverse transcriptase to generate complementary DNA. Additionally, our data support that ORF2p amino acids 1180 and 1250-1262 may be involved in the reported ORF1p-mediated increase in ORF2p-driven Alu retrotransposition.
Project description:Long Interspersed Element 1 (LINE-1 or L1) is capable of causing genomic instability through the activity of the L1 ORF2 protein (ORF2p). This protein contains endonuclease (EN) and reverse transcriptase (RT) domains that are necessary for the retrotransposition of L1 and the Short Interspersed Element (SINE) Alu. The functional importance of approximately 50% of the ORF2p molecule remains unknown, but some of these sequences could play a role in retrotransposition, or be necessary for the enzymatic activities of the EN and/or RT domains. Conventional approaches using the full-length, contiguous ORF2p make it difficult to study the involvement of these unannotated sequences in the function of L1 ORF2p. Our lab has developed a Bipartile Alu Retrotransposition (BAR) assay that relies on separate truncated ORF2p fragments: an EN-containing and an RT-containing fragment. We validated the utility of this method for studying the ORF2p function in retrotransposition by assessing the effect of expression levels and previously characterized mutations on BAR. Using BAR, we identified two pairs of amino acids important for retrotransposition, an FF and a WD. The WD appears to play a role in cDNA synthesis by the ORF2p molecule, despite being outside the canonical RT domain.
Project description:Long interspersed element-1 (LINE-1, L1) is a mobile genetic element comprising about 17% of the human genome. L1 utilizes an endonuclease to insert L1 cDNA into the target genomic DNA, which induces double-strand DNA breaks in the human genome and activates the DNA damage signaling pathway, resulting in the recruitment of DNA-repair proteins. This may facilitate or protect L1 integration into the human genome. Therefore, the host DNA repair machinery has pivotal roles in L1 mobility. In this study, we have, for the first time, demonstrated that the DNA repair protein, Rad18, restricts L1 mobility. Notably, overexpression of Rad18 strongly suppressed L1 retrotransposition as well as L1-mediated Alu retrotransposition. In contrast, L1 retrotransposition was enhanced in Rad18-deficient or knockdown cells. Furthermore, the Rad6 (E2 ubiquitin-conjugated enzyme)-binding domain, but not the Pol?-binding domain, was required for the inhibition of L1 retrotransposition, suggesting that the E3 ubiquitin ligase activity of Rad18 is important in regulating L1 mobility. Accordingly, wild-type, but not the mutant Rad18-lacking Rad6-binding domain, bound with L1 ORF1p and sequestered with L1 ORF1p into the Rad18-nuclear foci. Altogether, Rad18 restricts L1 and Alu retrotransposition as a guardian of the human genome against endogenous retroelements.
Project description:Non-long terminal repeat retroelements continue to impact the human genome through cis-activity of long interspersed element-1 (LINE-1 or L1) and trans-mobilization of Alu. Current activity is dominated by modern subfamilies of these elements, leaving behind an evolutionary graveyard of extinct Alu and L1 subfamilies. Because Alu is a nonautonomous element that relies on L1 to retrotranspose, there is the possibility that competition between these elements has driven selection and antagonistic coevolution between Alu and L1. Through analysis of synonymous versus nonsynonymous codon evolution across L1 subfamilies, we find that the C-terminal ORF2 cys domain experienced a dramatic increase in amino acid substitution rate in the transition from L1PA5 to L1PA4 subfamilies. This observation coincides with the previously reported rapid evolution of ORF1 during the same transition period. Ancestral Alu sequences have been previously reconstructed, as their short size and ubiquity have made it relatively easy to retrieve consensus sequences from the human genome. In contrast, creating constructs of extinct L1 copies is a more laborious task. Here, we report our efforts to recreate and evaluate the retrotransposition capabilities of two ancestral L1 elements, L1PA4 and L1PA8 that were active ~18 and ~40 Ma, respectively. Relative to the modern L1PA1 subfamily, we find that both elements are similarly active in a cell culture retrotransposition assay in HeLa, and both are able to efficiently trans-mobilize Alu elements from several subfamilies. Although we observe some variation in Alu subfamily retrotransposition efficiency, any coevolution that may have occurred between LINEs and SINEs is not evident from these data. Population dynamics and stochastic variation in the number of active source elements likely play an important role in individual LINE or SINE subfamily amplification. If coevolution also contributes to changing retrotransposition rates and the progression of subfamilies, cell factors are likely to play an important mediating role in changing LINE-SINE interactions over evolutionary time.
Project description:The human polynucleotide cytidine deaminases APOBEC3G (hA3G) and APOBEC3F (hA3F) are antiviral restriction factors capable of inducing extensive plus-strand guanine-to-adenine (G-to-A) hypermutation in a variety of retroviruses and retroelements, including human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). They differ in target specificity, favoring plus-strand 5'GG and 5'GA dinucleotide motifs, respectively. To characterize their mutational preferences in detail, we analyzed single-copy, near-full-length HIV-1 proviruses which had been hypermutated in vitro by hA3G or hA3F. hA3-induced G-to-A mutation rates were significantly influenced by the wider sequence context of the target G. Moreover, hA3G, and to a lesser extent hA3F, displayed clear tetranucleotide preference hierarchies, irrespective of the genomic region examined and overall hypermutation rate. We similarly analyzed patient-derived hypermutated HIV-1 genomes using a new method for estimating reference sequences. The majority of these, regardless of subtype, carried signatures of hypermutation that strongly correlated with those induced in vitro by hA3G. Analysis of genome-wide hA3-induced mutational profiles confirmed that hypermutation levels were reduced downstream of the polypurine tracts. Additionally, while hA3G mutations were found throughout the genome, hA3F often intensely mutated shorter regions, the locations of which varied between proviruses. We extended our analysis to human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) from the HERV-K(HML2) family, finding two elements that carried clear footprints of hA3G activity. This constitutes the most direct evidence to date for hA3G activity in the context of natural HERV infections, demonstrating the involvement of this restriction factor in defense against retroviral attacks over millions of years of human evolution.
Project description:Mobile elements comprise close to one half of the mass of the human genome. Only LINE-1 (L1), an autonomous non-Long Terminal Repeat (LTR) retrotransposon, and its non-autonomous partners-such as the retropseudogenes, SVA, and the SINE, Alu-are currently active human retroelements. Experimental evidence shows that Alu retrotransposition depends on L1 ORF2 protein, which has led to the presumption that LINEs and SINEs share the same basic insertional mechanism. Our data demonstrate clear differences in the time required to generate insertions between marked Alu and L1 elements. In our tissue culture system, the process of L1 insertion requires close to 48 hours. In contrast to the RNA pol II-driven L1, we find that pol III transcribed elements (Alu, the rodent SINE B2, and the 7SL, U6 and hY sequences) can generate inserts within 24 hours or less. Our analyses demonstrate that the observed retrotransposition timing does not dictate insertion rate and is independent of the type of reporter cassette utilized. The additional time requirement by L1 cannot be directly attributed to differences in transcription, transcript length, splicing processes, ORF2 protein production, or the ability of functional ORF2p to reach the nucleus. However, the insertion rate of a marked Alu transcript drastically drops when driven by an RNA pol II promoter (CMV) and the retrotransposition timing parallels that of L1. Furthermore, the "pol II Alu transcript" behaves like the processed pseudogenes in our retrotransposition assay, requiring supplementation with L1 ORF1p in addition to ORF2p. We postulate that the observed differences in retrotransposition kinetics of these elements are dictated by the type of RNA polymerase generating the transcript. We present a model that highlights the critical differences of LINE and SINE transcripts that likely define their retrotransposition timing.
Project description:Retroelements have contributed over one third of the human genome mass. The currently active LINE-1 (L1) codes for two proteins (ORF1p and ORF2p), both strictly required for retrotransposition. In contrast, the non-coding parasitic SINE (Alu) only appears to need the L1 ORF2p for its own amplification. This requirement was previously determined using a tissue culture assay system in human cells (HeLa). Because HeLa are likely to express functional L1 proteins, it is possible that low levels of endogenous ORF1p are necessary for the observed tagged Alu mobilization. By individually expressing ORF1 and ORF2 proteins from both human (L1RP and LRE3) and rodent (L1A102 and L1spa) L1 sources, we demonstrate that increasing amounts of ORF1 expressing vector enhances tagged Alu mobilization in HeLa cells. In addition, using chicken fibroblast cells as an alternate cell culture source, we confirmed that ORF1p is not strictly required for Alu mobilization in our assay. Supporting our observations in HeLa cells, we find that tagged Alu retrotransposition is improved by supplementation of ORF1p in the cultured chicken cells. We postulate that L1 ORF1p plays either a direct or indirect role in enhancing the interaction between the Alu RNA and the required factors needed for its retrotransposition.
Project description:LINE-1 (L1) retroelements emerged in mammalian genomes over 80 million years ago with a few dominant subfamilies amplifying over discrete time periods that led to distinct human and mouse L1 lineages. We evaluated the functional conservation of L1 sequences by comparing retrotransposition rates of chimeric human-rodent L1 constructs to their parental L1 counterparts. Although amino acid conservation varies from ?35% to 63% for the L1 ORF1p and ORF2p, most human and mouse L1 sequences can be functionally exchanged. Replacing either ORF1 or ORF2 to create chimeric human-mouse L1 elements did not adversely affect retrotransposition. The mouse ORF2p retains retrotransposition-competency to support both Alu and L1 mobilization when any of the domain sequences we evaluated were substituted with human counterparts. However, the substitution of portions of the mouse cys-domain into the human ORF2p reduces both L1 retrotransposition and Alu trans-mobilization by 200-1000 fold. The observed loss of ORF2p function is independent of the endonuclease or reverse transcriptase activities of ORF2p and RNA interaction required for reverse transcription. In addition, the loss of function is physically separate from the cysteine-rich motif sequence previously shown to be required for RNP formation. Our data suggest an additional role of the less characterized carboxy-terminus of the L1 ORF2 protein by demonstrating that this domain, in addition to mediating RNP interaction(s), provides an independent and required function for the retroelement amplification process. Our experiments show a functional modularity of most of the LINE sequences. However, divergent evolution of interactions within L1 has led to non-reciprocal incompatibilities between human and mouse ORF2 cys-domain sequences.
Project description:Long INterspersed Element-1 (LINE-1 or L1) is the only active autonomous retrotransposon in the human genome. To investigate the interplay between the L1 retrotransposition machinery and the host cell, we used co-immunoprecipitation in conjunction with liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry to identify cellular proteins that interact with the L1 first open reading frame-encoded protein, ORF1p. We identified 39 ORF1p-interacting candidate proteins including the zinc-finger antiviral protein (ZAP or ZC3HAV1). Here we show that the interaction between ZAP and ORF1p requires RNA and that ZAP overexpression in HeLa cells inhibits the retrotransposition of engineered human L1 and Alu elements, an engineered mouse L1, and an engineered zebrafish LINE-2 element. Consistently, siRNA-mediated depletion of endogenous ZAP in HeLa cells led to a ~2-fold increase in human L1 retrotransposition. Fluorescence microscopy in cultured human cells demonstrated that ZAP co-localizes with L1 RNA, ORF1p, and stress granule associated proteins in cytoplasmic foci. Finally, molecular genetic and biochemical analyses indicate that ZAP reduces the accumulation of full-length L1 RNA and the L1-encoded proteins, yielding mechanistic insight about how ZAP may inhibit L1 retrotransposition. Together, these data suggest that ZAP inhibits the retrotransposition of LINE and Alu elements.
Project description:Although L1 sequences are present in the genomes of all placental mammals and marsupials examined to date, their activity was lost in the megabat family, Pteropodidae, ?24 million years ago. To examine the characteristics of L1s prior to their extinction, we analyzed the evolutionary history of L1s in the genome of a megabat, Pteropus vampyrus, and found a pattern of periodic L1 expansion and quiescence. In contrast to the well-characterized L1s in human and mouse, megabat genomes have accommodated two or more simultaneously active L1 families throughout their evolutionary history, and major peaks of L1 deposition into the genome always involved multiple families. We compared the consensus sequences of the two major megabat L1 families at the time of their extinction to consensus L1s of a variety of mammalian species. Megabat L1s are comparable to the other mammalian L1s in terms of adenosine content and conserved amino acids in the open reading frames (ORFs). However, the intergenic region (IGR) of the reconstructed element from the more active family is dramatically longer than the IGR of well-characterized human and mouse L1s. We synthesized the reconstructed element from this L1 family and tested the ability of its components to support retrotransposition in a tissue culture assay. Both ORFs are capable of supporting retrotransposition, while the IGR is inhibitory to retrotransposition, especially when combined with either of the reconstructed ORFs. We dissected the inhibitory effect of the IGR by testing truncated and shuffled versions and found that length is a key factor, but not the only one affecting inhibition of retrotransposition. Although the IGR is inhibitory to retrotransposition, this inhibition does not account for the extinction of L1s in megabats. Overall, the evolution of the L1 sequence or the quiescence of L1 is unlikely the reason of L1 extinction.