Retrotransposons and their recognition of pol II promoters: a comprehensive survey of the transposable elements from the complete genome sequence of Schizosaccharomyces pombe.
ABSTRACT: The complete DNA sequence of the genome of Schizosaccharomyces pombe provides the opportunity to investigate the entire complement of transposable elements (TEs), their association with specific sequences, their chromosomal distribution, and their evolution. Using homology-based sequence identification, we found that the sequenced strain of S. pombe contained only one family of full-length transposons. This family, Tf2, consisted of 13 full-length copies of a long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposon. We found that LTR-LTR recombination of previously existing transposons had resulted in extensive populations of solo LTRs. These included 35 solo LTRs of Tf2, as well as 139 solo LTRs from other Tf families. Phylogenetic analysis of solo Tf LTRs reveals that Tf1 and Tf2 were the most recently active elements within the genome. The solo LTRs also served as footprints for previous insertion events by the Tf retrotransposons. Analysis of 186 genomic insertion events revealed a close association with RNA polymerase II promoters. These insertions clustered in the promoter-proximal regions of genes, upstream of protein coding regions by 100 to 400 nucleotides. The association of Tf insertions with pol II promoters was very similar to the preference previously observed for Tf1 integration. We found that the recently active Tf elements were absent from centromeres and pericentromeric regions of the genome containing tandem tRNA gene clusters. In addition, our analysis revealed that chromosome III has twice the density of insertion events compared to the other two chromosomes. Finally we describe a novel repetitive sequence, wtf, which was also preferentially located on chromosome III, and was often located near solo LTRs of Tf elements.
Project description:Two related families of transposons were isolated from schizosaccharomyces pombe, an organism which has been the object of extensive genetic studies which had previously produced no evidence for the existence of such elements. These two classes of repeated DNAs, dubbed Tf1 (transposon of fission yeast 1) and Tf2 have many properties of retrotransposons. Tf1 and Tf2 both possess long terminal repeats and predicted protein sequences that resemble the protease, reverse transcriptase, and integrase domains of retroviruses. The chromosomal locations and total numbers of Tf1 and Tf2 differ greatly in various isolates of S. pombe. The Tf elements are expressed in the form of 4.5-kb mRNAs. The complete sequence of Tf1 was determined and suggests that a novel mechanism for regulating its gene expression may be used.
Project description:Transposable elements (TEs) are common constituents of centromeres. However, it is not known what causes this relationship. Schizosaccharomyces japonicus contains 10 families of Long Terminal Repeat (LTR)-retrotransposons and these elements cluster in centromeres and telomeres. In the related yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe LTR-retrotransposons Tf1 and Tf2 are distributed in the promoter regions of RNA pol II transcribed genes. Sequence analysis of TEs indicates that Tj1 of S. japonicus is related to Tf1 and Tf2, and uses the same mechanism of self-primed reverse transcription. Thus, we wondered why these related retrotransposons localized in different regions of the genome.To characterize the integration behavior of Tj1 we expressed it in S. pombe. We found Tj1 was active and capable of generating de novo integration in the chromosomes of S. pombe. The expression of Tj1 is similar to Type C retroviruses in that a stop codon at the end of Gag must be present for efficient integration. 17 inserts were sequenced, 13 occurred within 12 bp upstream of tRNA genes and 3 occurred at other RNA pol III transcribed genes. The link between Tj1 integration and RNA pol III transcription is reminiscent of Ty3, an LTR-retrotransposon of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that interacts with TFIIIB and integrates upstream of tRNA genes.The integration of Tj1 upstream of tRNA genes and the centromeric clustering of tRNA genes in S. japonicus demonstrate that the clustering of this TE in centromere sequences is due to a unique pattern of integration.
Project description:Regulation of transposable elements (TEs) is critical to the integrity of the host genome. The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe homologs of mammalian CENP-B perform a host genome surveillance role by controlling Tf2 long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons. However, the mechanisms by which CENP-Bs effect their functions are ill defined. Here, we show that the multifaceted roles of Abp1, the prominent member of fission yeast CENP-Bs, are mediated in part via recognition of a 10-bp AT-rich motif present in most LTRs and require the DNA-binding, transposase, and dimerization domains of Abp1 to maintain transcriptional repression and genome organization. Expression profiling analyses indicated that Abp1 recruits class I/II histone deacetylases (HDACs) to repress Tf2 retrotransposons and genes activated in response to stresses. We demonstrate that class I/II HDACs and sirtuins mediate the clustering of dispersed Tf2 retrotransposons into Tf bodies. Intriguingly, we uncovered an unexpected cooperation between Abp1 and the histone H3K4 methyltransferase Set1 in regulating sense and antisense transcriptional silencing of Tf2 retrotransposons and Tf body integrity. Moreover, Set1-mediated regulation of Tf2 expression and nuclear organization appears to be largely independent of H3K4 methylation. Our study illuminates a molecular pathway involving a transposase-containing transcription factor that cooperates with chromatin modifiers to regulate TE activities.
Project description:The LTR-retrotransposon Tf1 preserves the coding capacity of its host Schizosaccharomyces pombe by integrating upstream of open reading frames (ORFs). To determine which features of the target sites were recognized by the transposon, we introduced plasmids containing candidate insertion sites into S. pombe and mapped the positions of integration. We found that Tf1 was targeted specifically to the promoters of Pol II-transcribed genes. A detailed analysis of integration in plasmids that contained either ade6 or fbp1 revealed insertions occurred in the promoters at positions where transcription factors bound. Further experiments revealed that the activator Atf1p and its binding site were required for directing integration to the promoter of fbp1. An interaction between Tf1 integrase and Atf1p was observed, indicating that integration at fbp1 was mediated by the activator bound to its promoter. Surprisingly, we found Tf1 contained sequences that activated transcription, and these substituted for elements of the ade6 promoter disrupted by integration.
Project description:About 8% of the human genome is made up of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs). Though most human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) are thought to be irrelevant to our biology notable exceptions include members of the HERV-H family that are necessary for the correct functioning of stem cells. ERVs are commonly found in two forms, the full-length proviral form, and the more numerous solo-LTR form, thought to result from homologous recombination events. Here we introduce a phylogenetic framework to study ERV insertion and solo-LTR formation. We then apply the framework to site patterns sampled from a set of long alignments covering six primate genomes. Studying six categories of ERVs we quantitatively recapitulate patterns of insertional activity that are usually described in qualitative terms in the literature. A slowdown in most ERV groups is observed but we suggest that HERV-K activity may have increased in humans since they diverged from chimpanzees. We find that the rate of solo-LTR formation decreases rapidly as a function of ERV age and that an age dependent model of solo-LTR formation describes the history of ERVs more accurately than the commonly used exponential decay model. We also demonstrate that HERV-H loci are markedly less likely to form solo-LTRs than ERVs from other families. We conclude that the slower dynamics of HERV-H suggest a host role for the internal regions of these exapted elements and posit that in future it will be possible to use the relationship between full-length proviruses and solo-LTRs to help identify large scale co-options in distant vertebrate genomes.
Project description:Long terminal repeat retrotransposons (LTR-RTs) are the major DNA components in flowering plants. Most LTR-RTs contain dinucleotides 'TG' and 'CA' at the ends of the two LTRs. Here we report the structure, evolution, and propensity of a tomato atypical retrotransposon element (TARE1) with both LTRs starting as 'TA'. This family is also characterized by high copy numbers (354 copies), short LTR size (194 bp), extremely low ratio of solo LTRs to intact elements (0.05?1), recent insertion (most within 0.75?1.75 million years, Mys), and enrichment in pericentromeric region. The majority (83%) of the TARE1 elements are shared between S. lycopersicum and its wild relative S. pimpinellifolium, but none of them are found in potato. In the present study, we used shared LTR-RTs as molecular markers and estimated the divergence time between S. lycopersicum and S. pimpinellifolium to be <0.5 Mys. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the TARE1 elements, together with two closely related families, TARE2 and TGRE1, have formed a sub-lineage belonging to a Copia-like Ale lineage. Although TARE1 and TARE2 shared similar structural characteristics, the timing, scale, and activity of their amplification were found to be substantially different. We further propose a model wherein a single mutation from 'G' to 'A' in 3' LTR followed by amplification is responsible for the origin of TARE1, thus providing evidence that the proliferation of a spontaneous mutation can be mediated by the amplification of LTR-RTs at the level of RNA.
Project description:Retroviruses and LTR retrotransposons comprise two long-terminal repeats (LTRs) bounding a central domain that encodes the products needed for reverse transcription, packaging, and integration into the genome. We describe a group of retrotransposons in 13 species and four genera of the grass tribe Triticeae, including barley, with long, approximately 4.4-kb LTRs formerly called Sukkula elements. The approximately 3.5-kb central domains include reverse transcriptase priming sites and are conserved in sequence but contain no open reading frames encoding typical retrotransposon proteins. However, they specify well-conserved RNA secondary structures. These features describe a novel group of elements, called LARDs or large retrotransposon derivatives (LARDs). These appear to be members of the gypsy class of LTR retrotransposons. Although apparently nonautonomous, LARDs appear to be transcribed and can be recombinationally mapped due to the polymorphism of their insertion sites. They are dispersed throughout the genome in an estimated 1.3 x 10(3) full-length copies and 1.16 x 10(4) solo LTRs, indicating frequent recombinational loss of internal domains as demonstrated also for the BARE-1 barley retrotransposon.
Project description:Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) and other long terminal repeat (LTR)-type retrotransposons (HERV/LTRs) have regulatory elements that possibly influence the transcription of host genes. We systematically identified and characterized these regulatory elements based on publicly available datasets of ChIP-Seq of 97 transcription factors (TFs) provided by ENCODE and Roadmap Epigenomics projects. We determined transcription factor-binding sites (TFBSs) using the ChIP-Seq datasets and identified TFBSs observed on HERV/LTR sequences (HERV-TFBSs). Overall, 794,972 HERV-TFBSs were identified. Subsequently, we identified "HERV/LTR-shared regulatory element (HSRE)," defined as a TF-binding motif in HERV-TFBSs, shared within a substantial fraction of a HERV/LTR type. HSREs could be an indication that the regulatory elements of HERV/LTRs are present before their insertions. We identified 2,201 HSREs, comprising specific associations of 354 HERV/LTRs and 84 TFs. Clustering analysis showed that HERV/LTRs can be grouped according to the TF binding patterns; HERV/LTR groups bounded to pluripotent TFs (e.g., SOX2, POU5F1, and NANOG), embryonic endoderm/mesendoderm TFs (e.g., GATA4/6, SOX17, and FOXA1/2), hematopoietic TFs (e.g., SPI1 (PU1), GATA1/2, and TAL1), and CTCF were identified. Regulatory elements of HERV/LTRs tended to locate nearby and/or interact three-dimensionally with the genes involved in immune responses, indicating that the regulatory elements play an important role in controlling the immune regulatory network. Further, we demonstrated subgroup-specific TF binding within LTR7, LTR5B, and LTR5_Hs, indicating that gains or losses of the regulatory elements occurred during genomic invasions of the HERV/LTRs. Finally, we constructed dbHERV-REs, an interactive database of HERV/LTR regulatory elements (http://herv-tfbs.com/). This study provides fundamental information in understanding the impact of HERV/LTRs on host transcription, and offers insights into the transcriptional modulation systems of HERV/LTRs and ancestral HERVs.
Project description:LTR retrotransposons constitute a significant part of plant genomes and their evolutionary dynamics play an important role in genome size changes. Current methods of LTR retrotransposon age estimation are based only on LTR (long terminal repeat) divergence. This has prompted us to analyze sequence similarity of LTRs in 25,144 LTR retrotransposons from fifteen plant species as well as formation of solo LTRs. We found that approximately one fourth of nested retrotransposons showed a higher LTR divergence than the pre-existing retrotransposons into which they had been inserted. Moreover, LTR similarity was correlated with LTR length. We propose that gene conversion can contribute to this phenomenon. Gene conversion prediction in LTRs showed potential converted regions in 25% of LTR pairs. Gene conversion was higher in species with smaller genomes while the proportion of solo LTRs did not change with genome size in analyzed species. The negative correlation between the extent of gene conversion and the abundance of solo LTRs suggests interference between gene conversion and ectopic recombination. Since such phenomena limit the traditional methods of LTR retrotransposon age estimation, we recommend an improved approach based on the exclusion of regions affected by gene conversion.
Project description:Retrotransposons are mobile genetic elements that proliferate through an RNA intermediate. Transposons do not encode transcription factors and thus rely on host factors for mRNA expression and survival. Despite information regarding conditions under which elements are upregulated, much remains to be learned about the regulatory mechanisms or factors controlling retrotransposon expression. Here, we report that low oxygen activates the fission yeast Tf2 family of retrotransposons. Sre1, the yeast ortholog of the mammalian membrane-bound transcription factor sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP), directly induces the expression and mobilization of Tf2 retrotransposons under low oxygen. Sre1 binds to DNA sequences in the Tf2 long terminal repeat that functions as an oxygen-dependent promoter. We find that Tf2 solo long terminal repeats throughout the genome direct oxygen-dependent expression of adjacent coding and noncoding sequences, providing a potential mechanism for the generation of oxygen-dependent gene expression.