Positive Darwinian selection in the singularly large taste receptor gene family of an 'ancient' fish, Latimeria chalumnae.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Chemical senses are one of the foremost means by which organisms make sense of their environment, among them the olfactory and gustatory sense of vertebrates and arthropods. Both senses use large repertoires of receptors to achieve perception of complex chemosensory stimuli. High evolutionary dynamics of some olfactory and gustatory receptor gene families result in considerable variance of chemosensory perception between species. Interestingly, both ora/v1r genes and the closely related t2r genes constitute small and rather conserved families in teleost fish, but show rapid evolution and large species differences in tetrapods. To understand this transition, chemosensory gene repertoires of earlier diverging members of the tetrapod lineage, i.e. lobe-finned fish such as Latimeria would be of high interest. RESULTS: We report here the complete T2R repertoire of Latimeria chalumnae, using thorough data mining and extensive phylogenetic analysis. Eighty t2r genes were identified, by far the largest family reported for any species so far. The genomic neighborhood of t2r genes is enriched in repeat elements, which may have facilitated the extensive gene duplication events resulting in such a large family. Examination of non-synonymous vs. synonymous substitution rates (dN/dS) suggests pronounced positive Darwinian selection in Latimeria T2Rs, conceivably ensuring efficient neo-functionalization of newly born t2r genes. Notably, both traits, positive selection and enrichment of repeat elements in the genomic neighborhood, are absent in the twenty v1r genes of Latimeria. Sequence divergence in Latimeria T2Rs and V1Rs is high, reminescent of the corresponding teleost families. Some conserved sequence motifs of Latimeria T2Rs and V1Rs are shared with the respective teleost but not tetrapod genes, consistent with a potential role of such motifs in detection of aquatic chemosensory stimuli. CONCLUSIONS: The singularly large T2R repertoire of Latimeria may have been generated by facilitating local gene duplication via increased density of repeat elements, and efficient neofunctionalization via positive Darwinian selection.The high evolutionary dynamics of tetrapod t2r gene families precedes the emergence of tetrapods, i.e. the water-to-land transition, and thus constitutes a basal feature of the lobe-finned lineage of vertebrates.
Project description:We report an evolutionary analysis of the V1R gene family across 37 mammalian genomes. V1Rs comprise one of three chemosensory receptor families expressed in the vomeronasal organ, and contribute to pheromone detection. We first demonstrate that Trace Archive data can be used effectively to determine V1R family sizes and to obtain sequences of most V1R family members. Analyses of V1R sequences from trace data and genome assemblies show that species-specific expansions previously observed in only eight species were prevalent throughout mammalian evolution, resulting in "semi-private" V1R repertoires for most mammals. The largest families are found in mouse and platypus, whose V1R repertoires have been published previously, followed by mouse lemur and rabbit (approximately 215 and approximately 160 intact V1Rs, respectively). In contrast, two bat species and dolphin possess no functional V1Rs, only pseudogenes, and suffered inactivating mutations in the vomeronasal signal transduction gene Trpc2. We show that primate V1R decline happened prior to acquisition of trichromatic vision, earlier during evolution than was previously thought. We also show that it is extremely unlikely that decline of the dog V1R repertoire occurred in response to selective pressures imposed by humans during domestication. Functional repertoire sizes in each species correlate roughly with anatomical observations of vomeronasal organ size and quality; however, no single ecological correlate explains the very diverse fates of this gene family in different mammalian genomes. V1Rs provide one of the most extreme examples observed to date of massive gene duplication in some genomes, with loss of all functional genes in other species.
Project description:A number of studies have suggested that olfaction plays an important role in fish migration. Fish use several distinct families of olfactory receptors to detect environmental odorants, including MORs (main olfactory receptors), V1Rs (vomeronasal type-1 receptors), V2Rs (vomeronasal type-2 receptors), TAARs (trace amine-associated receptors), and FPRs (formyl peptide receptors). The V1Rs have been reported to detect pheromones, and a pheromone hypothesis for the spawning migration of anadromous fish has been proposed. Examining whether Coilia nasus relies on V1R-mediated olfaction for spawning migration is important for understanding the molecular basis of spawning migration behavior. Here, we explored the V1R gene family in anadromous C. nasus. Six V1R genes previously reported in other teleost fish were successfully identified. Interestingly, we detected the largest V1R repertoire in teleost fish from C. nasus and identified a species-specific expansion event of V1R3 gene that has previously been detected as single-copy genes in other teleost fish. The V1R loci were found to be populated with repetitive sequences, especially in the expanded V1R3 genes. Additionally, the divergence of V1R3 genetic structures in different populations of C. nasus indicates the copy number variation (CNV) in V1R3 gene among individuals of C. nasus. Most of the putative C. nasus V1R genes were expressed primarily in the olfactory epithelium, consistent with the role of the gene products as functional olfactory receptors. Significant differences in the expression levels of V1R genes were detected between the anadromous and non-anadromous C. nasus. This study represents a first step in the elucidation of the olfactory communication system of C. nasus at the molecular level. Our results indicate that some V1R genes may be involved in the spawning migration of C. nasus, and the study provides new insights into the spawning migration and genome evolution of C. nasus.
Project description:Sensory neurons expressing members of the seven-transmembrane V1r receptor superfamily allow mice to perceive pheromones. These receptors, which exhibit no sequence homology to any known protein except a weak similarity to taste receptors, have only been found in mammals. In the mouse, the V1r repertoire contains >150 members, which are expressed by neurons of the vomeronasal organ, a structure present exclusively in some tetrapod species. Here, we report the existence of a single V1r gene in multiple species of a non-terrestrial, vomeronasal organ-lacking taxon, the teleosts. In zebrafish, this V1r gene is expressed in chemosensory neurons of the olfactory rosette with a punctate distribution, strongly suggesting a role in chemodetection. This unique receptor gene exhibits a remarkably high degree of sequence variability between fish species. It likely corresponds to the original V1r present in the common ancestor of vertebrates, which led to the large and very diverse expansion of vertebrate pheromone receptor repertoires, and suggests the presence of V1rs in multiple nonmammalian phyla.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Teleost fishes do not have a vomeronasal organ (VNO), and their vomeronasal receptors (V1Rs, V2Rs) are expressed in the main olfactory epithelium (MOE), as are odorant receptors (ORs) and trace amine-associated receptors (TAARs). In this study, to obtain insights into the functional distinction among the four chemosensory receptor families in teleost fishes, their evolutionary patterns were examined in zebrafish, medaka, stickleback, fugu, and spotted green pufferfish. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Phylogenetic analysis revealed that many lineage-specific gene gains and losses occurred in the teleost fish TAARs, whereas only a few gene gains and losses have taken place in the teleost fish vomeronasal receptors. In addition, synonymous and nonsynonymous nucleotide substitution rate ratios (K(A)/K(S)) in TAARs tended to be higher than those in ORs and V2Rs. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Frequent gene gains/losses and high K(A)/K(S) in teleost TAARs suggest that receptors in this family are used for detecting some species-specific chemicals such as pheromones. Conversely, conserved repertoires of V1R and V2R families in teleost fishes may imply that receptors in these families perceive common odorants for teleosts, such as amino acids. Teleost ORs showed intermediate evolutionary pattern between TAARs and vomeronasal receptors. Many teleost ORs seem to be used for common odorants, but some ORs may have evolved to recognize lineage-specific odors.
Project description:In gnathostomes, chemosensory receptors (CR) expressed in olfactory epithelia are encoded by evolutionarily dynamic gene families encoding odorant receptors (OR), trace amine-associated receptors (TAAR), V1Rs and V2Rs. A limited number of OR-like sequences have been found in invertebrate chordate genomes. Whether these gene families arose in basal or advanced vertebrates has not been resolved because these families have not been examined systematically in agnathan genomes.Petromyzon is the only extant jawless vertebrate whose genome has been sequenced. Known to be exquisitely sensitive to several classes of odorants, lampreys detect fewer amino acids and steroids than teleosts. This reduced number of detectable odorants is indicative of reduced numbers of CR gene families or a reduced number of genes within CR families, or both, in the sea lamprey. In the lamprey genome we identified a repertoire of 59 intact single-exon CR genes, including 27 OR, 28 TAAR, and four V1R-like genes. These three CR families were expressed in the olfactory organ of both parasitic and adult life stages.An extensive search in the lamprey genome failed to identify potential orthologs or pseudogenes of the multi-exon V2R family that is greatly expanded in teleost genomes, but did find intact calcium-sensing receptors (CASR) and intact metabotropic glutamate receptors (MGR). We conclude that OR and V1R arose in chordates after the cephalochordate-urochordate split, but before the diversification of jawed and jawless vertebrates. The advent and diversification of V2R genes from glutamate receptor-family G protein-coupled receptors, most likely the CASR, occurred after the agnathan-gnathostome divergence.
Project description:We applied a comprehensive data-mining strategy to examine the repertoires of rat and mouse odorant receptors (ORs) and type 1 pheromone receptors (V1Rs) using the mm5 (mouse) and rn3 (rat) genomes. We identified 1576 rat OR genes, including 292 pseudogenes. The rat V1R repertoire is composed of 115 intact genes and 72 pseudogenes. The mouse OR and V1R databases were updated using the new assembly mm5, from which 1375 mouse ORs and 308 V1Rs were identified, with more than 100 putative pseudogenes from mm2 now identified as intact because of the higher sequence quality. With these new data we have conducted a series of genomic analyses of the OR and V1R genes from mouse and rat. Orthologous OR clusters were identified in mouse and rat and comparison analysis was performed at three incremental levels: families, coding sequences, and motifs. At the family level, we found that V1R genes have more species-specific families than OR genes. About 20% of intact V1R genes have no orthologous counterpart in the same family, whereas less than 1% of intact ORs are similarly isolated. At the coding sequence level, OR genes are more conserved between mouse and rat than V1R genes. OR genes share greater similarity with their orthologous counterparts than with their closest neighbor, whereas V1R genes show the opposite tendency. Motifs were identified to obtain biological insights. Motifs specific for species or families were found in OR and V1R genes, which may result in the differential pheromone-dependent behaviors and perception of odors between mouse and rat.
Project description:Bitter taste receptors (T2Rs) in the human airway detect harmful compounds, including secreted bacterial products. Here, using human primary sinonasal air-liquid interface cultures and tissue explants, we determined that activation of a subset of airway T2Rs expressed in nasal solitary chemosensory cells activates a calcium wave that propagates through gap junctions to the surrounding respiratory epithelial cells. The T2R-dependent calcium wave stimulated robust secretion of antimicrobial peptides into the mucus that was capable of killing a variety of respiratory pathogens. Furthermore, sweet taste receptor (T1R2/3) activation suppressed T2R-mediated antimicrobial peptide secretion, suggesting that T1R2/3-mediated inhibition of T2Rs prevents full antimicrobial peptide release during times of relative health. In contrast, during acute bacterial infection, T1R2/3 is likely deactivated in response to bacterial consumption of airway surface liquid glucose, alleviating T2R inhibition and resulting in antimicrobial peptide secretion. We found that patients with chronic rhinosinusitis have elevated glucose concentrations in their nasal secretions, and other reports have shown that patients with hyperglycemia likewise have elevated nasal glucose levels. These data suggest that increased glucose in respiratory secretions in pathologic states, such as chronic rhinosinusitis or hyperglycemia, promotes tonic activation of T1R2/3 and suppresses T2R-mediated innate defense. Furthermore, targeting T1R2/3-dependent suppression of T2Rs may have therapeutic potential for upper respiratory tract infections.
Project description:Vomeronasal sensitivity is important for detecting intraspecific pheromonal cues as well as environmental odorants and is involved in mating, social interaction, and other daily activities of many vertebrates. Two large families of seven-transmembrane G-protein-coupled receptors, V1rs and V2rs, bind to various ligands to initiate vomeronasal signal transduction. Although the macroevolution of V1r and V2r genes has been well characterized throughout vertebrates, especially mammals, little is known about their microevolutionary patterns, which hampers a clear understanding of the evolutionary forces behind the rapid evolutionary turnover of V1r and V2r genes and the great diversity in receptor repertoire across species. Furthermore, the role of divergent vomeronasal perception in enhancing premating isolation and maintaining species identity has not been evaluated. Here we sequenced 44 V1r genes and 25 presumably neutral noncoding regions in 14 wild-caught mice belonging to Mus musculus and M. domesticus, two closely related species with strong yet incomplete reproductive isolation. We found that nucleotide changes in V1rs are generally under weak purifying selection and that only ∼5% of V1rs may have been subject to positive selection that promotes nonsynonymous substitutions. Consistent with the low functional constraints on V1rs, 18 of the 44 V1rs have null alleles segregating in one or both species. Together, our results demonstrate that, despite occasional actions of positive selection, the evolution of V1rs is in a large part shaped by purifying selection and random drift. These findings have broad implications for understanding the driving forces of rapid gene turnovers that are often observed in the evolution of large gene families.
Project description:The vomeronasal system of mice is thought to be specialized in the detection of pheromones. Two multigene families have been identified that encode proteins with seven putative transmembrane domains and that are expressed selectively in subsets of neurons of the vomeronasal organ. The products of these vomeronasal receptor (Vr) genes are regarded as candidate pheromone receptors. Little is known about their genomic organization and sequence diversity, and only five sequences of mouse V1r coding regions are publicly available. Here, we have begun to characterize systematically the V1r repertoire in the mouse. We isolated 107 bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) containing V1r genes from a 129 mouse library. Hybridization experiments indicate that at least 107 V1r-like sequences reside on these BACs. We assembled most of the BACs into six contigs, of which one major contig and one minor contig were characterized in detail. The major contig is 630-860 kb long, encompasses a cluster of 21-48 V1r genes, and contains marker D6Mit227. Sequencing of the coding regions was facilitated by the absence of introns. We determined the sequence of the coding region of 25 possibly functional V1r genes and seven pseudogenes. The functional V1rs can be arranged into three groups; V1rs of one group are novel and substantially divergent from the other V1rs. The genomic and sequence information described here should be useful in defining the biological function of these receptors.
Project description:BACKGROUND: In mammals, pheromones play an important role in social and innate reproductive behavior within species. In rodents, vomeronasal receptor type 1 (V1R), which is specifically expressed in the vomeronasal organ, is thought to detect pheromones. The V1R gene repertoire differs dramatically between mammalian species, and the presence of species-specific V1R subfamilies in mouse and rat suggests that V1R plays a profound role in species-specific recognition of pheromones. In ruminants, however, the molecular mechanism(s) for pheromone perception is not well understood. Interestingly, goat male pheromone, which can induce out-of-season ovulation in anestrous females, causes the same pheromone response in sheep, and vice versa, suggesting that there may be mechanisms for detecting "inter-species" pheromones among ruminant species. RESULTS: We isolated 23 goat and 21 sheep intact V1R genes based on sequence similarity with 32 cow V1R genes in the cow genome database. We found that all of the goat and sheep V1R genes have orthologs in their cross-species counterparts among these three ruminant species and that the sequence identity of V1R orthologous pairs among these ruminants is much higher than that of mouse-rat V1R orthologous pairs. Furthermore, all goat V1Rs examined thus far are expressed not only in the vomeronasal organ but also in the main olfactory epithelium. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that, compared with rodents, the repertoire of orthologous V1R genes is remarkably conserved among the ruminants cow, sheep and goat. We predict that these orthologous V1Rs can detect the same or closely related chemical compound(s) within each orthologous set/pair. Furthermore, all identified goat V1Rs are expressed in the vomeronasal organ and the main olfactory epithelium, suggesting that V1R-mediated ligand information can be detected and processed by both the main and accessory olfactory systems. The fact that ruminant and rodent V1Rs have distinct features suggests that ruminant and rodent V1Rs have evolved distinct functions.