Introduction of a male-harming mitochondrial haplotype via 'Trojan Females' achieves population suppression in fruit flies.
ABSTRACT: Pests are a global threat to biodiversity, ecosystem function, and human health. Pest control approaches are thus numerous, but their implementation costly, damaging to non-target species, and ineffective at low population densities. The Trojan Female Technique (TFT) is a prospective self-perpetuating control technique that is species-specific and predicted to be effective at low densities. The goal of the TFT is to harness naturally occurring mutations in the mitochondrial genome that impair male fertility while having no effect on females. Here, we provide proof-of-concept for the TFT, by showing that introduction of a male fertility-impairing mtDNA haplotype into replicated populations of Drosophila melanogaster causes numerical population suppression, with the magnitude of effect positively correlated with its frequency at trial inception. Further development of the TFT could lead to establishing a control strategy that overcomes limitations of conventional approaches, with broad applicability to invertebrate and vertebrate species, to control environmental and economic pests.
Project description:Pest species represent a major ongoing threat to global biodiversity. Effective management approaches are required that regulate pest numbers, while minimizing collateral damage to nontarget species. The Trojan Female Technique (TFT) was recently proposed as a prospective approach to biological pest control. The TFT draws on the evolutionary hypothesis that maternally inherited mitochondrial genomes are prone to the accumulation of male, but not female, harming mutations. These mutations could be harnessed to provide trans-generational fertility-based control of pest species. A candidate TFT mutation was recently described in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, which confers male-only sterility in the specific isogenic nuclear background in which it is maintained. However, applicability of the TFT relies on mitochondrial mutations whose male-sterilizing effects are general across nuclear genomic contexts. We test this assumption, expressing the candidate TFT-mutation bearing haplotype alongside a range of nuclear backgrounds and comparing its fertility in males, relative to that of control haplotypes. We document consistently lower fertility for males harbouring the TFT mutation, in both competitive and noncompetitive mating contexts, across all nuclear backgrounds screened. This indicates that TFT mutations conferring reduced male fertility can segregate within populations and could be harnessed to facilitate this novel form of pest control.
Project description:Pest species pose major challenges to global economies, ecosystems, and health. Unfortunately, most conventional approaches to pest control remain costly, and temporary in effect. As such, a heritable variant of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) was proposed, based on the introduction of mitochondrial DNA mutations into pest populations, which impair male fertility but have no effects on females. Evidence for this "Trojan Female Technique" (TFT) was recently provided, in the form of a mutation in the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (mt:Cyt-b) of Drosophila melanogaster which reduces male fertility across diverse nuclear backgrounds. However, recent studies have shown that the magnitude of mitochondrial genetic effects on the phenotype can vary greatly across environments, with mtDNA polymorphisms commonly entwined in genotype-by-environment (G?×?E) interactions. Here we test whether the male-sterilizing effects previously associated with the mt:Cyt-b mutation are consistent across three thermal and three nuclear genomic contexts. The effects of this mutation were indeed moderated by the nuclear background and thermal environment, but crucially the fertility of males carrying the mutation was invariably reduced relative to controls. This mutation thus constitutes a promising candidate for the further development of the TFT.
Project description:"Trojan" is a leukocyte-specific, cell surface protein originally identified in the chicken. Its molecular function has been hypothesized to be related to anti-apoptosis and the proliferation of immune cells. The Trojan gene has been localized onto the Z sex chromosome. The adjacent two genes also show significant homology to Trojan, suggesting the existence of a novel gene/protein family. Here, we characterize this Trojan family, identify homologues in other species and predict evolutionary constraints on these genes. The two Trojan-related proteins in chicken were predicted as a receptor-type tyrosine phosphatase and a transmembrane protein, bearing a cytoplasmic immuno-receptor tyrosine-based activation motif. We identified the Trojan gene family in ten other bird species and found related genes in three reptiles and a fish species. The phylogenetic analysis of the homologues revealed a gradual diversification among the family members. Evolutionary analyzes of the avian genes predicted that the extracellular regions of the proteins have been subjected to positive selection. Such selection was possibly a response to evolving interacting partners or to pathogen challenges. We also observed an almost complete lack of intracellular positively selected sites, suggesting a conserved signaling mechanism of the molecules. Therefore, the contrasting patterns of selection likely correlate with the interaction and signaling potential of the molecules.
Project description:Background: Estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancers represent approximately two-thirds of all breast cancers and have a sustained risk of late disease recurrence. Cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) inhibitors have shown significant efficacy in ER+ breast cancer. However, their effects are still limited by drug resistance. In this study, we aim to explore the role of long noncoding RNA TROJAN in ER+ breast cancer. Methods: The expression level of TROJAN in breast cancer tissue and cell lines was determined by quantitative real-time PCR. In vitro and in vivo assays as well as patient derived organoids were preformed to explore the phenotype of TROJAN in ER+ breast cancer. The TROJAN-NKRF-CDK2 axis were screened and validated by RNA pull-down, mass spectrometry, RNA immunoprecipitation, microarray, dual-luciferase reporter and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Results: Herein, we showed that TROJAN was highly expressed in ER+ breast cancer. TROJAN promoted cell proliferation and resistance to a CDK4/6 inhibitor and was associated with poor survival in ER+ breast cancer. TROJAN can bind to NKRF and inhibit its interaction with RELA, upregulating the expression of CDK2. The inhibition of TROJAN abolished the activity of CDK2, reversing the resistance to CDK4/6 inhibitor. A TROJAN antisense oligonucleotide sensitized breast cancer cells and organoids to the CDK4/6 inhibitor palbociclib both in vitro and in vivo. Conclusions: TROJAN promotes ER+ breast cancer proliferation and is a potential target for reversing CDK4/6 inhibitor resistance. Overall design: We used microarrays to detail the transcriptomic profiles of the two TROJAN knockdown cell lines.
Project description:Multicompartment microcapsules, with each compartment protected by a distinct stimuli-responsive shell for versatile controlled release, are highly desired for developing new-generation microcarriers. Although many multicompartmental microcapsules have been created, most cannot combine different release styles to achieve flexible programmed sequential release. Here, one-step template synthesis of controllable Trojan-horse-like stimuli-responsive microcapsules is reported with capsule-in-capsule structures from microfluidic quadruple emulsions for diverse programmed sequential release. The nested inner and outer capsule compartments can separately encapsulate different contents, while their two stimuli-responsive hydrogel shells can individually control the content release from each capsule compartment for versatile sequential release. This is demonstrated by using three types of Trojan-horse-like stimuli-responsive microcapsules, with different combinations of release styles for flexible programmed sequential release. The proposed microcapsules provide novel advanced candidates for developing new-generation microcarriers for diverse, efficient applications.
Project description:Interactions between leaf-cutting ants, their fungal symbiont (Leucoagaricus) and the endophytic fungi within the vegetation they carry into their colonies are still poorly understood. If endophytes antagonistic to Leucoagaricus were found in plant material being carried by these ants, then this might indicate a potential mechanism for plants to defend themselves from leaf-cutter attack. In addition, it could offer possibilities for the management of these important Neotropical pests. Here, we show that, for Atta sexdens rubropilosa, there was a significantly greater incidence of Trichoderma species in the vegetation removed from the nests-and deposited around the entrances-than in that being transported into the nests. In a no-choice test, Trichoderma-infested rice was taken into the nest, with deleterious effects on both the fungal gardens and ant survival. The endophytic ability of selected strains of Trichoderma was also confirmed, following their inoculation and subsequent reisolation from seedlings of eucalyptus. These results indicate that endophytic fungi which pose a threat to ant fungal gardens through their antagonistic traits, such as Trichoderma, have the potential to act as bodyguards of their plant hosts and thus might be employed in a Trojan-horse strategy to mitigate the negative impact of leaf-cutting ants in both agriculture and silviculture in the Neotropics. We posit that the ants would detect and evict such 'malign' endophytes-artificially inoculated into vulnerable crops-during the quality-control process within the nest, and, moreover, that the foraging ants may then be deterred from further harvesting of 'Trichoderma-enriched' plants.
Project description:We propose that retroviruses exploit a cell-encoded pathway of intercellular vesicle traffic, exosome exchange, for both the biogenesis of retroviral particles and a low-efficiency but mechanistically important mode of infection. This Trojan exosome hypothesis reconciles current paradigms of retrovirus-directed transmission with the unique lipid composition of retroviral particles, the host cell proteins present in retroviral particles, the complex cell biology of retroviral release, and the ability of retroviruses to infect cells independently of Envelope protein-receptor interactions. An exosomal origin also predicts that retroviruses pose an unsolvable paradox for adaptive immune responses, that retroviral antigen vaccines are unlikely to provide prophylactic protection, and that alloimmunity is a central component of antiretroviral immunity. Finally, the Trojan exosome hypothesis has important implications for the fight against HIV and AIDS, including how to develop new antiretroviral therapies, assess the risk of retroviral infection, and generate effective antiretroviral vaccines.
Project description:Wild ducks are the main reservoir of influenza A viruses that can be transmitted to domestic poultry and mammals, including humans. Of the 16 hemagglutinin (HA) subtypes of influenza A viruses, only the H5 and H7 subtypes cause highly pathogenic (HP) influenza in the natural hosts. Several duck species are naturally resistant to HP Asian H5N1 influenza viruses. These duck species can shed and spread virus from both the respiratory and intestinal tracts while showing few or no disease signs. While the HP Asian H5N1 viruses are 100% lethal for chickens and other gallinaceous poultry, the absence of disease signs in some duck species has led to the concept that ducks are the "Trojan horses" of H5N1 in their surreptitious spread of virus. An important unresolved issue is whether the HP H5N1 viruses are maintained in the wild duck population of the world. Here, we review the ecology and pathobiology of ducks infected with influenza A viruses and ducks' role in the maintenance and spread of HP H5N1 viruses. We also identify the key questions about the role of ducks that must be resolved in order to understand the emergence and control of pandemic influenza. It is generally accepted that wild duck species can spread HP H5N1 viruses, but there is insufficient evidence to show that ducks maintain these viruses and transfer them from one generation to the next.
Project description:Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) play pivotal roles in the development of breast cancer. However, the detailed mechanisms of noncoding HERVs remain elusive. Here, our genome-wide transcriptome analysis of HERVs revealed that a primate long noncoding RNA, which we dubbed TROJAN, was highly expressed in human triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). TROJAN promoted TNBC proliferation and invasion and indicated poor patient outcomes. We further confirmed that TROJAN could bind to ZMYND8, a metastasis-repressing factor, and increase its degradation through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway by repelling ZNF592. TROJAN also epigenetically up-regulated metastasis-related genes in multiple cell lines. Correlations between TROJAN and ZMYND8 were subsequently confirmed in clinical samples. Furthermore, our study verified that antisense oligonucleotide therapy targeting TROJAN substantially suppressed TNBC progression in vivo. In conclusion, the long noncoding RNA TROJAN promotes TNBC progression and serves as a potential therapeutic target.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancers represent approximately two-thirds of all breast cancers and have a sustained risk of late disease recurrence. Cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) inhibitors have shown significant efficacy in ER+ breast cancer. However, their effects are still limited by drug resistance. In this study, we aim to explore the role of long noncoding RNA TROJAN in ER+ breast cancer. METHODS:The expression level of TROJAN in breast cancer tissue and cell lines was determined by quantitative real-time PCR. In vitro and in vivo assays as well as patient derived organoid were preformed to explore the phenotype of TROJAN in ER+ breast cancer. The TROJAN-NKRF-CDK2 axis were screened and validated by RNA pull-down, mass spectrometry, RNA immunoprecipitation, microarray, dual-luciferase reporter and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. RESULTS:Herein, we showed that TROJAN was highly expressed in ER+ breast cancer. TROJAN promoted cell proliferation and resistance to a CDK4/6 inhibitor and was associated with poor survival in ER+ breast cancer. TROJAN can bind to NKRF and inhibit its interaction with RELA, upregulating the expression of CDK2. The inhibition of TROJAN abolished the activity of CDK2, reversing the resistance to CDK4/6 inhibitor. A TROJAN antisense oligonucleotide sensitized breast cancer cells and organoid to the CDK4/6 inhibitor palbociclib both in vitro and in vivo. CONCLUSIONS:TROJAN promotes ER+ breast cancer proliferation and is a potential target for reversing CDK4/6 inhibitor resistance.