Involvement of ?-Carbonic Anhydrase Genes in Bacterial Genomic Islands and Their Horizontal Transfer to Protists.
ABSTRACT: Genomic islands (GIs) are a type of mobile genetic element (MGE) that are present in bacterial chromosomes. They consist of a cluster of genes that produce proteins that contribute to a variety of functions, including, but not limited to, the regulation of cell metabolism, antimicrobial resistance, pathogenicity, virulence, and resistance to heavy metals. The genes carried in MGEs can be used as a trait reservoir in times of adversity. Transfer of genes using MGEs, occurring outside reproduction, is called horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Previous data have shown that numerous HGT events have occurred through endosymbiosis between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. ?-Carbonic anhydrase (?-CA) enzymes play a critical role in the biochemical pathways of many prokaryotes and eukaryotes. We previously suggested the horizontal transfer of ?-CA genes from plasmids of some prokaryotic endosymbionts to their protozoan hosts. In this study, we set out to identify ?-CA genes that might have been transferred between prokaryotic and protist species through HGT in GIs. Therefore, we investigated prokaryotic chromosomes containing ?-CA-encoding GIs and utilized multiple bioinformatics tools to reveal the distinct movements of ?-CA genes among a wide variety of organisms. Our results identify the presence of ?-CA genes in GIs of several medically and industrially relevant bacterial species, and phylogenetic analyses reveal multiple cases of likely horizontal transfer of ?-CA genes from GIs of ancestral prokaryotes to protists.IMPORTANCE The evolutionary process is mediated by mobile genetic elements (MGEs), such as genomic islands (GIs). A gene or set of genes in the GIs is exchanged between and within various species through horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Based on the crucial role that GIs can play in bacterial survival and proliferation, they were introduced as environment- and pathogen-associated factors. Carbonic anhydrases (CAs) are involved in many critical biochemical pathways, such as the regulation of pH homeostasis and electrolyte transfer. Among the six evolutionary families of CAs, ?-CA gene sequences are present in many bacterial species, which can be horizontally transferred to protists during evolution. This study shows the involvement of bacterial ?-CA gene sequences in the GIs and suggests their horizontal transfer to protists during evolution.
Project description:Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a movement of genetic information occurring outside of normal mating activities. It is especially common between prokaryotic endosymbionts and their protozoan, insect, and nematode hosts. Although beta carbonic anhydrase (?-CA) plays a crucial role in metabolic functions of many living organisms, the origin of ?-CA genes in eukaryotic species remains unclear.This study was conducted using phylogenetics, prediction of subcellular localization, and identification of ?-CA, transposase, integrase, and resolvase genes on the MGEs of bacteria. We also structurally analyzed ?-CAs from protozoans, insects, and nematodes and their putative prokaryotic common ancestors, by homology modelling.Our investigations of a number of target genomes revealed that genes coding for transposase, integrase, resolvase, and conjugation complex proteins have been integrated with ?-CA gene sequences on mobile genetic elements (MGEs) which have facilitated the mobility of ?-CA genes from bacteria to protozoan, insect, and nematode species. The prokaryotic origin of protozoan, insect, and nematode ?-CA enzymes is supported by phylogenetic analyses, prediction of subcellular localization, and homology modelling.MGEs form a complete set of enzymatic tools, which are relevant to HGT of ?-CA gene sequences from prokaryotes to protozoans, insects, and nematodes.
Project description:Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) plays a key role in bacterial evolution, especially with respect to antibiotic resistance. Fitness costs associated with mobile genetic elements (MGEs) are thought to constrain HGT, but our understanding of these costs remains fragmentary, making it difficult to predict the success of HGT events. Here we use the interaction between P. aeruginosa and a costly plasmid (pNUK73) to investigate the molecular basis of the cost of HGT. Using RNA-Seq, we show that the acquisition of pNUK73 results in a profound alteration of the transcriptional profile of chromosomal genes. Mutations that inactivate two genes encoded on chromosomally integrated MGEs recover these fitness costs and transcriptional changes by decreasing the expression of the pNUK73 replication gene. Our study demonstrates that interactions between MGEs can compromise bacterial fitness via altered gene expression, and we argue that conflicts between mobile elements impose a general constraint on evolution by HGT.
Project description:Mobile genetic elements (MGEs) encoding virulence and resistance genes are widespread in bacterial pathogens, but it has remained unclear how they occasionally jump to new host species. Staphylococcus aureus clones exchange MGEs such as S. aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPIs) with high frequency via helper phages. Here we report that the S. aureus ST395 lineage is refractory to horizontal gene transfer (HGT) with typical S. aureus but exchanges SaPIs with other species and genera including Staphylococcus epidermidis and Listeria monocytogenes. ST395 produces an unusual wall teichoic acid (WTA) resembling that of its HGT partner species. Notably, distantly related bacterial species and genera undergo efficient HGT with typical S. aureus upon ectopic expression of S. aureus WTA. Combined with genomic analyses, these results indicate that a 'glycocode' of WTA structures and WTA-binding helper phages permits HGT even across long phylogenetic distances thereby shaping the evolution of Gram-positive pathogens.
Project description:Among the prokaryotic genomic islands (GIs) involved in horizontal gene transfer (HGT) are the classical pathogenicity islands, including the integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs), the gene-transfer agents (GTAs), and the staphylococcal pathogenicity islands (SaPIs), the primary focus of this review. While the ICEs and GTAs mediate HGT autonomously, the SaPIs are dependent on specific phages. The ICEs transfer primarily their own DNA, the GTAs exclusively transfer unlinked host DNA, and the SaPIs combine the capabilities of both. Thus the SaPIs derive their importance from the genes they carry (their genetic cargo) and the genes they move. They act not only as versatile high-frequency mobilizers but also as mediators of phage interference and consequently are major benefactors of their host bacteria.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Genomic islands (GIs) are inserts of foreign DNA that have potentially arisen through horizontal gene transfer (HGT). There are evidences that GIs can contribute significantly to the evolution of prokaryotes. The acquisition of GIs through HGT in eukaryotes has, however, been largely unexplored. In this study, the previously developed GI prediction tool, SeqWord Gene Island Sniffer (SWGIS), is modified to predict GIs in eukaryotic chromosomes. Artificial simulations are used to estimate ratios of predicting false positive and false negative GIs by inserting GIs into different test chromosomes and performing the SWGIS v2.0 algorithm. Using SWGIS v2.0, GIs are then identified in 36 fungal, 22 protozoan and 8 invertebrate genomes. RESULTS:SWGIS v2.0 predicts GIs in large eukaryotic chromosomes based on the atypical nucleotide composition of these regions. Averages for predicting false negative and false positive GIs were 20.1% and 11.01% respectively. A total of 10,550 GIs were identified in 66 eukaryotic species with 5299 of these GIs coding for at least one functional protein. The EuGI web-resource, freely accessible at http://eugi.bi.up.ac.za , was developed that allows browsing the database created from identified GIs and genes within GIs through an interactive and visual interface. CONCLUSIONS:SWGIS v2.0 along with the EuGI database, which houses GIs identified in 66 different eukaryotic species, and the EuGI web-resource, provide the first comprehensive resource for studying HGT in eukaryotes.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is considered to be a major force driving the evolutionary history of prokaryotes. HGT is widespread in prokaryotes, contributing to the genomic repertoire of prokaryotic organisms, and is particularly apparent in Rickettsiales genomes. Gene gains from both distantly and closely related organisms play crucial roles in the evolution of bacterial genomes. In this work, we focus on genes transferred from distantly related species into Rickettsiales species. RESULTS: We developed an automated approach for the detection of HGT from other organisms (excluding alphaproteobacteria) into Rickettsiales genomes. Our systematic approach consisted of several specialized features including the application of a parsimony method for inferring phyletic patterns followed by blast filter, automated phylogenetic reconstruction and the application of patterns for HGT detection. We identified 42 instances of HGT in 31 complete Rickettsiales genomes, of which 38 were previously unidentified instances of HGT from Anaplasma, Wolbachia, Candidatus Pelagibacter ubique and Rickettsia genomes. Additionally, putative cases with no phylogenetic support were assigned gene ontology terms. Overall, these transfers could be characterized as "rhizome-like". CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis provides a comprehensive, systematic approach for the automated detection of HGTs from several complete proteome sequences that can be applied to detect instances of HGT within other genomes of interest.
Project description:The gut microbiome harbors a 'silent reservoir' of antibiotic resistance (AR) genes that is thought to contribute to the emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogens through horizontal gene transfer (HGT). To counteract the spread of AR, it is paramount to know which organisms harbor mobile AR genes and which organisms engage in HGT. Despite methods that characterize the overall abundance of AR genes in the gut, technological limitations of short-read sequencing have precluded linking bacterial taxa to specific mobile genetic elements (MGEs) encoding AR genes. Here, we apply Hi-C, a high-throughput, culture-independent method, to surveil the bacterial carriage of MGEs. We compare two healthy individuals with seven neutropenic patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, who receive multiple courses of antibiotics, and are acutely vulnerable to the threat of multidrug-resistant infections. We find distinct networks of HGT across individuals, though AR and mobile genes are associated with more diverse taxa within the neutropenic patients than the healthy subjects. Our data further suggest that HGT occurs frequently over a several-week period in both cohorts. Whereas most efforts to understand the spread of AR genes have focused on pathogenic species, our findings shed light on the role of the human gut microbiome in this process.
Project description:Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) plays an important role in the evolution of life on the Earth. This view is supported by numerous occasions of HGT that are recorded in the genomes of all three domains of living organisms. HGT-mediated rapid evolution is especially noticeable among the Bacteria, which demonstrate formidable adaptability in the face of recent environmental changes imposed by human activities, such as the use of antibiotics, industrial contamination, and intensive agriculture. At the heart of the HGT-driven bacterial evolution and adaptation are highly sophisticated natural genetic engineering tools in the form of a variety of mobile genetic elements (MGEs). The main aim of this review is to give a brief account of the occurrence and diversity of MGEs in natural ecosystems and of the environmental factors that may affect MGE-mediated HGT.
Project description:Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) contributes greatly to the plasticity and evolution of prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes. The main carriers of foreign DNA in HGT are mobile genetic elements (MGEs) that have extremely diverse genetic structures and properties. Various strategies are used for the maintenance and spread of MGEs, including (i) vegetative replication, (ii) transposition (and other types of recombination), and (iii) conjugal transfer. In many MGEs, all of these processes are dependent on rolling-circle replication (RCR). RCR is one of the most well characterized models of DNA replication. Although many studies have focused on describing its mechanism, the role of replication initiator proteins has only recently been subject to in-depth analysis, which indicates their involvement in multiple biological process associated with RCR. In this review, we present a general overview of RCR and its impact in HGT. We focus on the molecular characteristics of RCR initiator proteins belonging to the HUH and Rep_trans protein families. Despite analogous mechanisms of action these are distinct groups of proteins with different catalytic domain structures. This is the first review describing the multifunctional character of various types of RCR initiator proteins, including the latest discoveries in the field. Recent reports provide evidence that (i) proteins initiating vegetative replication (Rep) or mobilization for conjugal transfer (Mob) may also have integrase (Int) activity, (ii) some Mob proteins are capable of initiating vegetative replication (Rep activity), and (iii) some Rep proteins can act like Mob proteins to mobilize plasmid DNA for conjugal transfer. These findings have significant consequences for our understanding of the role of RCR, not only in DNA metabolism but also in the biology of many MGEs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Genomic Islands (GIs) are commonly believed to be relics of horizontal transfer and associated with specific metabolic capacities, including virulence of the strain. Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) plays a vital role in the acquisition of GIs and the evolution and adaptation of bacterial genomes. OBJECTIVE:The present study was designed to predict the GIs and role of HGT in evolution of livestock-associated Staphylococcus aureus (LA-SA). METHODS:GIs were predicted with two methods namely, Ensemble algorithm for Genomic Island Detection (EGID) tool, and Seq word Sniffer script. Functional characterization of GI elements was performed with clustering of orthologs. The putative donor predictions of GIs was done with the aid of the pre_GI database. RESULTS:The present study predicted a pan of 46 GIs across the LA-SA genomes. Functional characterization of GI sequences revealed few unique results like the presence of metabolic operons like leuABCD and folPK genes in GIs and showed the importance of GIs in the adaptation to the host niche. The developed framework for GI donor prediction results revealed Rickettsia and Mycoplasma as the major donors of GI elements. CONCLUSIONS:The role of GIs during the evolutionary race of LA-SA could be concluded from the present study. Niche adaptation of LA-SA enhanced presumably due to these GIs. Future studies could focus on the evolutionary relationships between Rickettsia and Mycoplasma sp. with S. aureus and also the evolution of Leucine/Isoleucine mosaic operon (leuABCD).