ACE2 orthologues in non-mammalian vertebrates (Danio, Gallus, Fugu, Tetraodon and Xenopus).
ABSTRACT: Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a newly identified member in the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), acts as a negative regulator of ACE. It is mainly expressed in cardiac blood vessels and the tubular epithelia of kidneys and abnormal expression has been implicated in diabetes, hypertension and heart failure. The mechanism and physiological function of this zinc metallopeptidase in mammals are not yet fully understood. Non-mammalian vertebrate models offer attractive and simple alternatives that could facilitate the exploration of ACE2 function. In this paper we report the in silico analysis of Ace2 genes from the Gallus (chicken), Xenopus (frog), Fugu and Tetraodon (pufferfish) genome assembly databases, and from the Danio (zebrafish) cDNA library. Exon ambiguities of Danio and Xenopus Ace2s were resolved by RT-PCR and 3'RACE. Analyses of the exon-intron structures, alignment, phylogeny and hydrophilicity plots, together with the conserved synteny among these vertebrates, support the orthologous relationship between mammalian and non-mammalian ACE2s. The putative promoters of Ace2 from human, Tetraodon and Xenopus tropicalis drove the expression of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) specifically in the heart tissue of transgenic Xenopus thus making it a suitable model for future functional genomic studies. Additionally, the search for conserved cis-elements resulted in the discovery of WGATAR motifs in all the putative Ace2 promoters from 7 different animals, suggesting a possible role of GATA family transcriptional factors in regulating the expression of Ace2.
Project description:SARS-CoV-2, the newly identified human coronavirus causing severe pneumonia pandemic, was probably originated from Chinese horseshoe bats. However, direct transmission of the virus from bats to humans is unlikely due to lack of direct contact, implying the existence of unknown intermediate hosts. Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the receptor of SARS-CoV-2, but only ACE2s of certain species can be utilized by SARS-CoV-2. Here, we evaluated and ranked the receptor-utilizing capability of ACE2s from various species by phylogenetic clustering and sequence alignment with the currently known ACE2s utilized by SARS-CoV-2. As a result, we predicted that SARS-CoV-2 tends to utilize ACE2s of various mammals, except murines, and some birds, such as pigeon. This prediction may help to screen the intermediate hosts of SARS-CoV-2.
Project description:The freshwater pufferfish Tetraodon nigroviridis (TNI) has become highly attractive as a compact reference vertebrate genome for gene finding and validation. We have mapped genes, which are more or less evenly spaced on the human chromosomes 9 and X, on Tetraodon chromosomes using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), to establish syntenic relationships between Tetraodon and other key vertebrate genomes. PufferFISH revealed that the human X is an orthologous mosaic of three Tetraodon chromosomes. More than 350 million years ago, an ancestral vertebrate autosome shared orthologous Xp and Xq genes with Tetraodon chromosomes 1 and 7. The shuffled order of Xp and Xq orthologs on their syntenic Tetraodon chromosomes can be explained by the prevalence of evolutionary inversions. The Tetraodon 2 orthologous genes are clustered in human Xp11 and represent a recent addition to the eutherian X sex chromosome. The human chromosome 9 and the avian Z sex chromosome show a much lower degree of synteny conservation in the pufferfish than the human X chromosome. We propose that a special selection process during vertebrate evolution has shaped a highly conserved array(s) of X-linked genes long before the X was used as a mammalian sex chromosome and many X chromosomal genes were recruited for reproduction and/or the development of cognitive abilities. [Sequence data reported in this paper have been deposited in GenBank and assigned the following accession no: AJ308098.]
Project description:The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented global public health and economic crisis. The origin and emergence of its causal agent, SARS-CoV-2, in the human population remains mysterious, although bat and pangolin were proposed to be the natural reservoirs. Strikingly, unlike the SARS-CoV-2-like coronaviruses (CoVs) identified in bats and pangolins, SARS-CoV-2 harbors a polybasic furin cleavage site in its spike (S) glycoprotein. SARS-CoV-2 uses human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as its receptor to infect cells. Receptor recognition by the S protein is the major determinant of host range, tissue tropism, and pathogenesis of coronaviruses. In an effort to search for the potential intermediate or amplifying animal hosts of SARS-CoV-2, we examined receptor activity of ACE2 from 14 mammal species and found that ACE2s from multiple species can support the infectious entry of lentiviral particles pseudotyped with the wild-type or furin cleavage site-deficient S protein of SARS-CoV-2. ACE2 of human/rhesus monkey and rat/mouse exhibited the highest and lowest receptor activities, respectively. Among the remaining species, ACE2s from rabbit and pangolin strongly bound to the S1 subunit of SARS-CoV-2 S protein and efficiently supported the pseudotyped virus infection. These findings have important implications for understanding potential natural reservoirs, zoonotic transmission, human-to-animal transmission, and use of animal models.IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 uses human ACE2 as a primary receptor for host cell entry. Viral entry mediated by the interaction of ACE2 with spike protein largely determines host range and is the major constraint to interspecies transmission. We examined the receptor activity of 14 ACE2 orthologs and found that wild-type and mutant SARS-CoV-2 lacking the furin cleavage site in S protein could utilize ACE2 from a broad range of animal species to enter host cells. These results have important implications in the natural hosts, interspecies transmission, animal models, and molecular basis of receptor binding for SARS-CoV-2.
Project description:Retroid agents are genomes that encode a reverse transcriptase (RT) and replicate or transpose by way of an RNA intermediate. The Genome Parsing Suite (GPS) is software created to identify and characterize Retroid agents in any genome database (McClure et al. 2005). The detailed analysis of all Retroid agents found by the GPS in Danio rerio (zebrafish), Oryzias latipes (medaka), Gasterosteus aculeatus (stickleback) and Tetraodon nigroviridis (spotted green pufferfish) reveals extensive Retroid agent diversity in the compact genomes of all four fish. Novel Retroid agents were identified by the GPS software: the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) in O. latipes, G. aculeatus and T. nigroviridis and a potential TERT in D. rerio, a retrotransposon in D. rerio, and multiple lineages of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) in D. rerio, O. latipes and G. aculeatus.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute one of the largest and most ancient superfamilies of membrane proteins. They play a central role in physiological processes affecting almost all aspects of the life cycle of an organism. Availability of the complete sets of putative members of a family from diverse species provides the basis for cross genome comparative studies. RESULTS: We have defined the repertoire of GPCR superfamily of Tetraodon complement with the availability of complete sequence of the freshwater puffer fish Tetraodon nigroviridis. Almost all 466 Tetraodon GPCRs (Tnig-GPCRs) identified had a clear human homologue. 189 putative human and Tetraodon GPCR orthologous pairs could be identified. Tetraodon GPCRs are classified into five GRAFS families, by phylogenetic analysis, concurrent with human GPCR classification. CONCLUSION: Direct comparison of GPCRs in Tetraodon and human genomes displays a high level of orthology and supports large-scale gene duplications in Tetraodon. Examples of lineage specific gene expansions were also observed in opsin and odorant receptors. The human and Tetraodon GPCR sequences are analogous in terms of GPCR subfamilies but display disproportionate numbers of receptors at the subfamily level. The teleost genome with its expanded set of GPCRs provides additional and interesting comparators to study both evolution and function of these receptors.
Project description:The discovery of SARS-like coronavirus in bats suggests that bats could be the natural reservoir of SARS-CoV. However, previous studies indicated the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) protein, a known SARS-CoV receptor, from a horseshoe bat was unable to act as a functional receptor for SARS-CoV. Here, we extended our previous study to ACE2 molecules from seven additional bat species and tested their interactions with human SARS-CoV spike protein using both HIV-based pseudotype and live SARS-CoV infection assays. The results show that ACE2s of Myotis daubentoni and Rhinolophus sinicus support viral entry mediated by the SARS-CoV S protein, albeit with different efficiency in comparison to that of the human ACE2. Further, the alteration of several key residues either decreased or enhanced bat ACE2 receptor efficiency, as predicted from a structural modeling study of the different bat ACE2 molecules. These data suggest that M. daubentoni and R. sinicus are likely to be susceptible to SARS-CoV and may be candidates as the natural host of the SARS-CoV progenitor viruses. Furthermore, our current study also demonstrates that the genetic diversity of ACE2 among bats is greater than that observed among known SARS-CoV susceptible mammals, highlighting the possibility that there are many more uncharacterized bat species that can act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV or its progenitor viruses. This calls for continuation and expansion of field surveillance studies among different bat populations to eventually identify the true natural reservoir of SARS-CoV.
Project description:The fish retrotransposable element Zebulon encodes a reverse transcriptase and a carboxy-terminal restriction enzyme-like endonuclease, and is related phylogenetically to site-specific non-LTR retrotransposons from nematodes. Zebulon was detected in the pufferfishes Tetraodon nigroviridis and Takifugu rubripes, as well as in the zebrafish Danio rerio. Structural analysis suggested that Zebulon, in contrast to most non-LTR retrotransposons, might be able to retrotranspose as a partial tandem array. Zebulon was active relatively recently in the compact genome of T. nigroviridis, in which it contributed to the extension of intergenic and intronic sequences, and possibly to the formation of genomic rearrangements. Accumulation of Zebulon together with other retrotransposons was observed in some heterochromatic chromosomal regions of the genome of T. nigroviridis that might serve as reservoirs for active elements. Hence, pufferfish compact genomes are not evolutionarily inert and contain active retrotransposons, suggesting the presence of mechanisms allowing accumulation of retrotransposable elements in heterochromatin, but minimizing their impact on euchromatic regions. Homologous recombination between partial tandem sequences eliminating active copies of Zebulon and reducing the size of insertions in intronic and intragenic regions might represent such a mechanism.
Project description:The farnesoid X receptor (FXR), pregnane X receptor (PXR), and vitamin D receptor (VDR) are three closely related nuclear hormone receptors in the NR1H and 1I subfamilies that share the property of being activated by bile salts. Bile salts vary significantly in structure across vertebrate species, suggesting that receptors binding these molecules may show adaptive evolutionary changes in response. We have previously shown that FXRs from the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) and zebrafish (Danio rerio) are activated by planar bile alcohols found in these two species. In this report, we characterize FXR, PXR, and VDR from the green-spotted pufferfish (Tetraodon nigriviridis), an actinopterygian fish that unlike the zebrafish has a bile salt profile similar to humans. We utilize homology modelling, docking, and pharmacophore studies to understand the structural features of the Tetraodon receptors.Tetraodon FXR has a ligand selectivity profile very similar to human FXR, with strong activation by the synthetic ligand GW4064 and by the primary bile acid chenodeoxycholic acid. Homology modelling and docking studies suggest a ligand-binding pocket architecture more similar to human and rat FXRs than to lamprey or zebrafish FXRs. Tetraodon PXR was activated by a variety of bile acids and steroids, although not by the larger synthetic ligands that activate human PXR such as rifampicin. Homology modelling predicts a larger ligand-binding cavity than zebrafish PXR. We also demonstrate that VDRs from the pufferfish and Japanese medaka were activated by small secondary bile acids such as lithocholic acid, whereas the African clawed frog VDR was not.Our studies provide further evidence of the relationship between both FXR, PXR, and VDR ligand selectivity and cross-species variation in bile salt profiles. Zebrafish and green-spotted pufferfish provide a clear contrast in having markedly different primary bile salt profiles (planar bile alcohols for zebrafish and sterically bent bile acids for the pufferfish) and receptor selectivity that matches these differences in endogenous ligands. Our observations to date present an integrated picture of the co-evolution of bile salt structure and changes in the binding pockets of three nuclear hormone receptors across the species studied.
Project description:FXYD proteins are important regulators of Na+/K+-ATPase (NKA) activity in mammals. As an inhabitant of estuaries, the pufferfish (Tetraodon nigroviridis) responds to ambient salinity changes with efficient osmoregulation, including alterations in branchial, and renal NKA activities. Previous studies on teleostean FXYDs have mainly focused on the expression and potential functions of FXYD proteins in gills. The goal of the present study was to elucidate the potential role of FXYD8, a member of the fish FXYD protein family, in the modulation of NKA activity in the kidneys of this euryhaline pufferfish by using molecular, biochemical, and physiological approaches. The results demonstrate that T. nigroviridis FXYD8 (TnFXYD8) interacts with NKA in renal tubules. Meanwhile, the protein expression of renal TnFXYD8 was found to be significantly upregulated in hyperosmotic seawater-acclimated pufferfish. Moreover, overexpression of TnFXYD8 in Xenopus oocytes decreased NKA activity. Our results suggest the FXYD8 is able to modulate NKA activity through inhibitory effects upon salinity challenge. The present study further extends our understanding of the functions of FXYD proteins, the regulators of NKA, in vertebrates.