Evolutionary Analysis of Cystatins of Early-Emerging Metazoans Reveals a Novel Subtype in Parasitic Cnidarians.
ABSTRACT: The evolutionary aspects of cystatins are greatly underexplored in early-emerging metazoans. Thus, we surveyed the gene organization, protein architecture, and phylogeny of cystatin homologues mined from 110 genomes and the transcriptomes of 58 basal metazoan species, encompassing free-living and parasite taxa of Porifera, Placozoa, Cnidaria (including Myxozoa), and Ctenophora. We found that the cystatin gene repertoire significantly differs among phyla, with stefins present in most of the investigated lineages but with type 2 cystatins missing in several basal metazoan groups. Similar to liver and intestinal flukes, myxozoan parasites possess atypical stefins with chimeric structure that combine motifs of classical stefins and type 2 cystatins. Other early metazoan taxa regardless of lifestyle have only the classical representation of cystatins and lack multi-domain ones. Our comprehensive phylogenetic analyses revealed that stefins and type 2 cystatins clustered into taxonomically defined clades with multiple independent paralogous groups, which probably arose due to gene duplications. The stefin clade split between the subclades of classical stefins and the atypical stefins of myxozoans and flukes. Atypical stefins represent key evolutionary innovations of the two parasite groups for which their origin might have been linked with ancestral gene chimerization, obligate parasitism, life cycle complexity, genome reduction, and host immunity.
Project description:The cystatin superfamily is comprised of cysteine proteinase inhibitors and encompasses at least 3 subfamilies: stefins, cystatins and kininogens. In this study, the platyhelminth cystatin superfamily was identified and grouped into stefin and cystatin subfamilies. The conserved domain of stefins (G, QxVxG) was observed in all members of platyhelminth stefins. The three characteristics of cystatins, the cystatin-like domain (G, QxVxG, PW), a signal peptide, and one or two conserved disulfide bonds, were observed in platyhelminths, with the exception of cestodes, which lacked the conserved disulfide bond. However, it is noteworthy that cestode cystatins had two tandem repeated domains, although the second tandem repeated domain did not contain a cystatin-like domain, which has not been previously reported. Tertiary structure analysis of Taenia solium cystatin, one of the cestode cystatins, demonstrated that the N-terminus of T. solium cystatin formed a five turn ?-helix, a five stranded ?-pleated sheet and a hydrophobic edge, similar to the structure of chicken cystatin. Although no conserved disulfide bond was found in T. solium cystatin, the models of T. solium cystatin and chicken cystatin corresponded at the site of the first disulfide bridge of the chicken cystatin. However, the two models were not similar regarding the location of the second disulfide bridge of chicken cystatin. These results showed that T. solium cystatin and chicken cystatin had similarities and differences, suggesting that the biochemistry of T. solium cystatin could be similar to chicken cystatin in its inhibitory function and that it may have further functional roles. The same results were obtained for other cestode cystatins. Phylogenetic analysis showed that cestode cystatins constituted an independent clade and implied that cestode cystatins should be considered to have formed a new clade during evolution.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The cystatin superfamily comprises cysteine protease inhibitors that play key regulatory roles in protein degradation processes. Although they have been the subject of many studies, little is known about their genesis, evolution and functional diversification. Our aim has been to obtain a comprehensive insight into their origin, distribution, diversity, evolution and classification in Eukaryota, Bacteria and Archaea. RESULTS: We have identified in silico the full complement of the cystatin superfamily in more than 2100 prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes. The analysis of numerous eukaryotic genomes has provided strong evidence for the emergence of this superfamily in the ancestor of eukaryotes. The progenitor of this superfamily was most probably intracellular and lacked a signal peptide and disulfide bridges, much like the extant Giardia cystatin. A primordial gene duplication produced two ancestral eukaryotic lineages, cystatins and stefins. While stefins remain encoded by a single or a small number of genes throughout the eukaryotes, the cystatins have undergone a more complex and dynamic evolution through numerous gene and domain duplications. In the cystatin superfamily we discovered twenty vertebrate-specific and three angiosperm-specific orthologous families, indicating that functional diversification has occurred only in multicellular eukaryotes. In vertebrate orthologous families, the prevailing trends were loss of the ancestral inhibitory activity and acquisition of novel functions in innate immunity. Bacterial cystatins and stefins may be emergency inhibitors that enable survival of bacteria in the host, defending them from the host's proteolytic activity. CONCLUSION: This study challenges the current view on the classification, origin and evolution of the cystatin superfamily and provides valuable insights into their functional diversification. The findings of this comprehensive study provide guides for future structural and evolutionary studies of the cystatin superfamily as well as of other protease inhibitors and proteases.
Project description:Physical exercise is known to activate the sympathetic nervous system, which influences the production of saliva from salivary glands. Our examination of saliva collected from highly trained athletes before and after a number of physical competititions showed an increase in the secretion of S-type cystatins and cystatin C as a subacute response to aerobic and anaerobic exercise. The elevation in salivary cystatins was transient and the recovery time course differed from that of amylase and other salivary proteins. An in vitro assay was developed based on a cell line from a human submandibular gland (HSG) that differentiated into acinus-like structures. Treatments with the ?-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol caused a shift in the intracellular distribution of S-type cystatins and cystatin C, promoting their accumulation at the outer regions of the acinus prior to release and suggesting the activation of a directional transport involving co-migration of both molecules. In another treatment using non-differentiated HSG cells, it was evident that both expression and secretion of cystatin C increased upon addition of the ?-adrenergic agonist, and these effects were essentially eliminated by the antagonist propranolol. The HSG cell line appears to have potential as a model for exploring the mechanism of cystatin secretion, particularly the S-type cystatins that originate primarily in the submandibular glands.
Project description:Ticks, as obligate hematophagous ectoparasites, impact greatly on animal and human health because they transmit various pathogens worldwide. Over the last decade, several cystatins from different hard and soft ticks were identified and biochemically analyzed for their role in the physiology and blood feeding lifestyle of ticks. All these cystatins are potent inhibitors of papain-like cysteine proteases, but not of legumain. Tick cystatins were either detected in the salivary glands and/or the midgut, key tick organs responsible for blood digestion and the expression of pharmacologically potent salivary proteins for blood feeding. For example, the transcription of two cystatins named HlSC-1 and Sialostatin L2 was highly upregulated in these tick tissues during feeding. Vaccinating hosts against Sialostatin L2 and Om-cystatin 2 as well as silencing of a cystatin gene from Amblyomma americanum significantly inhibited the feeding ability of ticks. Additionally, Om-cystatin 2 and Sialostatin L possessed strong host immunosuppressive properties by inhibiting dendritic cell maturation due to their interaction with cathepsin S. These two cystatins, together with Sialostatin L2 are the first tick cystatins with resolved three-dimensional structure. Sialostatin L, furthermore, showed preventive properties against autoimmune diseases. In the case of the cystatin Hlcyst-2, experimental evidence showed its role in tick innate immunity, since increased Hlcyst-2 transcript levels were detected in Babesia gibsoni-infected larval ticks and the protein inhibited Babesia growth. Other cystatins, such as Hlcyst-1 or Om-cystatin 2 are assumed to be involved in regulating blood digestion. Only for Bmcystatin was a role in tick embryogenesis suggested. Finally, all the biochemically analyzed tick cystatins are powerful protease inhibitors, and some may be novel antigens for developing anti-tick vaccines and drugs of medical importance due to their stringent target specificity.
Project description:Cystatins are a family of inhibitors of cysteine peptidases that comprises the salivary cystatins (D and S-type cystatins) and cystatin C. These cystatins are encoded by a multigene family (CST3, CST5, CST4, CST1 and CST2) organized in tandem in the human genome. Their presence and functional importance in human saliva has been reported, however the distribution of these proteins in other mammals is still unclear. Here, we performed a proteomic analysis of the saliva of several mammals and studied the evolution of this multigene family. The proteomic analysis detected S-type cystatins (S, SA, and SN) in human saliva and cystatin D in rat saliva. The evolutionary analysis showed that the cystatin C encoding gene is present in species of the most representative mammalian groups, i.e. Artiodactyla, Rodentia, Lagomorpha, Carnivora and Primates. On the other hand, D and S-type cystatins are mainly retrieved from Primates, and especially the evolution of S-type cystatins seems to be a dynamic process as seen in Pongo abelii genome where several copies of CST1-like gene (cystatin SN) were found. In Rodents, a group of cystatins previously identified as D and S has also evolved. Despite the high divergence of the amino acid sequence, their position in the phylogenetic tree and their genome organization suggests a common origin with those of the Primates. These results suggest that the D and S type cystatins have emerged before the mammalian radiation and were retained only in Primates and Rodents. Although the mechanisms driving the evolution of cystatins are unknown, it seems to be a dynamic process with several gene duplications evolving according to the birth-and-death model of evolution. The factors that led to the appearance of a group of saliva-specific cystatins in Primates and its rapid evolution remain undetermined, but may be associated with an adaptive advantage.
Project description:The cystatin superfamily of cysteine protease inhibitors consists of three major families, including the stefins, cystatins and kininogens. However, the recent identification of several genes that possess sequence similarity with the cystatins but have different gene or protein structures indicates that several new cystatin families or subgroups of families might exist. We previously identified the cystatin-related epididymal spermatogenic (Cres) gene, which is related to the family 2 cystatins but exhibits highly tissue-specific expression in the reproductive tract. In the studies presented here, an analysis of gene structure as well as chromosomal mapping studies suggest that the Cres gene might represent a new subgroup within the family 2 cystatins. Although the Cres gene possesses an additional exon encoding 5' untranslated sequences, its coding exons are similar in size to the three coding exons of the cystatin family 2 genes, and the Cres exon/intron splice junctions occur in identical locations as in the cystatin C gene. Furthermore, chromosomal mapping studies show that the Cres gene co-segregates with the cystatin C gene on mouse chromosome 2. Similar to the cystatin family 2 proteins, the Cres protein possesses the type A and B disulphide loops that are necessary for cystatin folding. Interestingly, Cres protein also possesses half of a type C disulphide loop. Although probably related to the cystatin genes, the Cres gene is distinct in that its promoter contains consensus motifs typical of regulated genes. Finally, reverse transcriptase-mediated PCR studies and the identification of new Cres cDNA clones indicate that the Cres mRNA is alternatively spliced, resulting in two Cres mRNAs that might be involved in the regulation of Cres function.
Project description:Cotesia congregata is a parasitoid wasp that injects its eggs in the host caterpillar Manduca sexta. In this host-parasite interaction, successful parasitism is ensured by a third partner: a bracovirus. The relationship between parasitic wasps and bracoviruses constitutes one of the few known mutualisms between viruses and eukaryotes. The C. congregata bracovirus (CcBV) is injected at the same time as the wasp eggs in the host hemolymph. Expression of viral genes alters the caterpillar's immune defense responses and developmental program, resulting in the creation of a favorable environment for the survival and emergence of adult parasitoid wasps. Here, we describe the characterization of a CcBV multigene family which is highly expressed during parasitism and which encodes three proteins with homology to members of the cystatin superfamily. Cystatins are tightly binding, reversible inhibitors of cysteine proteases. Other cysteine protease inhibitors have been described for lepidopteran viruses; however, this is the first description of the presence of cystatins in a viral genome. The expression and purification of a recombinant form of one of the CcBV cystatins, cystatin 1, revealed that this viral cystatin is functional having potent inhibitory activity towards the cysteine proteases papain, human cathepsins L and B and Sarcophaga cathepsin B in assays in vitro. CcBV cystatins are, therefore, likely to play a role in host caterpillar physiological deregulation by inhibiting host target proteases in the course of the host-parasite interaction.
Project description:Cystatins are thiol proteinase inhibitors (TPI), present ubiquitously in animals, plants and micro-organisms. These are not merely inhibitors rather they are at heart of many pathological conditions ranging from diabetes to renal failure. These are essential for maintenance of protein balance of the cell; once this balance gets disturbed, it may lead to cell death. Thus, cystatins cannot be merely regarded as TPI's as these have been found to play a pivotal role in tumorigenesis and neurodegenerative diseases. Many studies have reported the variation in cystatin level in incidences of different types of cancer; highlighting an important role played by these inhibitors in cancer development and progression. Cystatin C is increasingly replacing creatinine as a biomarker of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) thereby highlighting the importance of this important inhibitor. Some recent studies have also reported the interaction pattern of various anti-cancer drugs with cystatins in a bid to find how these drugs affect this important inhibitors and whether these drugs have any side effect on cystatins. Thus, in this growing disease era it can be said that cystatins are no more just inhibitors blocking the activity of thiol proteases rather they play a pivotal role in variety of pathological conditions.
Project description:A hybrid linear ion-trap Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer was used for top-down characterization of the abundant human salivary cystatins, including S, S1, S2, SA, SN, C, and D, using collisionally activated dissociation (CAD) after chromatographic purification of the native, disulfide intact proteins. Post-translational modifications and protein sequence polymorphisms arising from single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were assigned from precursor and product ion masses at a tolerance of 10 ppm, allowing confident identification of individual intact mass tags. Cystatins S, S1, S2, SA, and SN were cleaved of a N-terminal 20 amino acid signal peptide and cystatin C a 26-residue peptide, to yield a generally conserved N-terminus. In contrast, cystatin D isoforms with 24 and 28 amino acid residue N-terminal truncations were found such that their N-termini were not conserved. Cystatin S1 was phosphorylated at Ser3, while S2 was phosphorylated at Ser1 and Ser3, in agreement with previous work. Both cystatin D isoforms carried the polymorphism C46R (SNP: rs1799841). The 14,328 Da isoform of cystatin SN previously assigned with polymorphism P31L due to a SNP (rs2070856) was found only in whole saliva. Parotid secretions contained no detectable cystatins while whole saliva largely mirrored the contents of submandibular/sublingual (SMSL) secretions. With fully characterized cystatin intact mass tags it will now be possible to examine the correlation between the abundance of these molecules and human health and disease.
Project description:Cystatins are a group of cysteine protease inhibitors responsible for physiological proteolysis regulation and present in a wide range of organisms. Studies about this class of inhibitors in parasites have contributed to clarify their roles in important physiological processes, like blood digestion and modulation of host immune response during blood feeding. Thus, cystatins are a subject of research on the development of new parasite control methods. Additionally, the characterization of proteins shared by different parasite species represents a valuable strategy to find potential targets in multi-species control methods. However, cystatin functions in ticks remain undetermined, especially in Rhipicephalus microplus and Ixodes ovatus, two species that affect livestock and human health, respectively.Here we report the inhibitory profile of two R. microplus (BrBmcys2b and BrBmcys2c) and one I. ovatus (JpIocys2a) cystatins to commercial cathepsins B, C, and L. The presence of native cystatins in R. microplus tissues was analyzed using sera against recombinant BrBmcys2b and BrBmcys2c. Also, a peptide from JpIocys2a was synthesized for rabbit immunization, and this serum was used to analyze the cross antigenicity between R. microplus and I. ovatus cystatins.Enzymatic inhibition profile of tick cystatins shows a distinct modulation for cathepsins related to tick blood digestion and evasion of host immune response. Furthermore, BrBmcys2b was detected in saliva and different tissues along tick stages, while BrBmcys2c was detected mainly in gut from partially engorged R. microplus females, demonstrating a distinct pattern of cystatin expression, secretion and traffic between tick tissues. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis suggests that JpIocys2a belongs to the group of tick gut secreted cystatins. Finally, cross-antigenicity assays revealed that antibodies against the JpIocys2a peptide recognize native and recombinant R. microplus cystatins.The presence of these proteins in different tissues and their ability to differentially inhibit cathepsins suggest distinct roles for JpIocys2a, BrBmcys2b, and BrBmcys2c in blood digestion, egg and larvae development, and modulation of host immune response in tick physiology. The cross-antigenicity between native and recombinant cystatins supports further experiments using JpIocys2a, BrBmcys2b, and BrBmcys2c as vaccine antigens.