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26 Jan 2022 at 01:34
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Bibliography on: Origin of Multicellular Eukaryotes


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 26 Jan 2022 at 01:34 Created: 

Origin of Multicellular Eukaryotes

Created with PubMed® Query: (origin OR evolution) and (eukaryotes OR eukaryota) AND (multicelluarity OR multicellular) NOT 33634751[PMID] NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2022-01-19
CmpDate: 2022-01-19

Wang SY, Pollina EA, Wang IH, et al (2021)

Role of epigenetics in unicellular to multicellular transition in Dictyostelium.

Genome biology, 22(1):134.

BACKGROUND: The evolution of multicellularity is a critical event that remains incompletely understood. We use the social amoeba, Dictyostelium discoideum, one of the rare organisms that readily transits back and forth between both unicellular and multicellular stages, to examine the role of epigenetics in regulating multicellularity.

RESULTS: While transitioning to multicellular states, patterns of H3K4 methylation and H3K27 acetylation significantly change. By combining transcriptomics, epigenomics, chromatin accessibility, and orthologous gene analyses with other unicellular and multicellular organisms, we identify 52 conserved genes, which are specifically accessible and expressed during multicellular states. We validated that four of these genes, including the H3K27 deacetylase hdaD, are necessary and that an SMC-like gene, smcl1, is sufficient for multicellularity in Dictyostelium.

CONCLUSIONS: These results highlight the importance of epigenetics in reorganizing chromatin architecture to facilitate multicellularity in Dictyostelium discoideum and raise exciting possibilities about the role of epigenetics in the evolution of multicellularity more broadly.

RevDate: 2022-01-17
CmpDate: 2022-01-17

Grandhi TSP, To J, Romero A, et al (2021)

High-throughput CRISPR-mediated 3D enrichment platform for functional interrogation of chemotherapeutic resistance.

Biotechnology and bioengineering, 118(8):3187-3199.

Cancer is a disease of somatic mutations. These cellular mutations compete to dominate their microenvironment and dictate the disease outcome. While a therapeutic approach to target-specific oncogenic driver mutations helps to manage the disease, subsequent molecular evolution of tumor cells threatens to overtake therapeutic progress. There is a need for rapid, high-throughput, unbiased in vitro discovery screening platforms that capture the native complexities of the tumor and rapidly identify mutations that confer chemotherapeutic drug resistance. Taking the example of the CDK4/6 inhibitor (CDK4/6i) class of drugs, we show that the pooled in vitro CRISPR screening platform enables rapid discovery of drug resistance mutations in a three-dimensional (3D) setting. Gene-edited cancer cell clones assembled into an organotypic multicellular tumor spheroid (MCTS), exposed to CDK4/6i caused selection and enrichment of the most drug-resistant phenotypes, detectable by next-gen sequencing after a span of 28 days. The platform was sufficiently sensitive to enrich for even a single drug-resistant cell within a large, drug-responsive complex 3D tumor spheroid. The genome-wide 3D CRISPR-mediated knockout screen (>18,000 genes) identified several genes whose disruptions conferred resistance to CDK4/6i. Furthermore, multiple novel candidate genes were identified as top hits only in the microphysiological 3D enrichment assay platform and not the conventional 2D assays. Taken together, these findings suggest that including phenotypic 3D resistance profiling in decision trees could improve discovery and reconfirmation of drug resistance mechanisms and afford a platform for exploring noncell autonomous interactions, selection pressures, and clonal competition.

RevDate: 2022-01-17
CmpDate: 2022-01-17

Jong LW, Fujiwara T, Hirooka S, et al (2021)

Cell size for commitment to cell division and number of successive cell divisions in cyanidialean red algae.

Protoplasma, 258(5):1103-1118.

Several eukaryotic cell lineages proliferate by multiple fission cell cycles, during which cells grow to manyfold of their original size, then undergo several rounds of cell division without intervening growth. A previous study on volvocine green algae, including both unicellular and multicellular (colonial) species, showed a correlation between the minimum number of successive cell divisions without intervening cellular growth, and the threshold cell size for commitment to the first round of successive cell divisions: two times the average newly born daughter cell volume for unicellular Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, four times for four-celled Tetrabaena socialis, in which each cell in the colony produces a daughter colony by two successive cell divisions, and eight times for the eight-celled Gonium pectorale, in which each cell produces a daughter colony by three successive cell divisions. To assess whether this phenomenon is also applicable to other lineages, we have characterized cyanidialean red algae, namely, Cyanidioschyzon merolae, which proliferates by binary fission, as well as Cyanidium caldarium and Galdieria sulphuraria, which form up to four and 32 daughter cells (autospores), respectively, in a mother cell before hatching out. The result shows that there is also a correlation between the number of successive cell divisions and the threshold cell size for cell division or the first round of the successive cell divisions. In both C. merolae and C. caldarium, the cell size checkpoint for cell division(s) exists in the G1-phase, as previously shown in volvocine green algae. When C. merolae cells were arrested in the G1-phase and abnormally enlarged by conditional depletion of CDKA, the cells underwent two or more successive cell divisions without intervening cellular growth after recovery of CDKA, similarly to C. caldarium and G. sulphuraria. These results suggest that the threshold size for cell division is a major factor in determining the number of successive cell divisions and that evolutionary changes in the mechanism of cell size monitoring resulted in a variation of multiple fission cell cycle in eukaryotic algae.

RevDate: 2022-01-18
CmpDate: 2022-01-18

Junqueira Alves C, Silva Ladeira J, Hannah T, et al (2021)

Evolution and Diversity of Semaphorins and Plexins in Choanoflagellates.

Genome biology and evolution, 13(3):.

Semaphorins and plexins are cell surface ligand/receptor proteins that affect cytoskeletal dynamics in metazoan cells. Interestingly, they are also present in Choanoflagellata, a class of unicellular heterotrophic flagellates that forms the phylogenetic sister group to Metazoa. Several members of choanoflagellates are capable of forming transient colonies, whereas others reside solitary inside exoskeletons; their molecular diversity is only beginning to emerge. Here, we surveyed genomics data from 22 choanoflagellate species and detected semaphorin/plexin pairs in 16 species. Choanoflagellate semaphorins (Sema-FN1) contain several domain features distinct from metazoan semaphorins, including an N-terminal Reeler domain that may facilitate dimer stabilization, an array of fibronectin type III domains, a variable serine/threonine-rich domain that is a potential site for O-linked glycosylation, and a SEA domain that can undergo autoproteolysis. In contrast, choanoflagellate plexins (Plexin-1) harbor a domain arrangement that is largely identical to metazoan plexins. Both Sema-FN1 and Plexin-1 also contain a short homologous motif near the C-terminus, likely associated with a shared function. Three-dimensional molecular models revealed a highly conserved structural architecture of choanoflagellate Plexin-1 as compared to metazoan plexins, including similar predicted conformational changes in a segment that is involved in the activation of the intracellular Ras-GAP domain. The absence of semaphorins and plexins in several choanoflagellate species did not appear to correlate with unicellular versus colonial lifestyle or ecological factors such as fresh versus salt water environment. Together, our findings support a conserved mechanism of semaphorin/plexin proteins in regulating cytoskeletal dynamics in unicellular and multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2022-01-17
CmpDate: 2022-01-17

Jana SC (2021)

Centrosome structure and biogenesis: Variations on a theme?.

Seminars in cell & developmental biology, 110:123-138.

Centrosomes are composed of two orthogonally arranged centrioles surrounded by an electron-dense matrix called the pericentriolar material (PCM). Centrioles are cylinders with diameters of ~250 nm, are several hundred nanometres in length and consist of 9-fold symmetrically arranged microtubules (MT). In dividing animal cells, centrosomes act as the principal MT-organising centres and they also organise actin, which tunes cytoplasmic MT nucleation. In some specialised cells, the centrosome acquires additional critical structures and converts into the base of a cilium with diverse functions including signalling and motility. These structures are found in most eukaryotes and are essential for development and homoeostasis at both cellular and organism levels. The ultrastructure of centrosomes and their derived organelles have been known for more than half a century. However, recent advances in a number of techniques have revealed the high-resolution structures (at Å-to-nm scale resolution) of centrioles and have begun to uncover the molecular principles underlying their properties, including: protein components; structural elements; and biogenesis in various model organisms. This review covers advances in our understanding of the features and processes that are critical for the biogenesis of the evolutionarily conserved structures of the centrosomes. Furthermore, it discusses how variations of these aspects can generate diversity in centrosome structure and function among different species and even between cell types within a multicellular organism.

RevDate: 2022-01-13
CmpDate: 2022-01-13

Louka A, Takan I, Pavlopoulou A, et al (2021)

Bioinformatic approaches to the investigation of the atavistic genes implicated in cancer.

Frontiers in bioscience (Landmark edition), 26(8):279-311.

Introduction: Cancer is a widespread phenomenon occurring across multicellular organisms and represents a condition of atavism, wherein cells follow a path of reverse evolution that unlocks a toolkit of ancient pre-existing adaptations by disturbing hub genes of the human gene network. This results to a primitive cellular phenotype which resembles a unicellular life form. Methods: In the present study, we have employed bioinformatic approaches for the in-depth investigation of twelve atavistic hub genes (ACTG1, CTNNA1, CTNND1, CTTN, DSP, ILK, PKN2, PKP3, PLEC, RCC2, TLN1 and VASP), which exhibit highly disrupted interactions in diverse types of cancer and are associated with the formation of metastasis. To this end, phylogenetic analyses were conducted towards unravelling the evolutionary history of those hubs and tracing the origin of cancer in the Tree of Life. Results: Based on our results, most of those genes are of unicellular origin, and some of them can be traced back to the emergence of cellular life itself (atavistic theory). Our findings indicate how deep the evolutionary roots of cancer actually are, and may be exploited in the clinical setting for the design of novel therapeutic approaches and, particularly, in overcoming resistance to antineoplastic treatment.

RevDate: 2022-01-11

Sforna MC, Loron CC, Demoulin CF, et al (2022)

Intracellular bound chlorophyll residues identify 1 Gyr-old fossils as eukaryotic algae.

Nature communications, 13(1):146.

The acquisition of photosynthesis is a fundamental step in the evolution of eukaryotes. However, few phototrophic organisms are unambiguously recognized in the Precambrian record. The in situ detection of metabolic byproducts in individual microfossils is the key for the direct identification of their metabolisms. Here, we report a new integrative methodology using synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence and absorption. We evidence bound nickel-geoporphyrins moieties in low-grade metamorphic rocks, preserved in situ within cells of a ~1 Gyr-old multicellular eukaryote, Arctacellularia tetragonala. We identify these moieties as chlorophyll derivatives, indicating that A. tetragonala was a phototrophic eukaryote, one of the first unambiguous algae. This new approach, applicable to overmature rocks, creates a strong new proxy to understand the evolution of phototrophy and diversification of early ecosystems.

RevDate: 2022-01-10
CmpDate: 2022-01-10

Maltseva AL, Varfolomeeva MA, Gafarova ER, et al (2021)

Divergence together with microbes: A comparative study of the associated microbiomes in the closely related Littorina species.

PloS one, 16(12):e0260792.

Any multicellular organism during its life is involved in relatively stable interactions with microorganisms. The organism and its microbiome make up a holobiont, possessing a unique set of characteristics and evolving as a whole system. This study aimed to evaluate the degree of the conservativeness of microbiomes associated with intertidal gastropods. We studied the composition and the geographic and phylogenetic variability of the gut and body surface microbiomes of five closely related sympatric Littorina (Neritrema) spp. and a more distant species, L. littorea, from the sister subgenus Littorina (Littorina). Although snail-associated microbiomes included many lineages (207-603), they were dominated by a small number of OTUs of the genera Psychromonas, Vibrio, and Psychrilyobacter. The geographic variability was greater than the interspecific differences at the same collection site. While the microbiomes of the six Littorina spp. did not differ at the high taxonomic level, the OTU composition differed between groups of cryptic species and subgenera. A few species-specific OTUs were detected within the collection sites; notably, such OTUs never dominated microbiomes. We conclude that the composition of the high-rank taxa of the associated microbiome ("scaffolding enterotype") is more evolutionarily conserved than the composition of the low-rank individual OTUs, which may be site- and / or species-specific.

RevDate: 2022-01-07
CmpDate: 2022-01-07

Liu K, Deng S, Ye C, et al (2021)

Mapping single-cell-resolution cell phylogeny reveals cell population dynamics during organ development.

Nature methods, 18(12):1506-1514.

Mapping the cell phylogeny of a complex multicellular organism relies on somatic mutations accumulated from zygote to adult. Available cell barcoding methods can record about three mutations per barcode, enabling only low-resolution mapping of the cell phylogeny of complex organisms. Here we developed SMALT, a substitution mutation-aided lineage-tracing system that outperforms the available cell barcoding methods in mapping cell phylogeny. We applied SMALT to Drosophila melanogaster and obtained on average more than 20 mutations on a three-kilobase-pair barcoding sequence in early-adult cells. Using the barcoding mutations, we obtained high-quality cell phylogenetic trees, each comprising several thousand internal nodes with 84-93% median bootstrap support. The obtained cell phylogenies enabled a population genetic analysis that estimates the longitudinal dynamics of the number of actively dividing parental cells (Np) in each organ through development. The Np dynamics revealed the trajectory of cell births and provided insight into the balance of symmetric and asymmetric cell division.

RevDate: 2022-01-06
CmpDate: 2022-01-06

Maryenti T, Ishii T, T Okamoto (2021)

Development and regeneration of wheat-rice hybrid zygotes produced by in vitro fertilization system.

The New phytologist, 232(6):2369-2383.

Hybridization plays a decisive role in the evolution and diversification of angiosperms. However, the mechanisms of wide hybridization remain open because pre- and post-fertilization barriers limit the production and development of inter-subfamily/intergeneric zygotes, respectively. We examined hybridization between wheat and rice using an in vitro fertilization (IVF) system to bypass these barriers. Several gamete combinations of allopolyploid wheat-rice hybrid zygotes were successfully produced, and the developmental profiles of hybrid zygotes were analyzed. Hybrid zygotes derived from one rice egg cell and one wheat sperm cell ceased at the multicellular embryo-like structure stage. This developmental barrier was overcome by adding one wheat egg cell to the wheat-rice hybrid zygote. In the reciprocal combination, one wheat egg and one rice sperm cell, the resulting hybrid zygotes failed to divide. However, doubling the dosage of rice sperm cell allowed the hybrid zygotes to develop into plantlets. Rice chromosomes appeared to be progressively eliminated during the early developmental stage of these hybrid embryos, and c. 20% of regenerated plants showed abnormal morphology. These results suggest that hybrid breakdown can be overcome through optimization of gamete combinations, and the present hybrid will provide a new horizon for utilization of inter-subfamily genetic resources.

RevDate: 2022-01-03
CmpDate: 2022-01-03

Brückner A, Badroos JM, Learsch RW, et al (2021)

Evolutionary assembly of cooperating cell types in an animal chemical defense system.

Cell, 184(25):6138-6156.e28.

How the functions of multicellular organs emerge from the underlying evolution of cell types is poorly understood. We deconstructed evolution of an organ novelty: a rove beetle gland that secretes a defensive cocktail. We show how gland function arose via assembly of two cell types that manufacture distinct compounds. One cell type, comprising a chemical reservoir within the abdomen, produces alkane and ester compounds. We demonstrate that this cell type is a hybrid of cuticle cells and ancient pheromone and adipocyte-like cells, executing its function via a mosaic of enzymes from each parental cell type. The second cell type synthesizes benzoquinones using a chimera of conserved cellular energy and cuticle formation pathways. We show that evolution of each cell type was shaped by coevolution between the two cell types, yielding a potent secretion that confers adaptive value. Our findings illustrate how cooperation between cell types arises, generating new, organ-level behaviors.

RevDate: 2022-01-03
CmpDate: 2022-01-03

Benaissa H, Ounoughi K, Aujard I, et al (2021)

Engineering of a fluorescent chemogenetic reporter with tunable color for advanced live-cell imaging.

Nature communications, 12(1):6989.

Biocompatible fluorescent reporters with spectral properties spanning the entire visible spectrum are indispensable tools for imaging the biochemistry of living cells and organisms in real time. Here, we report the engineering of a fluorescent chemogenetic reporter with tunable optical and spectral properties. A collection of fluorogenic chromophores with various electronic properties enables to generate bimolecular fluorescent assemblies that cover the visible spectrum from blue to red using a single protein tag engineered and optimized by directed evolution and rational design. The ability to tune the fluorescence color and properties through simple molecular modulation provides a broad experimental versatility for imaging proteins in live cells, including neurons, and in multicellular organisms, and opens avenues for optimizing Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensors in live cells. The ability to tune the spectral properties and fluorescence performance enables furthermore to match the specifications and requirements of advanced super-resolution imaging techniques.

RevDate: 2022-01-03
CmpDate: 2022-01-03

Charles Campbell F (2021)

Untangling the complexities of micropapillary cancer†.

The Journal of pathology, 255(4):343-345.

Distinct morphological subtypes of colorectal cancer (CRC) confer a bleak clinical outlook. In a recent issue of The Journal of Pathology, Onuma et al investigated morphological evolution of a highly fatal CRC subtype known as micropapillary cancer (MPC). This study enhances understanding of MPC biology including essential regulatory signals, cellular and multicellular phenotypes, as well as cancer behaviour. Iterative modelling in three-dimensional (3D) patient-derived CRC tissue-originated spheroids (CTOSs) revealed spatiotemporal oscillations of Rho-ROCK hyperactivity underlying reversal of membrane polarity and suppression of lumen formation during development of multicellular MPC morphology. Corroborative studies in CTOSs, xenografts, and archival human CRCs confirm human disease relevance. Although cancer morphology has previously been considered irreversible, targeted inhibition of Rho-ROCK activity restored membrane polarity, lumenized multicellular assembly, and suppressed MPC morphology in 3D CTOS cultures and xenografts. Collectively, the study identifies molecular, biophysical, and multicellular mechanisms implicated in morphological evolution of micropapillary CRC. © 2021 The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

RevDate: 2022-01-04
CmpDate: 2022-01-04

Jiang S, Li H, Zeng Q, et al (2021)

The Dynamic Counterbalance of RAC1-YAP/OB-Cadherin Coordinates Tissue Spreading with Stem Cell Fate Patterning.

Advanced science (Weinheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany), 8(10):2004000.

Tissue spreading represents a key morphogenetic feature of embryonic development and regenerative medicine. However, how molecular signaling orchestrates the spreading dynamics and cell fate commitment of multicellular tissue remains poorly understood. Here, it is demonstrated that the dynamic counterbalance between RAC1-YAP and OB-cadherin plays a key role in coordinating heterogeneous spreading dynamics with distinct cell fate patterning during collective spreading. The spatiotemporal evolution of individual stem cells in spheroids during collective spreading is mapped. Time-lapse cell migratory trajectory analysis combined with in situ cellular biomechanics detection reveal heterogeneous patterns of collective spreading characteristics, where the cells at the periphery are faster, stiffer, and directional compared to those in the center of the spheroid. Single-cell sequencing shows that the divergent spreading result in distinct cell fate patterning, where differentiation, proliferation, and metabolism are enhanced in peripheral cells. Molecular analysis demonstrates that the increased expression of RAC1-YAP rather than OB-cadherin facilitated cell spreading and induced differentiation, and vice versa. The in vivo wound healing experiment confirms the functional role of RAC1-YAP signaling in tissue spreading. These findings shed light on the mechanism of tissue morphogenesis in the progression of development and provide a practical strategy for desirable regenerative therapies.

RevDate: 2021-12-28
CmpDate: 2021-12-28

Pennemann FL, Mussabekova A, Urban C, et al (2021)

Cross-species analysis of viral nucleic acid interacting proteins identifies TAOKs as innate immune regulators.

Nature communications, 12(1):7009.

The cell intrinsic antiviral response of multicellular organisms developed over millions of years and critically relies on the ability to sense and eliminate viral nucleic acids. Here we use an affinity proteomics approach in evolutionary distant species (human, mouse and fly) to identify proteins that are conserved in their ability to associate with diverse viral nucleic acids. This approach shows a core of orthologous proteins targeting viral genetic material and species-specific interactions. Functional characterization of the influence of 181 candidates on replication of 6 distinct viruses in human cells and flies identifies 128 nucleic acid binding proteins with an impact on virus growth. We identify the family of TAO kinases (TAOK1, -2 and -3) as dsRNA-interacting antiviral proteins and show their requirement for type-I interferon induction. Depletion of TAO kinases in mammals or flies leads to an impaired response to virus infection characterized by a reduced induction of interferon stimulated genes in mammals and impaired expression of srg1 and diedel in flies. Overall, our study shows a larger set of proteins able to mediate the interaction between viral genetic material and host factors than anticipated so far, attesting to the ancestral roots of innate immunity and to the lineage-specific pressures exerted by viruses.

RevDate: 2021-12-27
CmpDate: 2021-12-27

Dzik J (2021)

Metabolic evolutionary roots of the macrophage immune response in amoeba-bacteria interactions: The conserved role of hypoxia-induced Factor and AMP kinase.

Acta biochimica Polonica, 68(3):457-476.

The bacteria Legionella, being able to infect both macrophages and protozoans, reduce oxidative phosphorylation and induce glycolysis, which allows pathogens to grow and replicate in these cells. In amoeba-like inflammatory macrophages (M1), the phagocytizing cells of the primary immune defense, an increase in the rate of glycolysis is followed by a decrease of oxidative phosphorylation. The opposite takes place in anti-inflammatory macrophages (M2). They change from glycolysis to oxidative metabolism when AMP-dependent kinase (AMPK) is activated by a high ratio of AMP/ATP. Stimulation of macrophages with anti-inflammatory cytokines causes activation of AMPK. Infection of macrophages with the parasitic flagellate Leishmania infantum induces a switch from an initial glycolytic phase to oxidative phase with the essential role of AMPK in this change. Activated AMPK induces catabolic pathways effectively producing ATP as well as processes requiring the energy supply. AMPK regulates the migration of cells and enhances the phagocytic activity of macrophages. In macrophages, bacterial products activate TLRs and NF-κB signaling, causing an increase of transcription of hypoxia-induced factor HIF-1α (a subunit of HIF-1). This brings about induction of the enzyme and transporter expression essential for glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway to proceed and makes biosynthetic processes and ROS production in macrophages possible. Hypoxia augments macrophage phagocytosis in a HIF-1α-dependent manner. Multicellular parasites experience changes in the availability of oxygen in their life cycle. In the nematode Ascaris suum, HIF participates in the pre-adaptation to hypoxic conditions after infection of their hosts. Also, the freshwater and marine invertebrates meet changes of oxygen concentrations. In the anaerobic branch of the respiratory chain of these invertebrates, fumarate serves as the terminal electron acceptor that is reduced to succinate in complex II of the ETC. In mammalian cells, accumulation of succinate under hypoxic conditions suggests that the mammalian complex II may reduce fumarate to succinate, too. The data reviewed here show that the ability to shift the cell metabolism towards glycolysis observed in activated macrophages can be traced back in evolution to metabolic changes characterizing protozoans infected with bacteria. Anabolic needs of multiplying bacteria direct host metabolism to glycolysis that produces, aside from ATP, precursors of the amino acids used by the pathogen for its protein synthesis. M1-activated mammalian macrophages behave in the same way. Regulation of metabolism in M1 and M2 macrophages is further enhanced by HIF-1 and AMPK, respectively. These archaic functions of AMPK and HIF, important also to control phagocytosis and cell migration were extended to embryonic development in multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2021-12-27
CmpDate: 2021-12-27

Montoro R, Heine VM, Kemp S, et al (2021)

Evolution of adrenoleukodystrophy model systems.

Journal of inherited metabolic disease, 44(3):544-553.

X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a neurometabolic disorder affecting the adrenal glands, testes, spinal cord and brain. The disease is caused by mutations in the ABCD1 gene resulting in a defect in peroxisomal degradation of very long-chain fatty acids and their accumulation in plasma and tissues. Males with ALD have a near 100% life-time risk to develop myelopathy. The life-time prevalence to develop progressive cerebral white matter lesions (known as cerebral ALD) is about 60%. Adrenal insufficiency occurs in about 80% of male patients. In adulthood, 80% of women with ALD also develop myelopathy, but adrenal insufficiency or cerebral ALD are very rare. The complex clinical presentation and the absence of a genotype-phenotype correlation are complicating our understanding of the disease. In an attempt to understand the pathophysiology of ALD various model systems have been developed. While these model systems share the basic genetics and biochemistry of ALD they fail to fully recapitulate the complex neurodegenerative etiology of ALD. Each model system recapitulates certain aspects of the disorder. This exposes the complexity of ALD and therefore the challenge to create a comprehensive model system to fully understand ALD. In this review, we provide an overview of the different ALD modeling strategies from single-celled to multicellular organisms and from in vitro to in vivo approaches, and introduce how emerging iPSC-derived technologies could improve the understanding of this highly complex disorder.

RevDate: 2021-12-21
CmpDate: 2021-12-21

Fortunato A, Fleming A, Aktipis A, et al (2021)

Upregulation of DNA repair genes and cell extrusion underpin the remarkable radiation resistance of Trichoplax adhaerens.

PLoS biology, 19(11):e3001471.

Trichoplax adhaerens is the simplest multicellular animal with tissue differentiation and somatic cell turnover. Like all other multicellular organisms, it should be vulnerable to cancer, yet there have been no reports of cancer in T. adhaerens or any other placozoan. We investigated the cancer resistance of T. adhaerens, discovering that they are able to tolerate high levels of radiation damage (218.6 Gy). To investigate how T. adhaerens survive levels of radiation that are lethal to other animals, we examined gene expression after the X-ray exposure, finding overexpression of genes involved in DNA repair and apoptosis including the MDM2 gene. We also discovered that T. adhaerens extrudes clusters of inviable cells after X-ray exposure. T. adhaerens is a valuable model organism for studying the molecular, genetic, and tissue-level mechanisms underlying cancer suppression.

RevDate: 2021-12-21
CmpDate: 2021-12-21

Yang H, Pegoraro AF, Han Y, et al (2021)

Configurational fingerprints of multicellular living systems.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(44):.

Cells cooperate as groups to achieve structure and function at the tissue level, during which specific material characteristics emerge. Analogous to phase transitions in classical physics, transformations in the material characteristics of multicellular assemblies are essential for a variety of vital processes including morphogenesis, wound healing, and cancer. In this work, we develop configurational fingerprints of particulate and multicellular assemblies and extract volumetric and shear order parameters based on this fingerprint to quantify the system disorder. Theoretically, these two parameters form a complete and unique pair of signatures for the structural disorder of a multicellular system. The evolution of these two order parameters offers a robust and experimentally accessible way to map the phase transitions in expanding cell monolayers and during embryogenesis and invasion of epithelial spheroids.

RevDate: 2021-12-20
CmpDate: 2021-12-20

Pereira PHS, CRS Garcia (2021)

Evidence of G-Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCR) in the Parasitic Protozoa Plasmodium falciparum-Sensing the Host Environment and Coupling within Its Molecular Signaling Toolkit.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(22):.

Throughout evolution, the need for single-celled organisms to associate and form a single cluster of cells has had several evolutionary advantages. In complex, multicellular organisms, each tissue or organ has a specialty and function that make life together possible, and the organism as a whole needs to act in balance and adapt to changes in the environment. Sensory organs are essential for connecting external stimuli into a biological response, through the senses: sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch. The G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are responsible for many of these senses and therefore play a key role in the perception of the cells' external environment, enabling interaction and coordinated development between each cell of a multicellular organism. The malaria-causing protozoan parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, has a complex life cycle that is extremely dependent on a finely regulated cellular signaling machinery. In this review, we summarize strong evidence and the main candidates of GPCRs in protozoan parasites. Interestingly, one of these GPCRs is a sensor for K+ shift in Plasmodium falciparum, PfSR25. Studying this family of proteins in P. falciparum could have a significant impact, both on understanding the history of the evolution of GPCRs and on finding new targets for antimalarials.

RevDate: 2021-12-20
CmpDate: 2021-12-20

Wan X, Saito JA, Hou S, et al (2021)

The Aphelenchus avenae genome highlights evolutionary adaptation to desiccation.

Communications biology, 4(1):1232.

Some organisms can withstand complete body water loss (losing up to 99% of body water) and stay in ametabolic state for decades until rehydration, which is known as anhydrobiosis. Few multicellular eukaryotes on their adult stage can withstand life without water. We still have an incomplete understanding of the mechanism for metazoan survival of anhydrobiosis. Here we report the 255-Mb genome of Aphelenchus avenae, which can endure relative zero humidity for years. Gene duplications arose genome-wide and contributed to the expansion and diversification of 763 kinases, which represents the second largest metazoan kinome to date. Transcriptome analyses of ametabolic state of A. avenae indicate the elevation of ATP level for global recycling of macromolecules and enhancement of autophagy in the early stage of anhydrobiosis. We catalogue 74 species-specific intrinsically disordered proteins, which may facilitate A. avenae to survive through desiccation stress. Our findings refine a molecular basis evolving for survival in extreme water loss and open the way for discovering new anti-desiccation strategies.

RevDate: 2021-12-20
CmpDate: 2021-12-20

Sun V, Sharpley M, Kaczor-Urbanowicz KE, et al (2021)

The Metabolic Landscape of Thymic T Cell Development In Vivo and In Vitro.

Frontiers in immunology, 12:716661.

Although metabolic pathways have been shown to control differentiation and activation in peripheral T cells, metabolic studies on thymic T cell development are still lacking, especially in human tissue. In this study, we use transcriptomics and extracellular flux analyses to investigate the metabolic profiles of primary thymic and in vitro-derived mouse and human thymocytes. Core metabolic pathways, specifically glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation, undergo dramatic changes between the double-negative (DN), double-positive (DP), and mature single-positive (SP) stages in murine and human thymus. Remarkably, despite the absence of the complex multicellular thymic microenvironment, in vitro murine and human T cell development recapitulated the coordinated decrease in glycolytic and oxidative phosphorylation activity between the DN and DP stages seen in primary thymus. Moreover, by inducing in vitro T cell differentiation from Rag1-/- mouse bone marrow, we show that reduced metabolic activity at the DP stage is independent of TCR rearrangement. Thus, our findings suggest that highly conserved metabolic transitions are critical for thymic T cell development.

RevDate: 2021-12-20
CmpDate: 2021-12-20

Furumizu C, S Sawa (2021)

Insight into early diversification of leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases provided by the sequenced moss and hornwort genomes.

Plant molecular biology, 107(4-5):337-353.

KEY MESSAGE: Identification of the subfamily X leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases in the recently sequenced moss and hornwort genomes points to their diversification into distinct groups during early evolution of land plants. Signal transduction mediated through receptor-ligand interactions plays key roles in controlling developmental and physiological processes of multicellular organisms, and plants employ diverse receptors in signaling. Leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases (LRR-RLKs) represent one of the largest receptor classes in plants and are structurally classified into subfamilies. LRR-RLKs of the subfamily X are unique in the variety of their signaling roles; they include receptors for steroid or peptide hormones as well as negative regulators of signaling through binding to other LRR-RLKs, raising a question as to how they diversified. However, our understanding of diversification processes of LRR-RLKs has been hindered by the paucity of genomic data in non-seed plants and limited taxa sampling in previous phylogenetic analyses. Here we analyzed the phylogeny of LRR-RLK X sequences collected from all major land plant lineages and show that this subfamily diversified into six major clades before the divergence between bryophytes and vascular plants. Notably, we have identified homologues of the brassinosteroid receptor, BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE 1 (BRI1), in the genomes of Sphagnum mosses, hornworts, and ferns, contrary to earlier reports that postulate the origin of BRI1-like LRR-RLKs in the seed plant lineage. The phylogenetic distribution of major clades illustrates that the current receptor repertoire was shaped through lineage-specific gene family expansion and independent gene losses, highlighting dynamic changes in the evolution of LRR-RLKs.

RevDate: 2021-12-16
CmpDate: 2021-12-16

Kertmen A, Petrenko I, Schimpf C, et al (2021)

Calcite Nanotuned Chitinous Skeletons of Giant Ianthella basta Marine Demosponge.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(22):.

Marine sponges were among the first multicellular organisms on our planet and have survived to this day thanks to their unique mechanisms of chemical defense and the specific design of their skeletons, which have been optimized over millions of years of evolution to effectively inhabit the aquatic environment. In this work, we carried out studies to elucidate the nature and nanostructural organization of three-dimensional skeletal microfibers of the giant marine demosponge Ianthella basta, the body of which is a micro-reticular, durable structure that determines the ideal filtration function of this organism. For the first time, using the battery of analytical tools including three-dimensional micro-X-ray Fluorescence (3D-µXRF), X-ray diffraction (XRD), infra-red (FTIR), Raman and Near Edge X-ray Fine Structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy, we have shown that biomineral calcite is responsible for nano-tuning the skeletal fibers of this sponge species. This is the first report on the presence of a calcitic mineral phase in representatives of verongiid sponges which belong to the class Demospongiae. Our experimental data suggest a possible role for structural amino polysaccharide chitin as a template for calcification. Our study suggests further experiments to elucidate both the origin of calcium carbonate inside the skeleton of this sponge and the mechanisms of biomineralization in the surface layers of chitin microfibers saturated with bromotyrosines, which have effective antimicrobial properties and are responsible for the chemical defense of this organism. The discovery of the calcified phase in the chitinous template of I. basta skeleton is expected to broaden the knowledge in biomineralization science where the calcium carbonate is regarded as a valuable material for applications in biomedicine, environmental science, and even in civil engineering.

RevDate: 2021-12-16
CmpDate: 2021-12-16

Elsner D, Hartfelder K, J Korb (2021)

Molecular underpinnings of division of labour among workers in a socially complex termite.

Scientific reports, 11(1):18269.

Division of labour characterizes all major evolutionary transitions, such as the evolution of eukaryotic cells or multicellular organisms. Social insects are characterized by reproductive division of labour, with one or a few reproducing individuals (queens) and many non-reproducing nestmates (workers) forming a colony. Among the workers, further division of labour can occur with different individuals performing different tasks such as foraging, brood care or building. While mechanisms underlying task division are intensively studied in social Hymenoptera, less is known for termites, which independently evolved eusociality. We investigated molecular mechanisms underlying task division in termite workers to test for communality with social Hymenoptera. We compared similar-aged foraging workers with builders of the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes bellicosus using transcriptomes, endocrine measures and estimators of physiological condition. Based on results for social Hymenoptera and theory, we tested the hypotheses that (i) foragers are in worse physiological conditions than builders, (ii) builders are more similar in their gene expression profile to queens than foragers are, and (iii) builders invest more in anti-ageing mechanism than foragers. Our results support all three hypotheses. We found storage proteins to underlie task division of these similar-aged termite workers and these genes also characterize reproductive division of labour between queens and workers. This implies a co-option of nutrient-based pathways to regulate division of labour across lineages of termites and social Hymenoptera, which are separated by more than 133 million years.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-08

Prostak SM, LK Fritz-Laylin (2021)

Laboratory Maintenance of the Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

Current protocols, 1(12):e309.

The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a causative agent of chytridiomycosis, a skin disease associated with amphibian population declines around the world. Despite the major impact Bd is having on global ecosystems, much of Bd's basic biology remains unstudied. In addition to revealing mechanisms driving the spread of chytridiomycosis, studying Bd can shed light on the evolution of key fungal traits because chytrid fungi, including Bd, diverged before the radiation of the Dikaryotic fungi (multicellular fungi and yeast). Studying Bd in the laboratory is, therefore, of growing interest to a wide range of scientists, ranging from herpetologists and disease ecologists to molecular, cell, and evolutionary biologists. This protocol describes how to maintain developmentally synchronized liquid cultures of Bd for use in the laboratory, how to grow Bd on solid media, as well as cryopreservation and revival of frozen stocks. © 2021 The Authors. Current Protocols published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. Basic Protocol 1: Reviving cryopreserved Bd cultures Basic Protocol 2: Establishing synchronized liquid cultures of Bd Basic Protocol 3: Regular maintenance of synchronous Bd in liquid culture Alternate Protocol 1: Regular maintenance of asynchronous Bd in liquid culture Basic Protocol 4: Regular maintenance of synchronous Bd on solid medium Alternate Protocol 2: Starting a culture on solid medium from a liquid culture Basic Protocol 5: Cryopreservation of Bd.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-10

Marijuán PC, J Navarro (2021)

From Molecular Recognition to the "Vehicles" of Evolutionary Complexity: An Informational Approach.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(21):.

Countless informational proposals and models have explored the singular characteristics of biological systems: from the initial choice of information terms in the early days of molecular biology to the current bioinformatic avalanche in this "omic" era. However, this was conducted, most often, within partial, specialized scopes or just metaphorically. In this paper, we attempt a consistent informational discourse, initially based on the molecular recognition paradigm, which addresses the main stages of biological organization in a new way. It considers the interconnection between signaling systems and information flows, between informational architectures and biomolecular codes, between controlled cell cycles and multicellular complexity. It also addresses, in a new way, a central issue: how new evolutionary paths are opened by the cumulated action of multiple variation engines or mutational 'vehicles' evolved for the genomic exploration of DNA sequence space. Rather than discussing the possible replacement, extension, or maintenance of traditional neo-Darwinian tenets, a genuine informational approach to evolutionary phenomena is advocated, in which systemic variation in the informational architectures may induce differential survival (self-construction, self-maintenance, and reproduction) of biological agents within their open ended environment.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-13

Krespach MKC, Stroe MC, Flak M, et al (2021)

Bacterial marginolactones trigger formation of algal gloeocapsoids, protective aggregates on the verge of multicellularity.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(45):.

Photosynthetic microorganisms including the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii are essential to terrestrial habitats as they start the carbon cycle by conversion of CO2 to energy-rich organic carbohydrates. Terrestrial habitats are densely populated, and hence, microbial interactions mediated by natural products are inevitable. We previously discovered such an interaction between Streptomyces iranensis releasing the marginolactone azalomycin F in the presence of C. reinhardtii Whether the alga senses and reacts to azalomycin F remained unknown. Here, we report that sublethal concentrations of azalomycin F trigger the formation of a protective multicellular structure by C. reinhardtii, which we named gloeocapsoid. Gloeocapsoids contain several cells which share multiple cell membranes and cell walls and are surrounded by a spacious matrix consisting of acidic polysaccharides. After azalomycin F removal, gloeocapsoid aggregates readily disassemble, and single cells are released. The presence of marginolactone biosynthesis gene clusters in numerous streptomycetes, their ubiquity in soil, and our observation that other marginolactones such as desertomycin A and monazomycin also trigger the formation of gloeocapsoids suggests a cross-kingdom competition with ecological relevance. Furthermore, gloeocapsoids allow for the survival of C. reinhardtii at alkaline pH and otherwise lethal concentrations of azalomycin F. Their structure and polysaccharide matrix may be ancestral to the complex mucilage formed by multicellular members of the Chlamydomonadales such as Eudorina and Volvox Our finding suggests that multicellularity may have evolved to endure the presence of harmful competing bacteria. Additionally, it underlines the importance of natural products as microbial cues, which initiate interesting ecological scenarios of attack and counter defense.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-06

Tanno A, Tokutsu R, Arakaki Y, et al (2021)

The four-celled Volvocales green alga Tetrabaena socialis exhibits weak photobehavior and high-photoprotection ability.

PloS one, 16(10):e0259138.

Photo-induced behavioral responses (photobehaviors) are crucial to the survival of motile phototrophic organisms in changing light conditions. Volvocine green algae are excellent model organisms for studying the regulatory mechanisms of photobehavior. We recently reported that unicellular Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and multicellular Volvox rousseletii exhibit similar photobehaviors, such as phototactic and photoshock responses, via different ciliary regulations. To clarify how the regulatory systems have changed during the evolution of multicellularity, we investigated the photobehaviors of four-celled Tetrabaena socialis. Surprisingly, unlike C. reinhardtii and V. rousseletii, T. socialis did not exhibit immediate photobehaviors after light illumination. Electrophysiological analysis revealed that the T. socialis eyespot does not function as a photoreceptor. Instead, T. socialis exhibited slow accumulation toward the light source in a photosynthesis-dependent manner. Our assessment of photosynthetic activities showed that T. socialis chloroplasts possess higher photoprotection abilities against strong light than C. reinhardtii. These data suggest that C. reinhardtii and T. socialis employ different strategies to avoid high-light stress (moving away rapidly and gaining photoprotection, respectively) despite their close phylogenetic relationship.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-03

Ni Z, X Cheng (2021)

Origin and Isoform Specific Functions of Exchange Proteins Directly Activated by cAMP: A Phylogenetic Analysis.

Cells, 10(10):.

Exchange proteins directly activated by cAMP (EPAC1 and EPAC2) are one of the several families of cellular effectors of the prototypical second messenger cAMP. To understand the origin and molecular evolution of EPAC proteins, we performed a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of EPAC1 and EPAC2. Our study demonstrates that unlike its cousin PKA, EPAC proteins are only present in multicellular Metazoa. Within the EPAC family, EPAC1 is only associated with chordates, while EPAC2 spans the entire animal kingdom. Despite a much more contemporary origin, EPAC1 proteins show much more sequence diversity among species, suggesting that EPAC1 has undergone more selection and evolved faster than EPAC2. Phylogenetic analyses of the individual cAMP binding domain (CBD) and guanine nucleotide exchange (GEF) domain of EPACs, two most conserved regions between the two isoforms, further reveal that EPAC1 and EPAC2 are closely clustered together within both the larger cyclic nucleotide receptor and RAPGEF families. These results support the notion that EPAC1 and EPAC2 share a common ancestor resulting from a fusion between the CBD of PKA and the GEF from RAPGEF1. On the other hand, the two terminal extremities and the RAS-association (RA) domains show the most sequence diversity between the two isoforms. Sequence diversities within these regions contribute significantly to the isoform-specific functions of EPACs. Importantly, unique isoform-specific sequence motifs within the RA domain have been identified.

RevDate: 2021-12-15
CmpDate: 2021-12-15

Shrestha S, AC Clark (2021)

Evolution of the folding landscape of effector caspases.

The Journal of biological chemistry, 297(5):101249.

Caspases are a family of cysteinyl proteases that control programmed cell death and maintain homeostasis in multicellular organisms. The caspase family is an excellent model to study protein evolution because all caspases are produced as zymogens (procaspases [PCPs]) that must be activated to gain full activity; the protein structures are conserved through hundreds of millions of years of evolution; and some allosteric features arose with the early ancestor, whereas others are more recent evolutionary events. The apoptotic caspases evolved from a common ancestor (CA) into two distinct subfamilies: monomers (initiator caspases) or dimers (effector caspases). Differences in activation mechanisms of the two subfamilies, and their oligomeric forms, play a central role in the regulation of apoptosis. Here, we examine changes in the folding landscape by characterizing human effector caspases and their CA. The results show that the effector caspases unfold by a minimum three-state equilibrium model at pH 7.5, where the native dimer is in equilibrium with a partially folded monomeric (PCP-7, CA) or dimeric (PCP-6) intermediate. In comparison, the unfolding pathway of PCP-3 contains both oligomeric forms of the intermediate. Overall, the data show that the folding landscape was first established with the CA and was retained for >650 million years. Partially folded monomeric or dimeric intermediates in the ancestral ensemble provide mechanisms for evolutionary changes that affect stability of extant caspases. The conserved folding landscape allows for the fine-tuning of enzyme stability in a species-dependent manner while retaining the overall caspase-hemoglobinase fold.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-03

Henriques GJB, van Vliet S, M Doebeli (2021)

Multilevel selection favors fragmentation modes that maintain cooperative interactions in multispecies communities.

PLoS computational biology, 17(9):e1008896.

Reproduction is one of the requirements for evolution and a defining feature of life. Yet, across the tree of life, organisms reproduce in many different ways. Groups of cells (e.g., multicellular organisms, colonial microbes, or multispecies biofilms) divide by releasing propagules that can be single-celled or multicellular. What conditions determine the number and size of reproductive propagules? In multicellular organisms, existing theory suggests that single-cell propagules prevent the accumulation of deleterious mutations (e.g., cheaters). However, groups of cells, such as biofilms, sometimes contain multiple metabolically interdependent species. This creates a reproductive dilemma: small daughter groups, which prevent the accumulation of cheaters, are also unlikely to contain the species diversity that is required for ecological success. Here, we developed an individual-based, multilevel selection model to investigate how such multi-species groups can resolve this dilemma. By tracking the dynamics of groups of cells that reproduce by fragmenting into smaller groups, we identified fragmentation modes that can maintain cooperative interactions. We systematically varied the fragmentation mode and calculated the maximum mutation rate that communities can withstand before being driven to extinction by the accumulation of cheaters. We find that for groups consisting of a single species, the optimal fragmentation mode consists of releasing single-cell propagules. For multi-species groups we find various optimal strategies. With migration between groups, single-cell propagules are favored. Without migration, larger propagules sizes are optimal; in this case, group-size dependent fissioning rates can prevent the accumulation of cheaters. Our work shows that multi-species groups can evolve reproductive strategies that allow them to maintain cooperative interactions.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-14

Miguel-Tomé S, RR Llinás (2021)

Broadening the definition of a nervous system to better understand the evolution of plants and animals.

Plant signaling & behavior, 16(10):1927562.

Most textbook definitions recognize only animals as having nervous systems. However, for the past couple decades, botanists have been meticulously studying long-distance signaling systems in plants, and some researchers have stated that plants have a simple nervous system. Thus, an academic conflict has emerged between those who defend and those who deny the existence of a nervous system in plants. This article analyses that debate, and we propose an alternative to answering yes or no: broadening the definition of a nervous system to include plants. We claim that a definition broader than the current one, which is based only on a phylogenetic viewpoint, would be helpful in obtaining a deeper understanding of how evolution has driven the features of signal generation, transmission and processing in multicellular beings. Also, we propose two possible definitions and exemplify how broader a definition allows for new viewpoints on the evolution of plants, animals and the nervous system.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-07

Hartl B, Hübl M, Kahl G, et al (2021)

Microswimmers learning chemotaxis with genetic algorithms.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(19):.

Various microorganisms and some mammalian cells are able to swim in viscous fluids by performing nonreciprocal body deformations, such as rotating attached flagella or by distorting their entire body. In order to perform chemotaxis (i.e., to move toward and to stay at high concentrations of nutrients), they adapt their swimming gaits in a nontrivial manner. Here, we propose a computational model, which features autonomous shape adaptation of microswimmers moving in one dimension toward high field concentrations. As an internal decision-making machinery, we use artificial neural networks, which control the motion of the microswimmer. We present two methods to measure chemical gradients, spatial and temporal sensing, as known for swimming mammalian cells and bacteria, respectively. Using the genetic algorithm NeuroEvolution of Augmenting Topologies, surprisingly simple neural networks evolve. These networks control the shape deformations of the microswimmers and allow them to navigate in static and complex time-dependent chemical environments. By introducing noisy signal transmission in the neural network, the well-known biased run-and-tumble motion emerges. Our work demonstrates that the evolution of a simple and interpretable internal decision-making machinery coupled to the environment allows navigation in diverse chemical landscapes. These findings are of relevance for intracellular biochemical sensing mechanisms of single cells or for the simple nervous system of small multicellular organisms such as Caenorhabditis elegans.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-07

Wang Z, Sun X, Zhang X, et al (2021)

Development of a miRNA Sensor by an Inducible CRISPR-Cas9 Construct in Ciona Embryogenesis.

Molecular biotechnology, 63(7):613-620.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate multicellular processes and diverse signaling pathways in organisms. The detection of the spatiotemporal expression of miRNA in vivo is crucial for uncovering the function of miRNA. However, most of the current detecting techniques cannot reflect the dynamics of miRNA sensitively in vivo. Here, we constructed a miRNA-induced CRISPR-Cas9 platform (MICR) used in marine chordate Ciona. The key component of MICR is a pre-single guide RNA (sgRNA) flanked by miRNA-binding sites that can be released by RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) cleavage to form functional sgRNA in the presence of complementary miRNA. By using the miRNA-inducible CRISPR-on system (MICR-ON), we successfully detected the dynamic expression of a miRNA csa-miR-4018a during development of Ciona embryo. The detected patterns were validated to be consistent with the results by in situ hybridization. It is worth noting that the expression of csa-miR-4018a was examined by MICR-ON to be present in additional tissues, where no obvious signaling was detected by in situ hybridization, suggesting that the MICR-ON might be a more sensitive approach to detect miRNA signal in living animal. Thus, MICR-ON was demonstrated to be a sensitive and highly efficient approach for monitoring the dynamics of expression of miRNA in vivo and will facilitate the exploration of miRNA functions in biological systems.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-08

Ben-David Y, D Weihs (2021)

Modeling force application configurations and morphologies required for cancer cell invasion.

Biomechanics and modeling in mechanobiology, 20(3):1187-1194.

We show that cell-applied, normal mechanical stresses are required for cells to penetrate into soft substrates, matching experimental observations in invasive cancer cells, while in-plane traction forces alone reproduce observations in non-cancer/noninvasive cells. Mechanobiological interactions of cells with their microenvironment drive migration and cancer invasion. We have previously shown that invasive cancer cells forcefully and rapidly push into impenetrable, physiological stiffness gels and indent them to cell-scale depths (up to 10 μm); normal, noninvasive cells indent at most to 0.7 μm. Significantly indenting cells signpost increased cancer invasiveness and higher metastatic risk in vitro and in vivo, as verified experimentally in different cancer types, yet the underlying cell-applied, force magnitudes and configurations required to produce the cell-scale gel indentations have yet to be evaluated. Hence, we have developed finite element models of forces applied onto soft, impenetrable gels using experimental cell/gel morphologies, gel mechanics, and force magnitudes. We show that in-plane traction forces can only induce small-scale indentations in soft gels (< 0.7 μm), matching experiments with various single, normal cells. Addition of a normal force (on the scale of experimental traction forces) produced cell-scale indentations that matched observations in invasive cancer cells. We note that normal stresses (force and area) determine the indentation depth, while contact area size and morphology have a minor effect, explaining the origin of experimentally observed cell morphologies. We have thus revealed controlling features facilitating invasive indentations by single cancer cells, which will allow application of our model to complex problems, such as multicellular systems.

RevDate: 2021-11-30
CmpDate: 2021-11-30

Yu D, Cao H, X Wang (2021)

[Advances and applications of organoids: a review].

Sheng wu gong cheng xue bao = Chinese journal of biotechnology, 37(11):3961-3974.

Novel model systems have provided powerful tools for the research of human biology. Despite of being widely used, the conventional research models could not precisely describe the human physiological phenomenon. Organoids are three-dimensional multicellular aggregates derived from stem cells or organ progenitors that could differentiate and self-organize to recapitulate some specific functionalities and architectures of their in vivo counterpart organs. Organoids can be used to simulate organogenesis because of their human origin. In addition, the genomic stability of organoids could be well maintained during long-term amplification in vitro. Moreover, organoids can be cryopreserved as a live biobank for high-throughput screening. Combinatorial use of organoids with other emerging technologies (e.g. gene editing, organ-on-a-chip and single-cell RNA sequencing) could overcome the bottlenecks of conventional models and provide valuable information for disease modelling, pharmaceutical research, precision medicine and regenerative medicine at the organ level. This review summarizes the classifications, characteristics, current applications, combined use with other technologies and future prospects of organoids.

RevDate: 2021-11-26
CmpDate: 2021-11-26

Steventon B, Busby L, AM Arias (2021)

Establishment of the vertebrate body plan: Rethinking gastrulation through stem cell models of early embryogenesis.

Developmental cell, 56(17):2405-2418.

A striking property of vertebrate embryos is the emergence of a conserved body plan across a wide range of organisms through the process of gastrulation. As the body plan unfolds, gene regulatory networks (GRNs) and multicellular interactions (cell regulatory networks, CRNs) combine to generate a conserved set of morphogenetic events that lead to the phylotypic stage. Interrogation of these multilevel interactions requires manipulation of the mechanical environment, which is difficult in vivo. We review recent studies of stem cell models of early embryogenesis from different species showing that, independent of species origin, cells in culture form similar structures. The main difference between embryos and in vitro models is the boundary conditions of the multicellular ensembles. We discuss these observations and suggest that the mechanical and geometric boundary conditions of different embryos before gastrulation hide a morphogenetic ground state that is revealed in the stem-cell-based models of embryo development.

RevDate: 2021-11-25
CmpDate: 2021-11-25

Suthar J, Al-Jufaili S, Bray RA, et al (2021)

Redescription of Aspidogaster limacoides Diesing, 1834 (Aspidogastrea: Aspidogastridae) from freshwater fishes of northern Germany.

Parasitology research, 120(10):3405-3416.

Aspidogaster limacoides Diesing, 1834 (Aspidogastridae) is redescribed based on light and scanning electron microscopy of specimens from the stomach and intestine of Abramis brama, Rutilus rutilus and Scardinius erythrophthalmus (Actinopterygii: Cyprinidae). The fishes were sampled during 2018 and 2019 at Lake Tollense in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany. The prevalence of A. limacoides was highest in R. rutilus (61.7%) followed by Scardinius erythrophthalmus (7.7%) and A. brama (2.9%), while it was absent in Perca fluviatilis from the same lake. The following structures of A. limacoides are described for the first time: a depression on the ventral side of the neck, variations in the number and the arrangement of alveoli, numerous pits scattered all over the body surface, the presence of a few papillae-like structures posterior lateral to the mouth, the number of marginal organs represented by openings of exocrine multicellular glands as shown in histology and the subterminal position of the excretory pore. These characters can be used to distinguish three species of Aspidogaster, namely, A. ijimai, A. conchicola and A. limacoides, suggesting that SEM is a useful and promising tool in differentiating Aspidogaster species. Comparison of molecular data of the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 regions showed a 94% similarity to A. limacoides from the European part of Russia. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the present specimens clustered in the same clade with A. limacoides sensu stricto, forming a distinct group to the exclusion of congeners.

RevDate: 2021-11-25
CmpDate: 2021-11-25

Bussey KJ, PCW Davies (2021)

Reverting to single-cell biology: The predictions of the atavism theory of cancer.

Progress in biophysics and molecular biology, 165:49-55.

Cancer or cancer-like phenomena pervade multicellular life, implying deep evolutionary roots. Many of the hallmarks of cancer recapitulate unicellular modalities, suggesting that cancer initiation and progression represent a systematic reversion to simpler ancestral phenotypes in response to a stress or insult. This so-called atavism theory may be tested using phylostratigraphy, which can be used to assign ages to genes. Several research groups have confirmed that cancer cells tend to over-express evolutionary older genes, and rewire the architecture linking unicellular and multicellular gene networks. In addition, some of the elevated mutation rate - a well-known hallmark of cancer - is actually self-inflicted, driven by genes found to be homologs of the ancient SOS genes activated in stressed bacteria, and employed to evolve biological workarounds. These findings have obvious implications for therapy.

RevDate: 2021-11-25
CmpDate: 2021-11-25

Puzakov MV, Puzakova LV, Cheresiz SV, et al (2021)

The IS630/Tc1/mariner transposons in three ctenophore genomes.

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 163:107231.

Transposable elements (TEs) exert a significant effect on the structure and functioning of the genomes and also serve as a source of the new genes. The study of the TE diversity and evolution in different taxa is indispensable for the fundamental understanding of their roles in the genomes. IS630/Tc1/mariner (ITm) transposable elements represent the most prevalent and diverse group of DNA transposons. In this work, we studied the diversity, evolutionary dynamics and the phylogenetic relationships of the ITm transposons found in three ctenophore species: Mnemiopsis leidyi, Pleurobrachia bachei, Beroe ovata. We identified 29 ITm transposons, seven of which possess the terminal inverted repeats (TIRs) and an intact transposase, and, thus, are, presumably, active. Four other ITm transposons have the features of domesticated TEs. According to the results of the phylogenetic analysis, the ITm transposons of the ctenophores represent five groups - MLE/DD34D, TLE/DD34-38E, mosquito/DD37E, Visiror/DD41D and pogo/DDxD. Pogo/DDxD superfamily turnes out to be the most diverse and prevalent, since it accounts for more than 40% of the TEs identified. The data obtained in this research will fill the gap of knowledge of the diversity and evolution of the ITm transposons in the multicellular genomes and will lay the ground for the study of the TE effects on the evolution of the ctenophores.

RevDate: 2021-11-24
CmpDate: 2021-11-24

Wu X, Yan A, McAdam SAM, et al (2021)

Timing of meristem initiation and maintenance determines the morphology of fern gametophytes.

Journal of experimental botany, 72(20):6990-7001.

The alternation of generations in land plants occurs between the sporophyte phase and the gametophyte phase. The sporophytes of seed plants develop self-maintained, multicellular meristems, and these meristems determine plant architecture. The gametophytes of seed plants lack meristems and are heterotrophic. In contrast, the gametophytes of seed-free vascular plants, including ferns, are autotrophic and free-living, developing meristems to sustain their independent growth and proliferation. Compared with meristems in the sporophytes of seed plants, the cellular mechanisms underlying meristem development in fern gametophytes remain largely unknown. Here, using confocal time-lapse live imaging and computational segmentation and quantification, we determined different patterns of cell divisions associated with the initiation and proliferation of two distinct types of meristems in gametophytes of two closely related Pteridaceae ferns, Pteris vittata and Ceratopteris richardii. Our results reveal how the simple timing of a switch between two meristems has considerable consequences for the divergent gametophyte morphologies of the two ferns. They further provide evolutionary insight into the function and regulation of gametophyte meristems in seed-free vascular plants.

RevDate: 2021-11-19
CmpDate: 2021-11-19

Miller EA, Leidholt S, Galvin T, et al (2021)

Electron microscopy reveals viral-like particles and mitochondrial degradation in scombrid puffy snout syndrome.

Diseases of aquatic organisms, 147:25-31.

Aquaculture is an increasingly important food resource, but its sustainability is often limited by disease. In Scombridae fishes, puffy snout syndrome (PSS) is a debilitating condition where tumor-like collagenous growths form around the eyes, nares, and mandibles which impair vision and feeding and frequently lead to mortality. While PSS is considered an infectious or metabolic disease, no disease agents or promoters have been identified. Here, we used electron microscopy (EM) to describe the cellular pathology and search for etiological agents of PSS in Pacific mackerel Scomber japonicus, the first use of this approach for PSS. We examined aquaculture specimens across a range of apparent PSS severity, comparing the results to both wild and aquaculture asymptomatic mackerel. EM imagery consistently revealed viral-like particles in PSS samples, as well as the uniform absence of bacteria, protists, fungi, and other multicellular parasites. In addition to viral-like particles, symptomatic fish had a higher mean percentage of swollen and disintegrating mitochondria than both asymptomatic aquaculture and wild mackerel. This suggests that degraded mitochondria may be related to PSS and could be important to further understanding the origin, promoters, and prevention of PSS. This study serves as a first step in identifying the etiological agents of PSS.

RevDate: 2021-11-19
CmpDate: 2021-11-19

Buravkova L, Larina I, Andreeva E, et al (2021)

Microgravity Effects on the Matrisome.

Cells, 10(9):.

Gravity is fundamental factor determining all processes of development and vital activity on Earth. During evolution, a complex mechanism of response to gravity alterations was formed in multicellular organisms. It includes the "gravisensors" in extracellular and intracellular spaces. Inside the cells, the cytoskeleton molecules are the principal gravity-sensitive structures, and outside the cells these are extracellular matrix (ECM) components. The cooperation between the intracellular and extracellular compartments is implemented through specialized protein structures, integrins. The gravity-sensitive complex is a kind of molecular hub that coordinates the functions of various tissues and organs in the gravitational environment. The functioning of this system is of particular importance under extremal conditions, such as spaceflight microgravity. This review covers the current understanding of ECM and associated molecules as the matrisome, the features of the above components in connective tissues, and the role of the latter in the cell and tissue responses to the gravity alterations. Special attention is paid to contemporary methodological approaches to the matrisome composition analysis under real space flights and ground-based simulation of its effects on Earth.

RevDate: 2021-11-15

Vinogradov AE, OV Anatskaya (2021)

Growth of Biological Complexity from Prokaryotes to Hominids Reflected in the Human Genome.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(21): pii:ijms222111640.

The growth of complexity in evolution is a most intriguing phenomenon. Using gene phylostratigraphy, we showed this growth (as reflected in regulatory mechanisms) in the human genome, tracing the path from prokaryotes to hominids. Generally, the different regulatory gene families expanded at different times, yet only up to the Euteleostomi (bony vertebrates). The only exception was the expansion of transcription factors (TF) in placentals; however, we argue that this was not related to increase in general complexity. Surprisingly, although TF originated in the Prokaryota while chromatin appeared only in the Eukaryota, the expansion of epigenetic factors predated the expansion of TF. Signaling receptors, tumor suppressors, oncogenes, and aging- and disease-associated genes (indicating vulnerabilities in terms of complex organization and strongly enrichment in regulatory genes) also expanded only up to the Euteleostomi. The complexity-related gene properties (protein size, number of alternative splicing mRNA, length of untranslated mRNA, number of biological processes per gene, number of disordered regions in a protein, and density of TF-TF interactions) rose in multicellular organisms and declined after the Euteleostomi, and possibly earlier. At the same time, the speed of protein sequence evolution sharply increased in the genes that originated after the Euteleostomi. Thus, several lines of evidence indicate that molecular mechanisms of complexity growth were changing with time, and in the phyletic lineage leading to humans, the most salient shift occurred after the basic vertebrate body plan was fixed with bony skeleton. The obtained results can be useful for evolutionary medicine.

RevDate: 2021-11-15
CmpDate: 2021-11-15

Mandujano-Tinoco EA, Sultan E, Ottolenghi A, et al (2021)

Evolution of Cellular Immunity Effector Cells; Perspective on Cytotoxic and Phagocytic Cellular Lineages.

Cells, 10(8):.

The immune system has evolved to protect organisms from infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasitic pathogens. In addition, it provides regenerative capacities, tissue maintenance, and self/non-self recognition of foreign tissues. Phagocytosis and cytotoxicity are two prominent cellular immune activities positioned at the base of immune effector function in mammals. Although these immune mechanisms have diversified into a wide heterogeneous repertoire of effector cells, it appears that they share some common cellular and molecular features in all animals, but also some interesting convergent mechanisms. In this review, we will explore the current knowledge about the evolution of phagocytic and cytotoxic immune lineages against pathogens, in the clearance of damaged cells, for regeneration, for histocompatibility recognition, and in killing virally infected cells. To this end, we give different immune examples of multicellular organism models, ranging from the roots of bilateral organisms to chordate invertebrates, comparing to vertebrates' lineages. In this review, we compare cellular lineage homologies at the cellular and molecular levels. We aim to highlight and discuss the diverse function plasticity within the evolved immune effector cells, and even suggest the costs and benefits that it may imply for organisms with the meaning of greater defense against pathogens but less ability to regenerate damaged tissues and organs.

RevDate: 2021-11-08
CmpDate: 2021-11-08

Swiatczak B (2021)

Struggle within: evolution and ecology of somatic cell populations.

Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS, 78(21-22):6797-6806.

The extent to which normal (nonmalignant) cells of the body can evolve through mutation and selection during the lifetime of the organism has been a major unresolved issue in evolutionary and developmental studies. On the one hand, stable multicellular individuality seems to depend on genetic homogeneity and suppression of evolutionary conflicts at the cellular level. On the other hand, the example of clonal selection of lymphocytes indicates that certain forms of somatic mutation and selection are concordant with the organism-level fitness. Recent DNA sequencing and tissue physiology studies suggest that in addition to adaptive immune cells also neurons, epithelial cells, epidermal cells, hematopoietic stem cells and functional cells in solid bodily organs are subject to evolutionary forces during the lifetime of an organism. Here we refer to these recent studies and suggest that the expanding list of somatically evolving cells modifies idealized views of biological individuals as radically different from collectives.

RevDate: 2021-11-08
CmpDate: 2021-11-08

Diegmiller R, Doherty CA, Stern T, et al (2021)

Size scaling in collective cell growth.

Development (Cambridge, England), 148(18):.

Size is a fundamental feature of living entities and is intimately tied to their function. Scaling laws, which can be traced to D'Arcy Thompson and Julian Huxley, have emerged as a powerful tool for studying regulation of the growth dynamics of organisms and their constituent parts. Yet, throughout the 20th century, as scaling laws were established for single cells, quantitative studies of the coordinated growth of multicellular structures have lagged, largely owing to technical challenges associated with imaging and image processing. Here, we present a supervised learning approach for quantifying the growth dynamics of germline cysts during oogenesis. Our analysis uncovers growth patterns induced by the groupwise developmental dynamics among connected cells, and differential growth rates of their organelles. We also identify inter-organelle volumetric scaling laws, finding that nurse cell growth is linear over several orders of magnitude. Our approach leverages the ever-increasing quantity and quality of imaging data, and is readily amenable for studies of collective cell growth in other developmental contexts, including early mammalian embryogenesis and germline development.

RevDate: 2021-11-08
CmpDate: 2021-11-08

Thongsripong P, Chandler JA, Kittayapong P, et al (2021)

Metagenomic shotgun sequencing reveals host species as an important driver of virome composition in mosquitoes.

Scientific reports, 11(1):8448.

High-throughput nucleic acid sequencing has greatly accelerated the discovery of viruses in the environment. Mosquitoes, because of their public health importance, are among those organisms whose viromes are being intensively characterized. Despite the deluge of sequence information, our understanding of the major drivers influencing the ecology of mosquito viromes remains limited. Using methods to increase the relative proportion of microbial RNA coupled with RNA-seq we characterize RNA viruses and other symbionts of three mosquito species collected along a rural to urban habitat gradient in Thailand. The full factorial study design allows us to explicitly investigate the relative importance of host species and habitat in structuring viral communities. We found that the pattern of virus presence was defined primarily by host species rather than by geographic locations or habitats. Our result suggests that insect-associated viruses display relatively narrow host ranges but are capable of spreading through a mosquito population at the geographical scale of our study. We also detected various single-celled and multicellular microorganisms such as bacteria, alveolates, fungi, and nematodes. Our study emphasizes the importance of including ecological information in viromic studies in order to gain further insights into viral ecology in systems where host specificity is driving both viral ecology and evolution.

RevDate: 2021-11-09
CmpDate: 2021-11-09

Li J, Meng Q, Fu Y, et al (2021)

Novel insights: Dynamic foam cells derived from the macrophage in atherosclerosis.

Journal of cellular physiology, 236(9):6154-6167.

Atherosclerosis can be regarded as a chronic disease derived from the interaction between disordered lipoproteins and an unsuitable immune response. The evolution of foam cells is not only a significant pathological change in the early stage of atherosclerosis but also a key stage in the occurrence and development of atherosclerosis. The formation of foam cells is mainly caused by the imbalance among lipids uptake, lipids treatment, and reverse cholesterol transport. Although a large number of studies have summarized the source of foam cells and the mechanism of foam cells formation, we propose a new idea about foam cells in atherosclerosis. Rather than an isolated microenvironment, the macrophage multiple lipid uptake pathways, lipid internalization, lysosome, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, neutral cholesterol ester hydrolase (NCEH), acyl-coenzyme A-cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT), and reverse cholesterol transport are mutually influential, and form a dynamic process under multi-factor regulation. The macrophage takes on different uptake lipid statuses depending on multiple uptake pathways and intracellular lipids, lipid metabolites versus pro-inflammatory factors. Except for NCEH and ACAT, the lipid internalization of macrophages also depends on multicellular organelles including the lysosome, mitochondria, and endoplasmic reticulum, which are associated with each other. A dynamic balance between esterification and hydrolysis of cholesterol for macrophages is essential for physiology and pathology. Therefore, we propose that the foam cell in the process of atherosclerosis may be dynamic under multi-factor regulation, and collate this study to provide a holistic and dynamic idea of the foam cell.

RevDate: 2021-11-05
CmpDate: 2021-11-05

Sego TJ, Mochan ED, Ermentrout GB, et al (2022)

A multiscale multicellular spatiotemporal model of local influenza infection and immune response.

Journal of theoretical biology, 532:110918.

Respiratory viral infections pose a serious public health concern, from mild seasonal influenza to pandemics like those of SARS-CoV-2. Spatiotemporal dynamics of viral infection impact nearly all aspects of the progression of a viral infection, like the dependence of viral replication rates on the type of cell and pathogen, the strength of the immune response and localization of infection. Mathematical modeling is often used to describe respiratory viral infections and the immune response to them using ordinary differential equation (ODE) models. However, ODE models neglect spatially-resolved biophysical mechanisms like lesion shape and the details of viral transport, and so cannot model spatial effects of a viral infection and immune response. In this work, we develop a multiscale, multicellular spatiotemporal model of influenza infection and immune response by combining non-spatial ODE modeling and spatial, cell-based modeling. We employ cellularization, a recently developed method for generating spatial, cell-based, stochastic models from non-spatial ODE models, to generate much of our model from a calibrated ODE model that describes infection, death and recovery of susceptible cells and innate and adaptive responses during influenza infection, and develop models of cell migration and other mechanisms not explicitly described by the ODE model. We determine new model parameters to generate agreement between the spatial and original ODE models under certain conditions, where simulation replicas using our model serve as microconfigurations of the ODE model, and compare results between the models to investigate the nature of viral exposure and impact of heterogeneous infection on the time-evolution of the viral infection. We found that using spatially homogeneous initial exposure conditions consistently with those employed during calibration of the ODE model generates far less severe infection, and that local exposure to virus must be multiple orders of magnitude greater than a uniformly applied exposure to all available susceptible cells. This strongly suggests a prominent role of localization of exposure in influenza A infection. We propose that the particularities of the microenvironment to which a virus is introduced plays a dominant role in disease onset and progression, and that spatially resolved models like ours may be important to better understand and more reliably predict future health states based on susceptibility of potential lesion sites using spatially resolved patient data of the state of an infection. We can readily integrate the immune response components of our model into other modeling and simulation frameworks of viral infection dynamics that do detailed modeling of other mechanisms like viral internalization and intracellular viral replication dynamics, which are not explicitly represented in the ODE model. We can also combine our model with available experimental data and modeling of exposure scenarios and spatiotemporal aspects of mechanisms like mucociliary clearance that are only implicitly described by the ODE model, which would significantly improve the ability of our model to present spatially resolved predictions about the progression of influenza infection and immune response.

RevDate: 2021-11-05
CmpDate: 2021-11-05

Bestová H, Segrestin J, von Schwartzenberg K, et al (2021)

Biological scaling in green algae: the role of cell size and geometry.

Scientific reports, 11(1):14425.

The Metabolic Scaling Theory (MST), hypothesizes limitations of resource-transport networks in organisms and predicts their optimization into fractal-like structures. As a result, the relationship between population growth rate and body size should follow a cross-species universal quarter-power scaling. However, the universality of metabolic scaling has been challenged, particularly across transitions from bacteria to protists to multicellulars. The population growth rate of unicellulars should be constrained by external diffusion, ruling nutrient uptake, and internal diffusion, operating nutrient distribution. Both constraints intensify with increasing size possibly leading to shifting in the scaling exponent. We focused on unicellular algae Micrasterias. Large size and fractal-like morphology make this species a transitional group between unicellular and multicellular organisms in the evolution of allometry. We tested MST predictions using measurements of growth rate, size, and morphology-related traits. We showed that growth scaling of Micrasterias follows MST predictions, reflecting constraints by internal diffusion transport. Cell fractality and density decrease led to a proportional increase in surface area with body mass relaxing external constraints. Complex allometric optimization enables to maintain quarter-power scaling of population growth rate even with a large unicellular plan. Overall, our findings support fractality as a key factor in the evolution of biological scaling.

RevDate: 2021-11-05
CmpDate: 2021-11-05

Hofmann K (2020)

The Evolutionary Origins of Programmed Cell Death Signaling.

Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology, 12(9): pii:cshperspect.a036442.

Programmed cell death (PCD) pathways are found in many phyla, ranging from developmentally programmed apoptosis in animals to cell-autonomous programmed necrosis pathways that limit the spread of biotrophic pathogens in multicellular assemblies. Prominent examples for the latter include animal necroptosis and pyroptosis, plant hypersensitive response (HR), and fungal heterokaryon incompatibility (HI) pathways. PCD pathways in the different kingdoms show fundamental differences in execution mechanism, morphology of the dying cells, and in the biological sequelae. Nevertheless, recent studies have revealed remarkable evolutionary parallels, including a striking sequence relationship between the "HeLo" domains found in the pore-forming components of necroptosis and some types of plant HR and fungal HI pathways. Other PCD execution components show cross-kingdom conservation as well, or are derived from prokaryotic ancestors. The currently available data suggest a model, wherein the primordial eukaryotic PCD pathway used proteins similar to present-day plant R-proteins and caused necrotic cell death by direct action of Toll and IL-1 receptor (TIR) and HeLo-like domains.

RevDate: 2021-11-01
CmpDate: 2021-11-01

Mikuła A, Tomaszewicz W, Dziurka M, et al (2021)

The Origin of the Cyathea delgadii Sternb. Somatic Embryos Is Determined by the Developmental State of Donor Tissue and Mutual Balance of Selected Metabolites.

Cells, 10(6):.

Somatic embryogenesis is the formation of a plant embryo from a cell other than the product of gametic fusion. The need to recognize the determinants of somatic cell fate has prompted investigations on how endogenous factors of donor tissues can determine the pattern of somatic embryo origin. The undertaking of this study was enabled by the newly developed experimental system of somatic embryogenesis of the tree fern Cyathea delgadii Sternb., in which the embryos are produced in hormone-free medium. The contents of 89 endogenous compounds (such as sugars, auxins, cytokinins, gibberellins, stress-related hormones, phenolic acids, polyamines, and amino acids) and cytomorphological features were compared between two types of explants giving rise to somatic embryos of unicellular or multicellular origin. We found that a large content of maltose, 1-kestose, abscisic acid, biologically active gibberellins, and phenolic acids was characteristic for single-cell somatic embryo formation pattern. In contrast, high levels of starch, callose, kinetin riboside, arginine, and ethylene promoted their multicellular origin. Networks for visualization of the relations between studied compounds were constructed based on the data obtained from analyses of a Pearson correlation coefficient heatmap. Our findings present for the first time detailed features of donor tissue that can play an important role in the somatic-to-embryogenic transition and the somatic embryo origin.

RevDate: 2021-11-01
CmpDate: 2021-11-01

Opazo JC, Vandewege MW, Gutierrez J, et al (2021)

Independent duplications of the Golgi phosphoprotein 3 oncogene in birds.

Scientific reports, 11(1):12483.

Golgi phosphoprotein 3 (GOLPH3) was the first reported oncoprotein of the Golgi apparatus. It was identified as an evolutionarily conserved protein upon its discovery about 20 years ago, but its function remains puzzling in normal and cancer cells. The GOLPH3 gene is part of a group of genes that also includes the GOLPH3L gene. Because cancer has deep roots in multicellular evolution, studying the evolution of the GOLPH3 gene family in non-model species represents an opportunity to identify new model systems that could help better understand the biology behind this group of genes. The main goal of this study is to explore the evolution of the GOLPH3 gene family in birds as a starting point to understand the evolutionary history of this oncoprotein. We identified a repertoire of three GOLPH3 genes in birds. We found duplicated copies of the GOLPH3 gene in all main groups of birds other than paleognaths, and a single copy of the GOLPH3L gene. We suggest there were at least three independent origins for GOLPH3 duplicates. Amino acid divergence estimates show that most of the variation is located in the N-terminal region of the protein. Our transcript abundance estimations show that one paralog is highly and ubiquitously expressed, and the others were variable. Our results are an example of the significance of understanding the evolution of the GOLPH3 gene family, especially for unraveling its structural and functional attributes.

RevDate: 2021-11-02
CmpDate: 2021-11-02

Parker GA (2021)

How Soon Hath Time… A History of Two "Seminal" Publications.

Cells, 10(2):.

This review documents the history of the two papers written half a century ago that relate to this special issue of Cells. The first, "Sperm competition and its evolutionary consequences in the insects" (Biological Reviews, 1970), stressed that sexual selection continues after ejaculation, resulting in many adaptations (e.g., postcopulatory guarding phases, copulatory plugs, seminal fluid components that modify female reproduction, and optimal ejaculation strategies), an aspect not considered by Darwin in his classic treatise of 1871. Sperm competition has subsequently been studied in many taxa, and post-copulatory sexual selection is now considered an important sequel to Darwinian pre-copulatory sexual selection. The second, "The origin and evolution of gamete dimorphism and the male-female phenomenon" (Journal of Theoretical Biology, 1972) showed how selection, based on gamete competition between individuals, can give rise to anisogamy in an isogamous broadcast spawning ancestor. This theory, which has subsequently been developed in various ways, is argued to form the most powerful explanation of why there are two sexes in most multicellular organisms. Together, the two papers have influenced our general understanding of the evolutionary differentiation of the two forms of gametic cells, and the divergence of sexual strategies between males and females under sexual selection.

RevDate: 2021-11-01
CmpDate: 2021-11-01

Brenneis G, BS Beltz (2020)

Adult neurogenesis in crayfish: Origin, expansion, and migration of neural progenitor lineages in a pseudostratified neuroepithelium.

The Journal of comparative neurology, 528(9):1459-1485.

Two decades after the discovery of adult-born neurons in the brains of decapod crustaceans, the deutocerebral proliferative system (DPS) producing these neural lineages has become a model of adult neurogenesis in invertebrates. Studies on crayfish have provided substantial insights into the anatomy, cellular dynamics, and regulation of the DPS. Contrary to traditional thinking, recent evidence suggests that the neurogenic niche in the crayfish DPS lacks self-renewing stem cells, its cell pool being instead sustained via integration of hemocytes generated by the innate immune system. Here, we investigated the origin, division and migration patterns of the adult-born neural progenitor (NP) lineages in detail. We show that the niche cell pool is not only replenished by hemocyte integration but also by limited numbers of symmetric cell divisions with some characteristics reminiscent of interkinetic nuclear migration. Once specified in the niche, first generation NPs act as transit-amplifying intermediate NPs that eventually exit and produce multicellular clones as they move along migratory streams toward target brain areas. Different clones may migrate simultaneously in the streams but occupy separate tracks and show spatio-temporally flexible division patterns. Based on this, we propose an extended DPS model that emphasizes structural similarities to pseudostratified neuroepithelia in other arthropods and vertebrates. This model includes hemocyte integration and intrinsic cell proliferation to synergistically counteract niche cell pool depletion during the animal's lifespan. Further, we discuss parallels to recent findings on mammalian adult neurogenesis, as both systems seem to exhibit a similar decoupling of proliferative replenishment divisions and consuming neurogenic divisions.

RevDate: 2021-10-28
CmpDate: 2021-10-28

Lineweaver CH, Bussey KJ, Blackburn AC, et al (2021)

Cancer progression as a sequence of atavistic reversions.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 43(7):e2000305.

It has long been recognized that cancer onset and progression represent a type of reversion to an ancestral quasi-unicellular phenotype. This general concept has been refined into the atavistic model of cancer that attempts to provide a quantitative analysis and testable predictions based on genomic data. Over the past decade, support for the multicellular-to-unicellular reversion predicted by the atavism model has come from phylostratigraphy. Here, we propose that cancer onset and progression involve more than a one-off multicellular-to-unicellular reversion, and are better described as a series of reversionary transitions. We make new predictions based on the chronology of the unicellular-eukaryote-to-multicellular-eukaryote transition. We also make new predictions based on three other evolutionary transitions that occurred in our lineage: eukaryogenesis, oxidative phosphorylation and the transition to adaptive immunity. We propose several modifications to current phylostratigraphy to improve age resolution to test these predictions. Also see the video abstract here: https://youtu.be/3unEu5JYJrQ.

RevDate: 2021-10-26
CmpDate: 2021-10-26

Gao Y, Park HJ, Traulsen A, et al (2021)

Evolution of irreversible somatic differentiation.

eLife, 10:.

A key innovation emerging in complex animals is irreversible somatic differentiation: daughters of a vegetative cell perform a vegetative function as well, thus, forming a somatic lineage that can no longer be directly involved in reproduction. Primitive species use a different strategy: vegetative and reproductive tasks are separated in time rather than in space. Starting from such a strategy, how is it possible to evolve life forms which use some of their cells exclusively for vegetative functions? Here, we develop an evolutionary model of development of a simple multicellular organism and find that three components are necessary for the evolution of irreversible somatic differentiation: (i) costly cell differentiation, (ii) vegetative cells that significantly improve the organism's performance even if present in small numbers, and (iii) large enough organism size. Our findings demonstrate how an egalitarian development typical for loose cell colonies can evolve into germ-soma differentiation dominating metazoans.

RevDate: 2021-10-26
CmpDate: 2021-10-26

Van Goor J, Shakes DC, ES Haag (2021)

Fisher vs. the Worms: Extraordinary Sex Ratios in Nematodes and the Mechanisms that Produce Them.

Cells, 10(7):.

Parker, Baker, and Smith provided the first robust theory explaining why anisogamy evolves in parallel in multicellular organisms. Anisogamy sets the stage for the emergence of separate sexes, and for another phenomenon with which Parker is associated: sperm competition. In outcrossing taxa with separate sexes, Fisher proposed that the sex ratio will tend towards unity in large, randomly mating populations due to a fitness advantage that accrues in individuals of the rarer sex. This creates a vast excess of sperm over that required to fertilize all available eggs, and intense competition as a result. However, small, inbred populations can experience selection for skewed sex ratios. This is widely appreciated in haplodiploid organisms, in which females can control the sex ratio behaviorally. In this review, we discuss recent research in nematodes that has characterized the mechanisms underlying highly skewed sex ratios in fully diploid systems. These include self-fertile hermaphroditism and the adaptive elimination of sperm competition factors, facultative parthenogenesis, non-Mendelian meiotic oddities involving the sex chromosomes, and environmental sex determination. By connecting sex ratio evolution and sperm biology in surprising ways, these phenomena link two "seminal" contributions of G. A. Parker.

RevDate: 2021-10-26
CmpDate: 2021-10-26

Lu YX, Regan JC, Eßer J, et al (2021)

A TORC1-histone axis regulates chromatin organisation and non-canonical induction of autophagy to ameliorate ageing.

eLife, 10:.

Age-related changes to histone levels are seen in many species. However, it is unclear whether changes to histone expression could be exploited to ameliorate the effects of ageing in multicellular organisms. Here we show that inhibition of mTORC1 by the lifespan-extending drug rapamycin increases expression of histones H3 and H4 post-transcriptionally through eIF3-mediated translation. Elevated expression of H3/H4 in intestinal enterocytes in Drosophila alters chromatin organisation, induces intestinal autophagy through transcriptional regulation, and prevents age-related decline in the intestine. Importantly, it also mediates rapamycin-induced longevity and intestinal health. Histones H3/H4 regulate expression of an autophagy cargo adaptor Bchs (WDFY3 in mammals), increased expression of which in enterocytes mediates increased H3/H4-dependent healthy longevity. In mice, rapamycin treatment increases expression of histone proteins and Wdfy3 transcription, and alters chromatin organisation in the small intestine, suggesting that the mTORC1-histone axis is at least partially conserved in mammals and may offer new targets for anti-ageing interventions.

RevDate: 2021-10-25
CmpDate: 2021-10-25

Pen I, T Flatt (2021)

Asymmetry, division of labour and the evolution of ageing in multicellular organisms.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 376(1823):20190729.

Between the 1930s and 1960s, evolutionary geneticists worked out the basic principles of why organisms age. Despite much progress in the evolutionary biology of ageing since that time, however, many puzzles remain. The perhaps most fundamental of these is the question of which organisms should exhibit senescence and which should not (or which should age rapidly and which should not). The evolutionary origin of ageing from a non-senescent state has been conceptually framed, for example, in terms of the separation between germ-line and soma, the distinction between parents and their offspring, and-in unicellular organisms-the unequal distribution of cellular damage at cell division. These ideas seem to be closely related to the concept of 'division of labour' between reproduction and somatic maintenance. Here, we review these concepts and develop a toy model to explore the importance of such asymmetries for the evolution of senescence. We apply our model to the simplest case of a multicellular system: an organism consisting of two totipotent cells. Notably, we find that in organisms which reproduce symmetrically and partition damage equally, senescence is still able to evolve, contrary to previous claims. Our results might have some bearing on understanding the origin of the germ-line-soma separation and the evolution of senescence in multicellular organisms and in colonial species consisting of multiple types of individuals, such as, for example, eusocial insects with their different castes. This article is part of the theme issue 'Ageing and sociality: why, when and how does sociality change ageing patterns?'

RevDate: 2021-10-25
CmpDate: 2021-10-25

Parmentier T, De Laender F, D Bonte (2020)

The topology and drivers of ant-symbiont networks across Europe.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 95(6):1664-1688.

Intimate associations between different species drive community composition across ecosystems. Understanding the ecological and evolutionary drivers of these symbiotic associations is challenging because their structure eventually determines stability and resilience of the entire species network. Here, we compiled a detailed database on naturally occurring ant-symbiont networks in Europe to identify factors that affect symbiont network topology. These networks host an unrivalled diversity of macrosymbiotic associations, spanning the entire mutualism-antagonism continuum, including: (i) myrmecophiles - commensalistic and parasitic arthropods; (ii) trophobionts - mutualistic aphids, scale insects, planthoppers and caterpillars; (iii) social parasites - parasitic ant species; (iv) parasitic helminths; and (v) parasitic fungi. We dissected network topology to investigate what determines host specificity, symbiont species richness, and the capacity of different symbiont types to switch hosts. We found 722 macrosymbionts (multicellular symbionts) associated with European ants. Symbiont type explained host specificity and the average relatedness of the host species. Social parasites were associated with few hosts that were phylogenetically highly related, whereas the other symbiont types interacted with a larger number of hosts across a wider taxonomic distribution. The hosts of trophobionts were the least phylogenetically related across all symbiont types. Colony size, host range and habitat type predicted total symbiont richness: ant hosts with larger colony size, a larger distribution range or with a wider habitat range contained more symbiont species. However, we found that different sets of host factors affected diversity in the different types of symbionts. Ecological factors, such as colony size, host range and niche width predominantly determined myrmecophile species richness, whereas host phylogeny was the most important predictor of mutualistic trophobiont, social parasite and parasitic helminth species richness. Lastly, we found that hosts with a common biogeographic history support a more similar community of symbionts. Phylogenetically related hosts also shared more trophobionts, social parasites and helminths, but not myrmecophiles. Taken together, these results suggest that ecological and evolutionary processes structure host specificity and symbiont richness in large-scale ant-symbiont networks, but these drivers may shift in importance depending on the type of symbiosis. Our findings highlight the potential of well-characterized bipartite networks composed of different types of symbioses to identify candidate processes driving community composition.

RevDate: 2021-10-21
CmpDate: 2021-10-21

McKenna KZ, Wagner GP, KL Cooper (2021)

A developmental perspective of homology and evolutionary novelty.

Current topics in developmental biology, 141:1-38.

The development and evolution of multicellular body plans is complex. Many distinct organs and body parts must be reproduced at each generation, and those that are traceable over long time scales are considered homologous. Among the most pressing and least understood phenomena in evolutionary biology is the mode by which new homologs, or "novelties" are introduced to the body plan and whether the developmental changes associated with such evolution deserve special treatment. In this chapter, we address the concepts of homology and evolutionary novelty through the lens of development. We present a series of case studies, within insects and vertebrates, from which we propose a developmental model of multicellular organ identity. With this model in hand, we make predictions regarding the developmental evolution of body plans and highlight the need for more integrative analysis of developing systems.

RevDate: 2021-10-18

Stüeken EE, Viehmann S, SV Hohl (2021)

Contrasting nutrient availability between marine and brackish waters in the late Mesoproterozoic: Evidence from the Paranoá Group, Brazil.

Geobiology [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding the delayed rise of eukaryotic life on Earth is one of the most fundamental questions about biological evolution. Numerous studies have presented evidence for oxygen and nutrient limitations in seawater during the Mesoproterozoic era, indicating that open marine settings may not have been able to sustain a eukaryotic biosphere with complex, multicellular organisms. However, many of these data sets represent restricted marine basins, which may bias our view of habitability. Furthermore, it remains untested whether rivers could have supplied significant nutrient fluxes to coastal habitats. To better characterize the sources of the major nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus, we turned to the late Mesoproterozoic Paranoá Group in Brazil (~1.1 Ga), which was deposited on a passive margin of the São Francisco craton. We present carbon, nitrogen and sulphur isotope data from an open shelf setting (Fazenda Funil) and from a brackish-water environment with significant riverine input (São Gabriel). Our results show that waters were well-oxygenated and nitrate was bioavailable in the open ocean setting at Fazenda Funil; the redoxcline appears to have been deeper and further offshore compared to restricted marine basins elsewhere in the Mesoproterozoic. In contrast, the brackish site at São Gabriel received only limited input of marine nitrate and sulphate. Nevertheless, previous reports of acritarchs reveal that this brackish-water setting was habitable to eukaryotic life. Paired with previously published cadmium isotope data, which can be used as a proxy for phosphorus cycling, our results suggest that complex organisms were perhaps not strictly dependent on marine nutrient supplies. Riverine influxes of P and possibly other nutrients likely rendered coastal waters perhaps equally habitable to the Mesoproterozoic open ocean. This conclusion supports the notion that eukaryotic organisms may have thrived in brackish or perhaps even freshwater environments.

RevDate: 2021-10-19
CmpDate: 2021-10-19

Saucedo LJ, Triolo RE, KE Segar (2021)

How Drosophila Can Inform the Emerging Paradigm of the Role of Antioxidants in Cancer.

Molecular cancer research : MCR, 19(1):38-41.

Drosophila melanogaster has proven to be an effective model system in uncovering both genetic and cellular contributions to human cancer. Many elusive genes and signaling pathways that control oncogenic growth were first identified using flies. In many cases, these discoveries were not driven by a direct search for novel genes involved in cancer but rather stemmed from research programs to uncover mechanisms that control growth and development. However, the bounty of genetic tools and the shared evolution of multicellular organisms places Drosophila in a powerful position to purposefully elucidate observations seen in human cancers. In the past decade, the role of antioxidants in cancer progression has shifted dramatically. This review highlights major findings driving this change in perspective and underscores an array of existing work and resources in laboratories using Drosophila that can make significant contributions to how the redox environment affects cancer progression.

RevDate: 2021-10-15
CmpDate: 2021-10-15

Wang X, Dong F, Liu J, et al (2021)

The self-healing of Bacillus subtilis biofilms.

Archives of microbiology, 203(9):5635-5645.

Self-healing is an intrinsic ability that exists widely in every multicellular biological organism. Our recent experiments have shown that bacterial biofilms also have the ability to self-heal after man-make cuts, but the mechanism of biofilm self-healing have not been studied. We find that the healing process of cuts on the biofilm depends on cut geometries like its location or direction, the biofilm itself like the biofilm age, the growing substrate properties like its hardness, and also the environments such as the competitive growth of multiple biofilms. What is more, the healing rate along the cut is heterogeneous, and the maximum healing rate can reach 260 μm/h, which is three times the undestroyed biofilm expansion rate. The cut does not change the rounded shape growth of biofilms. Further study of phenotypic evolution shows that the cut delays bacterial differentiation; motile cells perceive the cut and move to the cut area, while the cut only heals when there are enough matrix-producing cells in the cut area. Our work suggests new ideas for developing self-healing materials.

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Wofford HA, Myers-Dean J, Vogel BA, et al (2021)

Domain Analysis and Motif Matcher (DAMM): A Program to Predict Selectivity Determinants in Monosiga brevicollis PDZ Domains Using Human PDZ Data.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(19): pii:molecules26196034.

Choanoflagellates are single-celled eukaryotes with complex signaling pathways. They are considered the closest non-metazoan ancestors to mammals and other metazoans and form multicellular-like states called rosettes. The choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis contains over 150 PDZ domains, an important peptide-binding domain in all three domains of life (Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya). Therefore, an understanding of PDZ domain signaling pathways in choanoflagellates may provide insight into the origins of multicellularity. PDZ domains recognize the C-terminus of target proteins and regulate signaling and trafficking pathways, as well as cellular adhesion. Here, we developed a computational software suite, Domain Analysis and Motif Matcher (DAMM), that analyzes peptide-binding cleft sequence identity as compared with human PDZ domains and that can be used in combination with literature searches of known human PDZ-interacting sequences to predict target specificity in choanoflagellate PDZ domains. We used this program, protein biochemistry, fluorescence polarization, and structural analyses to characterize the specificity of A9UPE9_MONBE, a M. brevicollis PDZ domain-containing protein with no homology to any metazoan protein, finding that its PDZ domain is most similar to those of the DLG family. We then identified two endogenous sequences that bind A9UPE9 PDZ with <100 μM affinity, a value commonly considered the threshold for cellular PDZ-peptide interactions. Taken together, this approach can be used to predict cellular targets of previously uncharacterized PDZ domains in choanoflagellates and other organisms. Our data contribute to investigations into choanoflagellate signaling and how it informs metazoan evolution.

RevDate: 2021-10-14
CmpDate: 2021-10-14

Pezzulo G, LaPalme J, Durant F, et al (2021)

Bistability of somatic pattern memories: stochastic outcomes in bioelectric circuits underlying regeneration.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 376(1821):20190765.

Nervous systems' computational abilities are an evolutionary innovation, specializing and speed-optimizing ancient biophysical dynamics. Bioelectric signalling originated in cells' communication with the outside world and with each other, enabling cooperation towards adaptive construction and repair of multicellular bodies. Here, we review the emerging field of developmental bioelectricity, which links the field of basal cognition to state-of-the-art questions in regenerative medicine, synthetic bioengineering and even artificial intelligence. One of the predictions of this view is that regeneration and regulative development can restore correct large-scale anatomies from diverse starting states because, like the brain, they exploit bioelectric encoding of distributed goal states-in this case, pattern memories. We propose a new interpretation of recent stochastic regenerative phenotypes in planaria, by appealing to computational models of memory representation and processing in the brain. Moreover, we discuss novel findings showing that bioelectric changes induced in planaria can be stored in tissue for over a week, thus revealing that somatic bioelectric circuits in vivo can implement a long-term, re-writable memory medium. A consideration of the mechanisms, evolution and functionality of basal cognition makes novel predictions and provides an integrative perspective on the evolution, physiology and biomedicine of information processing in vivo. This article is part of the theme issue 'Basal cognition: multicellularity, neurons and the cognitive lens'.

RevDate: 2021-10-14
CmpDate: 2021-10-14

Schaap P (2021)

From environmental sensing to developmental control: cognitive evolution in dictyostelid social amoebas.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 376(1820):20190756.

Dictyostelid social amoebas respond to starvation by self-organizing into multicellular slugs that migrate towards light to construct spore-bearing structures. These behaviours depend on excitable networks that enable amoebas to produce propagating waves of the chemoattractant cAMP, and to respond by directional movement. cAMP additionally regulates cell differentiation throughout development, with differentiation and cell movement being coordinated by interaction of the stalk inducer c-di-GMP with the adenylate cyclase that generates cAMP oscillations. Evolutionary studies indicate how the manifold roles of cAMP in multicellular development evolved from a role as intermediate for starvation-induced encystation in the unicellular ancestor. A merger of this stress response with the chemotaxis excitable networks yielded the developmental complexity and cognitive capabilities of extant Dictyostelia. This article is part of the theme issue 'Basal cognition: conceptual tools and the view from the single cell'.

RevDate: 2021-10-04
CmpDate: 2021-10-04

Li B, Tian Y, Wen H, et al (2021)

Systematic identification and expression analysis of the Sox gene family in spotted sea bass (Lateolabrax maculatus).

Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part D, Genomics & proteomics, 38:100817.

The Sox gene family encodes a set of transcription factors characterized by a conserved Sry-related high mobility group (HMG)-box domain, which performs a series of essential biological functions in diverse tissues and developmental processes. In this study, the Sox gene family was systematically characterized in spotted sea bass (Lateolabrax maculatus). A total of 26 Sox genes were identified and classified into eight subfamilies, namely, SoxB1, SoxB2, SoxC, SoxD, SoxE, SoxF, SoxH and SoxK. The phylogenetic relationship, exon-intron and domain structure analyses supported their annotation and classification. Comparison of gene copy numbers and chromosome locations among different species indicated that except tandem duplicated paralogs of Sox17/Sox32, duplicated Sox genes in spotted sea bass were generated from teleost-specific whole genome duplication during evolution. In addition, qRT-PCR was performed to detect the expression profiles of Sox genes during development and adulthood. The results showed that the expression of 16 out of 26 Sox genes was induced dramatically at different starting points after the multicellular stage, which is consistent with embryogenesis. At the early stage of sex differentiation, 9 Sox genes exhibited sexually dimorphic expression patterns, among which Sox3, Sox19 and Sox6b showed the most significant ovary-biased expression. Moreover, the distinct expression pattern of Sox genes was observed in different adult tissues. Our results provide a fundamental resource for further investigating the functions of Sox genes in embryonic processes, sex determination and differentiation as well as controlling the homeostasis of adult tissues in spotted sea bass.

RevDate: 2021-09-27
CmpDate: 2021-09-27

Kwon HY, Kumar Das R, Jung GT, et al (2021)

Lipid-Oriented Live-Cell Distinction of B and T Lymphocytes.

Journal of the American Chemical Society, 143(15):5836-5844.

The identification of each cell type is essential for understanding multicellular communities. Antibodies set as biomarkers have been the main toolbox for cell-type recognition, and chemical probes are emerging surrogates. Herein we report the first small-molecule probe, CDgB, to discriminate B lymphocytes from T lymphocytes, which was previously impossible without the help of antibodies. Through the study of the origin of cell specificity, we discovered an unexpected novel mechanism of membrane-oriented live-cell distinction. B cells maintain higher flexibility in their cell membrane than T cells and accumulate the lipid-like probe CDgB more preferably. Because B and T cells share common ancestors, we tracked the cell membrane changes of the progenitor cells and disclosed the dynamic reorganization of the membrane properties over the lymphocyte differentiation progress. This study casts an orthogonal strategy for the small-molecule cell identifier and enriches the toolbox for live-cell distinction from complex cell communities.

RevDate: 2021-09-18

Roy SW (2021)

Digest: Three sexes from two loci in one genome: A haploid alga expands the diversity of trioecious species.

Multicellular eukaryotes exhibit a remarkable diversity of sexual systems; however, trioecy, the coexistence of male, female, and cosexual or hermaphrodite individuals in a single species, is remarkably rare. Takahashi et al. (2021) report the first known instance of trioecy in a haploid organism. In contrast to other known cases of trioecy, the authors report evidence for genetic control of all three sexes by two loci. These results complicate models for sexual system turnover and expand the known diversity of trioecy species in several ways.

RevDate: 2021-08-22

Leray M, Wilkins LGE, Apprill A, et al (2021)

Natural experiments and long-term monitoring are critical to understand and predict marine host-microbe ecology and evolution.

PLoS biology, 19(8):e3001322.

Marine multicellular organisms host a diverse collection of bacteria, archaea, microbial eukaryotes, and viruses that form their microbiome. Such host-associated microbes can significantly influence the host's physiological capacities; however, the identity and functional role(s) of key members of the microbiome ("core microbiome") in most marine hosts coexisting in natural settings remain obscure. Also unclear is how dynamic interactions between hosts and the immense standing pool of microbial genetic variation will affect marine ecosystems' capacity to adjust to environmental changes. Here, we argue that significantly advancing our understanding of how host-associated microbes shape marine hosts' plastic and adaptive responses to environmental change requires (i) recognizing that individual host-microbe systems do not exist in an ecological or evolutionary vacuum and (ii) expanding the field toward long-term, multidisciplinary research on entire communities of hosts and microbes. Natural experiments, such as time-calibrated geological events associated with well-characterized environmental gradients, provide unique ecological and evolutionary contexts to address this challenge. We focus here particularly on mutualistic interactions between hosts and microbes, but note that many of the same lessons and approaches would apply to other types of interactions.

RevDate: 2021-09-03
CmpDate: 2021-08-30

Galindo LJ, López-García P, Torruella G, et al (2021)

Phylogenomics of a new fungal phylum reveals multiple waves of reductive evolution across Holomycota.

Nature communications, 12(1):4973.

Compared to multicellular fungi and unicellular yeasts, unicellular fungi with free-living flagellated stages (zoospores) remain poorly known and their phylogenetic position is often unresolved. Recently, rRNA gene phylogenetic analyses of two atypical parasitic fungi with amoeboid zoospores and long kinetosomes, the sanchytrids Amoeboradix gromovi and Sanchytrium tribonematis, showed that they formed a monophyletic group without close affinity with known fungal clades. Here, we sequence single-cell genomes for both species to assess their phylogenetic position and evolution. Phylogenomic analyses using different protein datasets and a comprehensive taxon sampling result in an almost fully-resolved fungal tree, with Chytridiomycota as sister to all other fungi, and sanchytrids forming a well-supported, fast-evolving clade sister to Blastocladiomycota. Comparative genomic analyses across fungi and their allies (Holomycota) reveal an atypically reduced metabolic repertoire for sanchytrids. We infer three main independent flagellum losses from the distribution of over 60 flagellum-specific proteins across Holomycota. Based on sanchytrids' phylogenetic position and unique traits, we propose the designation of a novel phylum, Sanchytriomycota. In addition, our results indicate that most of the hyphal morphogenesis gene repertoire of multicellular fungi had already evolved in early holomycotan lineages.

RevDate: 2021-08-09

Kloareg B, Badis Y, Cock JM, et al (2021)

Role and Evolution of the Extracellular Matrix in the Acquisition of Complex Multicellularity in Eukaryotes: A Macroalgal Perspective.

Genes, 12(7):.

Multicellular eukaryotes are characterized by an expanded extracellular matrix (ECM) with a diversified composition. The ECM is involved in determining tissue texture, screening cells from the outside medium, development, and innate immunity, all of which are essential features in the biology of multicellular eukaryotes. This review addresses the origin and evolution of the ECM, with a focus on multicellular marine algae. We show that in these lineages the expansion of extracellular matrix played a major role in the acquisition of complex multicellularity through its capacity to connect, position, shield, and defend the cells. Multiple innovations were necessary during these evolutionary processes, leading to striking convergences in the structures and functions of the ECMs of algae, animals, and plants.

RevDate: 2021-08-03

Anda S, Boye E, Schink KO, et al (2021)

Cosegregation of asymmetric features during cell division.

Open biology, 11(8):210116.

Cellular asymmetry plays a major role in the ageing and evolution of multicellular organisms. However, it remains unknown how the cell distinguishes 'old' from 'new' and whether asymmetry is an attribute of highly specialized cells or a feature inherent in all cells. Here, we investigate the segregation of three asymmetric features: old and new DNA, the spindle pole body (SPB, the centrosome analogue) and the old and new cell ends, using a simple unicellular eukaryote, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. To our knowledge, this is the first study exploring three asymmetric features in the same cells. We show that of the three chromosomes of S. pombe, chromosome I containing the new parental strand, preferentially segregated to the cells inheriting the old cell end. Furthermore, the new SPB also preferentially segregated to the cells inheriting the old end. Our results suggest that the ability to distinguish 'old' from 'new' and to segregate DNA asymmetrically are inherent features even in simple unicellular eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2021-08-02

Ramalho JJ, Jones VAS, Mutte S, et al (2021)

Pole position: How plant cells polarize along the axes.

The Plant cell pii:6335687 [Epub ahead of print].

Having a sense of direction is a fundamental cellular trait that can determine cell shape, division orientation, or function, and ultimately the formation of a functional, multicellular body. Cells acquire and integrate directional information by establishing discrete subcellular domains along an axis with distinct molecular profiles, a process known as cell polarization. Insight into the principles and mechanisms underlying cell polarity has been propelled by decades of extensive research mostly in yeast and animal models. Our understanding of cell polarity establishment in plants, which lack most of the regulatory molecules identified in other eukaryotes, is more limited, but significant progress has been made in recent years. In this review, we explore how plant cells coordinately establish stable polarity axes aligned with the organ axes, highlighting similarities in the molecular logic used to polarize both plant and animal cells. We propose a classification system for plant cell polarity events and nomenclature guidelines. Finally, we provide a deep phylogenetic analysis of polar proteins and discuss the evolution of polarity machineries in plants.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Kożyczkowska A, Najle SR, Ocaña-Pallarès E, et al (2021)

Stable transfection in protist Corallochytriumlimacisporum identifies novel cellular features among unicellular animals relatives.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(21)00890-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The evolutionary path from protists to multicellular animals remains a mystery. Recent work on the genomes of several unicellular relatives of animals has shaped our understanding of the genetic changes that may have occurred in this transition.1-3 However, the specific cellular modifications that took place to accommodate these changes remain unclear. To address this, we need to compare metazoan cells with those of their extant relatives, which are choanoflagellates, filastereans, ichthyosporeans, and corallochytreans/pluriformeans. Interestingly, these lineages display a range of developmental patterns potentially homologous to animal ones. Genetic tools have already been established in three of those lineages.4-7 However, there are no genetic tools available for Corallochytrea. We here report the development of stable transfection in the corallochytrean Corallochytrium limacisporum. Using these tools, we discern previously unknown biological features of C. limacisporum. In particular, we identify two different paths for cell division-binary fission and coenocytic growth-that reveal a non-linear life cycle. Additionally, we found that C. limacisporum is binucleate for most of its life cycle, and that, contrary to what happens in most eukaryotes, nuclear division is decoupled from cellular division. Moreover, its actin cytoskeleton shares characteristics with both fungal and animal cells. The establishment of these tools in C. limacisporum fills an important gap in the unicellular relatives of animals, opening up new avenues of research to elucidate the specific cellular changes that occurred in the evolution of animals.

RevDate: 2021-09-17
CmpDate: 2021-09-17

Bik HM (2021)

Just keep it simple? Benchmarking the accuracy of taxonomy assignment software in metabarcoding studies.

Molecular ecology resources, 21(7):2187-2189.

How do you put a name on an unknown piece of DNA? From microbes to mammals, high-throughput metabarcoding studies provide a more objective view of natural communities, overcoming many of the inherent limitations of traditional field surveys and microscopy-based observations (Deiner et al., 2017). Taxonomy assignment is one of the most critical aspects of any metabarcoding study, yet this important bioinformatics task is routinely overlooked. Biodiversity surveys and conservation efforts often depend on formal species inventories: the presence (or absence) of species, and the number of individuals reported across space and time. However, computational workflows applied in eukaryotic metabarcoding studies were originally developed for use with bacterial/archaeal data sets, where microbial researchers rely on one conserved locus (nuclear 16S rRNA) and have access to vast databases with good coverage across most prokaryotic lineages - a situation not mirrored in most multicellular taxa. In this issue of Molecular Ecology Resources, Hleap et al. (2021) carry out an extensive benchmarking exercise focused on taxonomy assignment strategies for eukaryotic metabarcoding studies utilizing the mitochondrial Cytochrome C oxidase I marker gene (COI). They assess the performance and accuracy of software tools representing diverse methodological approaches: from "simple" strategies based on sequence similarity and composition, to model-based phylogenetic and probabilistic classification tools. Contrary to popular assumptions, less complex approaches (BLAST and the QIIME2 feature classifier) consistently outperformed more sophisticated mathematical algorithms and were highly accurate for assigning taxonomy at higher levels (e.g. family). Lower-level assignments at the genus and species level still pose significant challenge for most existing algorithms, and sparse eukaryotic reference databases further limit software performance. This study illuminates current best practices for metabarcoding taxonomy assignments, and underscores the need for community-driven efforts to expand taxonomic and geographic representation in reference DNA barcode databases.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Loidl J (2021)

Tetrahymena meiosis: Simple yet ingenious.

PLoS genetics, 17(7):e1009627.

The presence of meiosis, which is a conserved component of sexual reproduction, across organisms from all eukaryotic kingdoms, strongly argues that sex is a primordial feature of eukaryotes. However, extant meiotic structures and processes can vary considerably between organisms. The ciliated protist Tetrahymena thermophila, which diverged from animals, plants, and fungi early in evolution, provides one example of a rather unconventional meiosis. Tetrahymena has a simpler meiosis compared with most other organisms: It lacks both a synaptonemal complex (SC) and specialized meiotic machinery for chromosome cohesion and has a reduced capacity to regulate meiotic recombination. Despite this, it also features several unique mechanisms, including elongation of the nucleus to twice the cell length to promote homologous pairing and prevent recombination between sister chromatids. Comparison of the meiotic programs of Tetrahymena and higher multicellular organisms may reveal how extant meiosis evolved from proto-meiosis.

RevDate: 2021-07-24
CmpDate: 2021-07-20

Bernardes JP, John U, Woltermann N, et al (2021)

The evolution of convex trade-offs enables the transition towards multicellularity.

Nature communications, 12(1):4222.

The evolutionary transition towards multicellular life often involves growth in groups of undifferentiated cells followed by differentiation into soma and germ-like cells. Theory predicts that germ soma differentiation is facilitated by a convex trade-off between survival and reproduction. However, this has never been tested and these transitions remain poorly understood at the ecological and genetic level. Here, we study the evolution of cell groups in ten isogenic lines of the unicellular green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with prolonged exposure to a rotifer predator. We confirm that growth in cell groups is heritable and characterized by a convex trade-off curve between reproduction and survival. Identical mutations evolve in all cell group isolates; these are linked to survival and reducing associated cell costs. Overall, we show that just 500 generations of predator selection were sufficient to lead to a convex trade-off and incorporate evolved changes into the prey genome.

RevDate: 2021-07-08

Vigneau J, M Borg (2021)

The epigenetic origin of life history transitions in plants and algae.

Plant reproduction [Epub ahead of print].

Plants and algae have a complex life history that transitions between distinct life forms called the sporophyte and the gametophyte. This phenomenon-called the alternation of generations-has fascinated botanists and phycologists for over 170 years. Despite the mesmerizing array of life histories described in plants and algae, we are only now beginning to learn about the molecular mechanisms controlling them and how they evolved. Epigenetic silencing plays an essential role in regulating gene expression during multicellular development in eukaryotes, raising questions about its impact on the life history strategy of plants and algae. Here, we trace the origin and function of epigenetic mechanisms across the plant kingdom, from unicellular green algae through to angiosperms, and attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary steps that influenced life history transitions during plant evolution. Central to this evolutionary scenario is the adaption of epigenetic silencing from a mechanism of genome defense to the repression and control of alternating generations. We extend our discussion beyond the green lineage and highlight the peculiar case of the brown algae. Unlike their unicellular diatom relatives, brown algae lack epigenetic silencing pathways common to animals and plants yet display complex life histories, hinting at the emergence of novel life history controls during stramenopile evolution.

RevDate: 2021-08-09
CmpDate: 2021-07-06

Machado SR, TM Rodrigues (2021)

Apoplasmic barrier in the extrafloral nectary of Citharexylum myrianthum (Verbenaceae).

Planta, 254(2):19.

MAIN CONCLUSION: The cytological changes underlying the formation of an apoplasmic barrier in the multi-layered extrafloral nectaries of Citharexylum myrianthum are compatible with the synthesis, transport and deposition of suberin. In terms of ontogenesis and function, the intermediate layers of these nectaries are homologous with the stalks of nectar-secreting trichomes. Anticlinal cell wall impregnations are common in trichomatic nectaries and their functions as endodermis-like barriers have been discussed because of possible direct effects on the nectary physiology, mainly in the nectar secretion and resorption. However, the cytological events linked to nectary wall impregnations remain little explored. This study documents the ontogenesis and the fine structure of the EFN cells, and cytological events linked to the wall impregnations of multi-layered extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) in Citharexylum myrianthum Cham. (Verbenaceae). EFNs are patelliform, and differentiated into (a) a multicellular foot, which is compound in structure and vascularised with phloem strands, (b) a bi-layered intermediate region with thickened cell walls and (c) a single-layered secretory region with palisade-like cells. EFNs are protodermal in origin, starting with a single protodermal cell and ending with the complex, multi-layered structure. The cell wall impregnations first appear in the very young EFN and increase towards maturity. Lipid patches (assumed to be suberin) are deposited on the inner faces of the primary walls, first along the anticlinal walls and then extend to the periclinal walls. On both walls, plasmodesmata remain apparently intact during the maturation of the EFNs. In the peripheral cytoplasm there are abundant polymorphic plastids, well-developed Golgi bodies often close to rough endoplasmic reticulum profiles, mitochondria and polyribosomes. Cytological events linked to the wall impregnations are consistent with suberin synthesis, transport and deposition. Our findings offer new insights into the structure-properties of specialised nectary cell walls and so should contribute to our knowledge of the physiological and protective roles of this structure in nectar glands.

RevDate: 2021-07-16
CmpDate: 2021-07-16

Cricrì G, Bellucci L, Montini G, et al (2021)

Urinary Extracellular Vesicles: Uncovering the Basis of the Pathological Processes in Kidney-Related Diseases.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(12):.

Intercellular communication governs multicellular interactions in complex organisms. A variety of mechanisms exist through which cells can communicate, e.g., cell-cell contact, the release of paracrine/autocrine soluble molecules, or the transfer of extracellular vesicles (EVs). EVs are membrane-surrounded structures released by almost all cell types, acting both nearby and distant from their tissue/organ of origin. In the kidney, EVs are potent intercellular messengers released by all urinary system cells and are involved in cell crosstalk, contributing to physiology and pathogenesis. Moreover, urine is a reservoir of EVs coming from the circulation after crossing the glomerular filtration barrier-or originating in the kidney. Thus, urine represents an alternative source for biomarkers in kidney-related diseases, potentially replacing standard diagnostic techniques, including kidney biopsy. This review will present an overview of EV biogenesis and classification and the leading procedures for isolating EVs from body fluids. Furthermore, their role in intra-nephron communication and their use as a diagnostic tool for precision medicine in kidney-related disorders will be discussed.

RevDate: 2021-07-23
CmpDate: 2021-07-23

Shang-Guan XY, Cai YJ, Xu HZ, et al (2021)

A C-type lectin with a single CRD from Onychostoma macrolepis mediates immune recognition against bacterial challenge.

Fish & shellfish immunology, 115:160-170.

C-type lectins (CTL) are a large group of pattern-recognition proteins and to play important roles in glycoprotein metabolism, multicellular integration, and immunity. Based on their overall domain structure, they can be classified as different groups that possess different physiological functions. A typical C-type lectin (named as OmLec1) was identified from the fish, Onychostoma macrolepis, an important cultured fish in China. Open reading frame of OmLec1 contains a 570 bp, encoding a protein of 189 amino acids that includes a signal peptide and a single carbohydrate-recognition domain. The phylogenetic analysis showed that OmLec1 could be grouped with C-type lectin from other fish. OmLec1 was expressed in all the tissues in our study, and the expression level was highest in liver. And its relative expression levels were significantly upregulated following infection with Aeromonas hydrophila. The recombinant OmLec1 protein (rOmLec1) could agglutinate some Gram-negative bacteria and Gram-positive bacteria in vitro in the presence of Ca2+, showing a typical Ca2+-dependent carbohydrate-binding protein. Furthermore, rOmLec1 purified from E. coli BL21 (DE3), strongly bound to LPS and PGN, as well as all tested bacteria in a Ca2+-dependent manner. These results indicate that OmLec1 plays a central role in the innate immune response and as a pattern recognition receptor that recognizes diverse pathogens among O. macrolepis.

RevDate: 2021-08-05
CmpDate: 2021-08-05

Amaral-Zettler LA, Zettler ER, Mincer TJ, et al (2021)

Biofouling impacts on polyethylene density and sinking in coastal waters: A macro/micro tipping point?.

Water research, 201:117289.

Biofouling causing an increase in plastic density and sinking is one of the hypotheses to account for the unexpectedly low amount of buoyant plastic debris encountered at the ocean surface. Field surveys show that polyethylene and polypropylene, the two most abundant buoyant plastics, both occur below the surface and in sediments, and experimental studies confirm that biofouling can cause both of these plastics to sink. However, studies quantifying the actual density of fouled plastics are rare, despite the fact that density will determine the transport and eventual fate of plastic in the ocean. Here we investigated the role of microbial biofilms in sinking of polyethylene microplastic and quantified the density changes natural biofouling communities cause in the coastal waters of the North Sea. Molecular data confirmed the variety of bacteria and eukaryotes (including animals and other multicellular organisms) colonizing the plastic over time. Fouling communities increased the density of plastic and caused sinking, and the plastic remained negatively buoyant even during the winter with lower growth rates. Relative surface area alone, however, did not predict whether a plastic piece sank. Due to patchy colonization, fragmentation of sinking pieces may result in smaller pieces regaining buoyancy and returning to the surface. Our results suggest that primarily multicellular organisms cause sinking of plastic pieces with surface area to volume ratios (SA:V) below 100 (generally pieces above a couple hundred micrometers in size), and that this is a "tipping point" at which microbial biofilms become the key players causing sinking of smaller pieces with higher SA:V ratios, including most fibers that are too small for larger (multicellular) organisms to colonize.

RevDate: 2021-08-12
CmpDate: 2021-08-12

Badis Y, Scornet D, Harada M, et al (2021)

Targeted CRISPR-Cas9-based gene knockouts in the model brown alga Ectocarpus.

The New phytologist, 231(5):2077-2091.

Brown algae are an important group of multicellular eukaryotes, phylogenetically distinct from both the animal and land plant lineages. Ectocarpus has emerged as a model organism to study diverse aspects of brown algal biology, but this system currently lacks an effective reverse genetics methodology to analyse the functions of selected target genes. Here, we report that mutations at specific target sites are generated following the introduction of CRISPR-Cas9 ribonucleoproteins into Ectocarpus cells, using either biolistics or microinjection as the delivery method. Individuals with mutations affecting the ADENINE PHOSPHORIBOSYL TRANSFERASE (APT) gene were isolated following treatment with 2-fluoroadenine, and this selection system was used to isolate individuals in which mutations had been introduced simultaneously at APT and at a second gene. This double mutation approach could potentially be used to isolate mutants affecting any Ectocarpus gene, providing an effective reverse genetics tool for this model organism. The availability of this tool will significantly enhance the utility of Ectocarpus as a model organism for this ecologically and economically important group of marine organisms. Moreover, the methodology described here should be readily transferable to other brown algal species.

RevDate: 2021-09-17

Miller WB, Enguita FJ, AL Leitão (2021)

Non-Random Genome Editing and Natural Cellular Engineering in Cognition-Based Evolution.

Cells, 10(5):.

Neo-Darwinism presumes that biological variation is a product of random genetic replication errors and natural selection. Cognition-Based Evolution (CBE) asserts a comprehensive alternative approach to phenotypic variation and the generation of biological novelty. In CBE, evolutionary variation is the product of natural cellular engineering that permits purposive genetic adjustments as cellular problem-solving. CBE upholds that the cornerstone of biology is the intelligent measuring cell. Since all biological information that is available to cells is ambiguous, multicellularity arises from the cellular requirement to maximize the validity of available environmental information. This is best accomplished through collective measurement purposed towards maintaining and optimizing individual cellular states of homeorhesis as dynamic flux that sustains cellular equipoise. The collective action of the multicellular measurement and assessment of information and its collaborative communication is natural cellular engineering. Its yield is linked cellular ecologies and mutualized niche constructions that comprise biofilms and holobionts. In this context, biological variation is the product of collective differential assessment of ambiguous environmental cues by networking intelligent cells. Such concerted action is enabled by non-random natural genomic editing in response to epigenetic impacts and environmental stresses. Random genetic activity can be either constrained or deployed as a 'harnessing of stochasticity'. Therefore, genes are cellular tools. Selection filters cellular solutions to environmental stresses to assure continuous cellular-organismal-environmental complementarity. Since all multicellular eukaryotes are holobionts as vast assemblages of participants of each of the three cellular domains (Prokaryota, Archaea, Eukaryota) and the virome, multicellular variation is necessarily a product of co-engineering among them.

RevDate: 2021-08-20

Sheng Y, Pan B, Wei F, et al (2021)

Case Study of the Response of N6-Methyladenine DNA Modification to Environmental Stressors in the Unicellular Eukaryote Tetrahymena thermophila.

mSphere, 6(3):e0120820.

Rediscovered as a potential epigenetic mark, N6-methyladenine DNA modification (6mA) was recently reported to be sensitive to environmental stressors in several multicellular eukaryotes. As 6mA distribution and function differ significantly in multicellular and unicellular organisms, whether and how 6mA in unicellular eukaryotes responds to environmental stress remains elusive. Here, we characterized the dynamic changes of 6mA under starvation in the unicellular model organism Tetrahymena thermophila. Single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing reveals that DNA 6mA levels in starved cells are significantly reduced, especially symmetric 6mA, compared to those in vegetatively growing cells. Despite a global 6mA reduction, the fraction of asymmetric 6mA with a high methylation level was increased, which might be the driving force for stronger nucleosome positioning in starved cells. Starvation affects expression of many metabolism-related genes, the expression level change of which is associated with the amount of 6mA change, thereby linking 6mA with global transcription and starvation adaptation. The reduction of symmetric 6mA and the increase of asymmetric 6mA coincide with the downregulation of AMT1 and upregulation of AMT2 and AMT5, which are supposedly the MT-A70 methyltransferases required for symmetric and asymmetric 6mA, respectively. These results demonstrated that a regulated 6mA response to environmental cues is evolutionarily conserved in eukaryotes. IMPORTANCE Increasing evidence indicated that 6mA could respond to environmental stressors in multicellular eukaryotes. As 6mA distribution and function differ significantly in multicellular and unicellular organisms, whether and how 6mA in unicellular eukaryotes responds to environmental stress remains elusive. In the present work, we characterized the dynamic changes of 6mA under starvation in the unicellular model organism Tetrahymena thermophila. Our results provide insights into how Tetrahymena fine-tunes its 6mA level and composition upon starvation, suggesting that a regulated 6mA response to environmental cues is evolutionarily conserved in eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2021-08-16
CmpDate: 2021-08-16

Kumari P, Dahiya P, Livanos P, et al (2021)

IQ67 DOMAIN proteins facilitate preprophase band formation and division-plane orientation.

Nature plants, 7(6):739-747.

Spatiotemporal control of cell division is essential for the growth and development of multicellular organisms. In plant cells, proper cell plate insertion during cytokinesis relies on the premitotic establishment of the division plane at the cell cortex. Two plant-specific cytoskeleton arrays, the preprophase band (PPB) and the phragmoplast, play important roles in division-plane orientation and cell plate formation, respectively1. Microtubule organization and dynamics and their communication with membranes at the cortex and cell plate are coordinated by multiple, mostly distinct microtubule-associated proteins2. How division-plane selection and establishment are linked, however, is still unknown. Here, we report members of the Arabidopsis IQ67 DOMAIN (IQD) family3 as microtubule-targeted proteins that localize to the PPB and phragmoplast and additionally reside at the cell plate and a polarized cortical region including the cortical division zone (CDZ). IQDs physically interact with PHRAGMOPLAST ORIENTING KINESIN (POK) proteins4,5 and PLECKSTRIN HOMOLOGY GTPase ACTIVATING (PHGAP) proteins6, which are core components of the CDZ1. The loss of IQD function impairs PPB formation and affects CDZ recruitment of POKs and PHGAPs, resulting in division-plane positioning defects. We propose that IQDs act as cellular scaffolds that facilitate PPB formation and CDZ set-up during symmetric cell division.

RevDate: 2021-09-01
CmpDate: 2021-09-01

Schneider P, SE Reece (2021)

The private life of malaria parasites: Strategies for sexual reproduction.

Molecular and biochemical parasitology, 244:111375.

Malaria parasites exhibit a complex lifecycle, requiring extensive asexual replication in the liver and blood of the vertebrate host, and in the haemocoel of the insect vector. Yet, they must also undergo a single round of sexual reproduction, which occurs in the vector's midgut upon uptake of a blood meal. Sexual reproduction is obligate for infection of the vector and thus, is essential for onwards transmission to new hosts. Sex in malaria parasites involves several bottlenecks in parasite number, making the stages involved attractive targets for blocking disease transmission. Malaria parasites have evolved a suite of adaptations ("strategies") to maximise the success of sexual reproduction and transmission, which could undermine transmission-blocking interventions. Yet, understanding parasite strategies may also reveal novel opportunities for such interventions. Here, we outline how evolutionary and ecological theories, developed to explain reproductive strategies in multicellular taxa, can be applied to explain two reproductive strategies (conversion rate and sex ratio) expressed by malaria parasites within the vertebrate host.

RevDate: 2021-08-04
CmpDate: 2021-08-04

Maier BA, Kiefer P, Field CM, et al (2021)

A general non-self response as part of plant immunity.

Nature plants, 7(5):696-705.

Plants, like other multicellular lifeforms, are colonized by microorganisms. How plants respond to their microbiota is currently not well understood. We used a phylogenetically diverse set of 39 endogenous bacterial strains from Arabidopsis thaliana leaves to assess host transcriptional and metabolic adaptations to bacterial encounters. We identified a molecular response, which we termed the general non-self response (GNSR) that involves the expression of a core set of 24 genes. The GNSR genes are not only consistently induced by the presence of most strains, they also comprise the most differentially regulated genes across treatments and are predictive of a hierarchical transcriptional reprogramming beyond the GNSR. Using a complementary untargeted metabolomics approach we link the GNSR to the tryptophan-derived secondary metabolism, highlighting the importance of small molecules in plant-microbe interactions. We demonstrate that several of the GNSR genes are required for resistance against the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. Our results suggest that the GNSR constitutes a defence adaptation strategy that is consistently elicited by diverse strains from various phyla, contributes to host protection and involves secondary metabolism.

RevDate: 2021-06-03
CmpDate: 2021-06-03

Bozdag GO, Libby E, Pineau R, et al (2021)

Oxygen suppression of macroscopic multicellularity.

Nature communications, 12(1):2838.

Atmospheric oxygen is thought to have played a vital role in the evolution of large, complex multicellular organisms. Challenging the prevailing theory, we show that the transition from an anaerobic to an aerobic world can strongly suppress the evolution of macroscopic multicellularity. Here we select for increased size in multicellular 'snowflake' yeast across a range of metabolically-available O2 levels. While yeast under anaerobic and high-O2 conditions evolved to be considerably larger, intermediate O2 constrained the evolution of large size. Through sequencing and synthetic strain construction, we confirm that this is due to O2-mediated divergent selection acting on organism size. We show via mathematical modeling that our results stem from nearly universal evolutionary and biophysical trade-offs, and thus should apply broadly. These results highlight the fact that oxygen is a double-edged sword: while it provides significant metabolic advantages, selection for efficient use of this resource may paradoxically suppress the evolution of macroscopic multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2021-09-07
CmpDate: 2021-09-07

van Gestel J, A Wagner (2021)

Cryptic surface-associated multicellularity emerges through cell adhesion and its regulation.

PLoS biology, 19(5):e3001250.

The repeated evolution of multicellularity led to a wide diversity of organisms, many of which are sessile, including land plants, many fungi, and colonial animals. Sessile organisms adhere to a surface for most of their lives, where they grow and compete for space. Despite the prevalence of surface-associated multicellularity, little is known about its evolutionary origin. Here, we introduce a novel theoretical approach, based on spatial lineage tracking of cells, to study this origin. We show that multicellularity can rapidly evolve from two widespread cellular properties: cell adhesion and the regulatory control of adhesion. By evolving adhesion, cells attach to a surface, where they spontaneously give rise to primitive cell collectives that differ in size, life span, and mode of propagation. Selection in favor of large collectives increases the fraction of adhesive cells until a surface becomes fully occupied. Through kin recognition, collectives then evolve a central-peripheral polarity in cell adhesion that supports a division of labor between cells and profoundly impacts growth. Despite this spatial organization, nascent collectives remain cryptic, lack well-defined boundaries, and would require experimental lineage tracking technologies for their identification. Our results suggest that cryptic multicellularity could readily evolve and originate well before multicellular individuals become morphologically evident.

RevDate: 2021-05-14
CmpDate: 2021-05-14

Orban A, Weber A, Herzog R, et al (2021)

Transcriptome of different fruiting stages in the cultivated mushroom Cyclocybe aegerita suggests a complex regulation of fruiting and reveals enzymes putatively involved in fungal oxylipin biosynthesis.

BMC genomics, 22(1):324.

BACKGROUND: Cyclocybe aegerita (syn. Agrocybe aegerita) is a commercially cultivated mushroom. Its archetypal agaric morphology and its ability to undergo its whole life cycle under laboratory conditions makes this fungus a well-suited model for studying fruiting body (basidiome, basidiocarp) development. To elucidate the so far barely understood biosynthesis of fungal volatiles, alterations in the transcriptome during different developmental stages of C. aegerita were analyzed and combined with changes in the volatile profile during its different fruiting stages.

RESULTS: A transcriptomic study at seven points in time during fruiting body development of C. aegerita with seven mycelial and five fruiting body stages was conducted. Differential gene expression was observed for genes involved in fungal fruiting body formation showing interesting transcriptional patterns and correlations of these fruiting-related genes with the developmental stages. Combining transcriptome and volatilome data, enzymes putatively involved in the biosynthesis of C8 oxylipins in C. aegerita including lipoxygenases (LOXs), dioxygenases (DOXs), hydroperoxide lyases (HPLs), alcohol dehydrogenases (ADHs) and ene-reductases could be identified. Furthermore, we were able to localize the mycelium as the main source for sesquiterpenes predominant during sporulation in the headspace of C. aegerita cultures. In contrast, changes in the C8 profile detected in late stages of development are probably due to the activity of enzymes located in the fruiting bodies.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, the combination of volatilome and transcriptome data of C. aegerita revealed interesting candidates both for functional genetics-based analysis of fruiting-related genes and for prospective enzyme characterization studies to further elucidate the so far barely understood biosynthesis of fungal C8 oxylipins.

RevDate: 2021-08-23
CmpDate: 2021-08-23

Isaksson H, Conlin PL, Kerr B, et al (2021)

The Consequences of Budding versus Binary Fission on Adaptation and Aging in Primitive Multicellularity.

Genes, 12(5):.

Early multicellular organisms must gain adaptations to outcompete their unicellular ancestors, as well as other multicellular lineages. The tempo and mode of multicellular adaptation is influenced by many factors including the traits of individual cells. We consider how a fundamental aspect of cells, whether they reproduce via binary fission or budding, can affect the rate of adaptation in primitive multicellularity. We use mathematical models to study the spread of beneficial, growth rate mutations in unicellular populations and populations of multicellular filaments reproducing via binary fission or budding. Comparing populations once they reach carrying capacity, we find that the spread of mutations in multicellular budding populations is qualitatively distinct from the other populations and in general slower. Since budding and binary fission distribute age-accumulated damage differently, we consider the effects of cellular senescence. When growth rate decreases with cell age, we find that beneficial mutations can spread significantly faster in a multicellular budding population than its corresponding unicellular population or a population reproducing via binary fission. Our results demonstrate that basic aspects of the cell cycle can give rise to different rates of adaptation in multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2021-05-12
CmpDate: 2021-05-12

Romanova MA, Maksimova AI, Pawlowski K, et al (2021)

YABBY Genes in the Development and Evolution of Land Plants.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(8):.

Mounting evidence from genomic and transcriptomic studies suggests that most genetic networks regulating the morphogenesis of land plant sporophytes were co-opted and modified from those already present in streptophyte algae and gametophytes of bryophytes sensu lato. However, thus far, no candidate genes have been identified that could be responsible for "planation", a conversion from a three-dimensional to a two-dimensional growth pattern. According to the telome theory, "planation" was required for the genesis of the leaf blade in the course of leaf evolution. The key transcription factors responsible for leaf blade development in angiosperms are YABBY proteins, which until recently were thought to be unique for seed plants. Yet, identification of a YABBY homologue in a green alga and the recent findings of YABBY homologues in lycophytes and hornworts suggest that YABBY proteins were already present in the last common ancestor of land plants. Thus, these transcriptional factors could have been involved in "planation", which fosters our understanding of the origin of leaves. Here, we summarise the current data on functions of YABBY proteins in the vegetative and reproductive development of diverse angiosperms and gymnosperms as well as in the development of lycophytes. Furthermore, we discuss a putative role of YABBY proteins in the genesis of multicellular shoot apical meristems and in the evolution of leaves in early divergent terrestrial plants.

RevDate: 2021-06-28
CmpDate: 2021-06-28

Hage H, Rosso MN, L Tarrago (2021)

Distribution of methionine sulfoxide reductases in fungi and conservation of the free-methionine-R-sulfoxide reductase in multicellular eukaryotes.

Free radical biology & medicine, 169:187-215.

Methionine, either as a free amino acid or included in proteins, can be oxidized into methionine sulfoxide (MetO), which exists as R and S diastereomers. Almost all characterized organisms possess thiol-oxidoreductases named methionine sulfoxide reductase (Msr) enzymes to reduce MetO back to Met. MsrA and MsrB reduce the S and R diastereomers of MetO, respectively, with strict stereospecificity and are found in almost all organisms. Another type of thiol-oxidoreductase, the free-methionine-R-sulfoxide reductase (fRMsr), identified so far in prokaryotes and a few unicellular eukaryotes, reduces the R MetO diastereomer of the free amino acid. Moreover, some bacteria possess molybdenum-containing enzymes that reduce MetO, either in the free or protein-bound forms. All these Msrs play important roles in the protection of organisms against oxidative stress. Fungi are heterotrophic eukaryotes that colonize all niches on Earth and play fundamental functions, in organic matter recycling, as symbionts, or as pathogens of numerous organisms. However, our knowledge on fungal Msrs is still limited. Here, we performed a survey of msr genes in almost 700 genomes across the fungal kingdom. We show that most fungi possess one gene coding for each type of methionine sulfoxide reductase: MsrA, MsrB, and fRMsr. However, several fungi living in anaerobic environments or as obligate intracellular parasites were devoid of msr genes. Sequence inspection and phylogenetic analyses allowed us to identify non-canonical sequences with potentially novel enzymatic properties. Finaly, we identified several ocurences of msr horizontal gene transfer from bacteria to fungi.

RevDate: 2021-09-14
CmpDate: 2021-09-14

Menichelli C, Guitard V, Martins RM, et al (2021)

Identification of long regulatory elements in the genome of Plasmodium falciparum and other eukaryotes.

PLoS computational biology, 17(4):e1008909.

Long regulatory elements (LREs), such as CpG islands, polydA:dT tracts or AU-rich elements, are thought to play key roles in gene regulation but, as opposed to conventional binding sites of transcription factors, few methods have been proposed to formally and automatically characterize them. We present here a computational approach named DExTER (Domain Exploration To Explain gene Regulation) dedicated to the identification of candidate LREs (cLREs) and apply it to the analysis of the genomes of P. falciparum and other eukaryotes. Our analyses show that all tested genomes contain several cLREs that are somewhat conserved along evolution, and that gene expression can be predicted with surprising accuracy on the basis of these long regions only. Regulation by cLREs exhibits very different behaviours depending on species and conditions. In P. falciparum and other Apicomplexan organisms as well as in Dictyostelium discoideum, the process appears highly dynamic, with different cLREs involved at different phases of the life cycle. For multicellular organisms, the same cLREs are involved in all tissues, but a dynamic behavior is observed along embryonic development stages. In P. falciparum, whose genome is known to be strongly depleted of transcription factors, cLREs are predictive of expression with an accuracy above 70%, and our analyses show that they are associated with both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation signals. Moreover, we assessed the biological relevance of one LRE discovered by DExTER in P. falciparum using an in vivo reporter assay. The source code (python) of DExTER is available at https://gite.lirmm.fr/menichelli/DExTER.


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.

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E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

Collection of publications by R J Robbins

Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. According to a study by Nature and an article in Times Higher Education , it is the largest academic social network in terms of active users.

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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