Although arthropods are important viral vectors, the biodiversity of arthropod viruses, as well as the role that arthropods have played in viral origins and evolution, is unclear. Through RNA sequencing of 70 arthropod species we discovered 112 novel viruses that appear to be ancestral to much of the documented genetic diversity of negative-sense RNA viruses, a number of which are also present as endogenous genomic copies. With this greatly enriched diversity we revealed that arthropods contain viruses that fall basal to major virus groups, including the vertebrate-specific arenaviruses, filoviruses, hantaviruses, influenza viruses, lyssaviruses, and paramyxoviruses. We similarly documented a remarkable diversity of genome structures in arthropod viruses, including a putative circular form, that sheds new light on the evolution of genome organization. Hence, arthropods are a major reservoir of viral genetic diversity and have likely been central to viral evolution.
- Stephen P Goff, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University, United States
© 2015, Li et al.
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African trypanosomes evade host immune clearance by antigenic variation, causing persistent infections in humans and animals. These parasites express a homogeneous surface coat of variant surface glycoproteins (VSGs). They transcribe one out of hundreds of VSG genes at a time from telomeric expression sites (ESs) and periodically change the VSG expressed by transcriptional switching or recombination. The mechanisms underlying the control of VSG switching and its developmental silencing remain elusive. We report that telomeric ES activation and silencing entail an on/off genetic switch controlled by a nuclear phosphoinositide signaling system. This system includes a nuclear phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphatase (PIP5Pase), its substrate PI(3,4,5)P3, and the repressor-activator protein 1 (RAP1). RAP1 binds to ES sequences flanking VSG genes via its DNA binding domains and represses VSG transcription. In contrast, PI(3,4,5)P3 binds to the N-terminus of RAP1 and controls its DNA binding activity. Transient inactivation of PIP5Pase results in the accumulation of nuclear PI(3,4,5)P3, which binds RAP1 and displaces it from ESs, activating transcription of silent ESs and VSG switching. The system is also required for the developmental silencing of VSG genes. The data provides a mechanism controlling reversible telomere silencing essential for the periodic switching in VSG expression and its developmental regulation.
Purinergic signaling activated by extracellular nucleotides and their derivative nucleosides trigger sophisticated signaling networks. The outcome of these pathways determine the capacity of the organism to survive under challenging conditions. Both extracellular ATP (eATP) and Adenosine (eAdo) act as primary messengers in mammals, essential for immunosuppressive responses. Despite the clear role of eATP as a plant damage-associated molecular pattern, the function of its nucleoside, eAdo, and of the eAdo/eATP balance in plant stress response remain to be fully elucidated. This is particularly relevant in the context of plant-microbe interaction, where the intruder manipulates the extracellular matrix. Here, we identify Ado as a main molecule secreted by the vascular fungus Fusarium oxysporum. We show that eAdo modulates the plant's susceptibility to fungal colonization by altering the eATP-mediated apoplastic pH homeostasis, an essential physiological player during the infection of this pathogen. Our work indicates that plant pathogens actively imbalance the apoplastic eAdo/eATP levels as a virulence mechanism.