Social cellular aggregation or multicellular organization pose increased risk of transmission of infections through the system upon infection of a single cell. The generality of the evolutionary responses to this outside of Metazoa remains unclear. We report the discovery of several thematically-unified, remarkable biological conflict systems preponderantly present in multicellular prokaryotes. These combine thresholding mechanisms utilizing NTPase chaperones (the MoxR-vWA couple), GTPases and proteolytic cascades with hypervariable effectors, which vary either by using a reverse transcriptase-dependent diversity-generating system or through a system of acquisition of diverse protein modules, typically in inactive form, from various cellular subsystems. Conciliant lines of evidence indicate their deployment against invasive entities, like viruses, to limit their spread in multicellular/social contexts via physical containment, dominant-negative interactions or apoptosis. These findings argue for both a similar operational 'grammar' and shared protein domains in the sensing and limiting of infections during the multiple emergences of multicellularity.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Gurmeet Kaur
- A Maxwell Burroughs
- Lakshminarayan M Iyer
- L Aravind
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Alfonso Valencia, Barcelona Supercomputing Center - BSC, Spain
This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.
RNA interference systems depend on the synthesis of small RNA precursors whose sequences define the target spectrum of these silencing pathways. The Drosophila Heterochromatin Protein 1 (HP1) variant Rhino permits transcription of PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNA) precursors within transposon-rich heterochromatic loci in germline cells. Current models propose that Rhino’s specific chromatin occupancy at piRNA source loci is determined by histone marks and maternally inherited piRNAs, but also imply the existence of other, undiscovered specificity cues. Here, we identify a member of the diverse family of zinc finger associated domain (ZAD)-C2H2 zinc finger proteins, Kipferl, as critical Rhino cofactor in ovaries. By binding to guanosine-rich DNA motifs and interacting with the Rhino chromodomain, Kipferl recruits Rhino to specific loci and stabilizes it on chromatin. In kipferl mutant flies, Rhino is lost from most of its target chromatin loci and instead accumulates on pericentromeric Satellite arrays, resulting in decreased levels of transposon targeting piRNAs and impaired fertility. Our findings reveal that DNA sequence, in addition to the H3K9me3 mark, determines the identity of piRNA source loci and provide insight into how Rhino might be caught in the crossfire of genetic conflicts.
Circadian clocks are highly conserved transcriptional regulators that control ~24-hour oscillations in gene expression, physiological function, and behavior. Circadian clocks exist in almost every tissue and are thought to control tissue-specific gene expression and function, synchronized by the brain clock. Many disease states are associated with loss of circadian regulation. How and when circadian clocks fail during pathogenesis remains largely unknown because it is currently difficult to monitor tissue-specific clock function in intact organisms. Here, we developed a method to directly measure the transcriptional oscillation of distinct neuronal and peripheral clocks in live, intact Drosophila, which we term Locally Activatable BioLuminescence, or LABL. Using this method, we observed that specific neuronal and peripheral clocks exhibit distinct transcriptional properties. Loss of the receptor for PDF, a circadian neurotransmitter critical for the function of the brain clock, disrupts circadian locomotor activity but not all tissue-specific circadian clocks. We found that, while peripheral clocks in non-neuronal tissues were less stable after the loss of PDF signaling, they continued to oscillate. We also demonstrate that distinct clocks exhibit differences in their loss of oscillatory amplitude or their change in period, depending on their anatomical location, mutation, or fly age. Our results demonstrate that LABL is an effective tool that allows rapid, affordable, and direct real-time monitoring of individual clocks in vivo.