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      Sequential displacement of Type VI Secretion System effector genes leads to evolution of diverse immunity gene arrays in Vibrio cholerae

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          Abstract

          Type VI secretion systems (T6SS) enable bacteria to engage neighboring cells in contact-dependent competition. In Vibrio cholerae, three chromosomal clusters each encode a pair of effector and immunity genes downstream of those encoding the T6SS structural machinery for effector delivery. Different combinations of effector-immunity proteins lead to competition between strains of V. cholerae, which are thought to be protected only from the toxicity of their own effectors. Screening of all publically available V. cholerae genomes showed that numerous strains possess long arrays of orphan immunity genes encoded in the 3′ region of their T6SS clusters. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that these genes are highly similar to those found in the effector-immunity pairs of other strains, indicating acquisition by horizontal gene transfer. Extensive genomic comparisons also suggest that successive addition of effector-immunity gene pairs replaces ancestral effectors, yet retains the cognate immunity genes. The retention of old immunity genes perhaps provides protection against nearby kin bacteria in which the old effector was not replaced. This mechanism, combined with frequent homologous recombination, is likely responsible for the high diversity of T6SS effector-immunity gene profiles observed for V. cholerae and closely related species.

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          Most cited references41

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          Analyzing the mosaic structure of genes.

          Some genes in prokaryotes consist of a mosaic of regions derived from different ancestors by horizontal gene transfer. A method is described for demonstrating the statistical significance of such mosaic structure and for locating the crossover points separating different regions.
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            Integrons: agents of bacterial evolution.

            Integrons are assembly platforms - DNA elements that acquire open reading frames embedded in exogenous gene cassettes and convert them to functional genes by ensuring their correct expression. They were first identified by virtue of their important role in the spread of antibiotic-resistance genes. More recently, our understanding of their importance in bacterial genome evolution has broadened with the discovery of larger integron structures, termed superintegrons. These DNA elements contain hundreds of accessory genes and constitute a significant fraction of the genomes of many bacterial species. Here, the basic biology of integrons and superintegrons, their evolutionary history and the evidence for the existence of a novel recombination pathway is reviewed.
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              Polymorphic toxin systems: Comprehensive characterization of trafficking modes, processing, mechanisms of action, immunity and ecology using comparative genomics

              Background Proteinaceous toxins are observed across all levels of inter-organismal and intra-genomic conflicts. These include recently discovered prokaryotic polymorphic toxin systems implicated in intra-specific conflicts. They are characterized by a remarkable diversity of C-terminal toxin domains generated by recombination with standalone toxin-coding cassettes. Prior analysis revealed a striking diversity of nuclease and deaminase domains among the toxin modules. We systematically investigated polymorphic toxin systems using comparative genomics, sequence and structure analysis. Results Polymorphic toxin systems are distributed across all major bacterial lineages and are delivered by at least eight distinct secretory systems. In addition to type-II, these include type-V, VI, VII (ESX), and the poorly characterized “Photorhabdus virulence cassettes (PVC)”, PrsW-dependent and MuF phage-capsid-like systems. We present evidence that trafficking of these toxins is often accompanied by autoproteolytic processing catalyzed by HINT, ZU5, PrsW, caspase-like, papain-like, and a novel metallopeptidase associated with the PVC system. We identified over 150 distinct toxin domains in these systems. These span an extraordinary catalytic spectrum to include 23 distinct clades of peptidases, numerous previously unrecognized versions of nucleases and deaminases, ADP-ribosyltransferases, ADP ribosyl cyclases, RelA/SpoT-like nucleotidyltransferases, glycosyltranferases and other enzymes predicted to modify lipids and carbohydrates, and a pore-forming toxin domain. Several of these toxin domains are shared with host-directed effectors of pathogenic bacteria. Over 90 families of immunity proteins might neutralize anywhere between a single to at least 27 distinct types of toxin domains. In some organisms multiple tandem immunity genes or immunity protein domains are organized into polyimmunity loci or polyimmunity proteins. Gene-neighborhood-analysis of polymorphic toxin systems predicts the presence of novel trafficking-related components, and also the organizational logic that allows toxin diversification through recombination. Domain architecture and protein-length analysis revealed that these toxins might be deployed as secreted factors, through directed injection, or via inter-cellular contact facilitated by filamentous structures formed by RHS/YD, filamentous hemagglutinin and other repeats. Phyletic pattern and life-style analysis indicate that polymorphic toxins and polyimmunity loci participate in cooperative behavior and facultative ‘cheating’ in several ecosystems such as the human oral cavity and soil. Multiple domains from these systems have also been repeatedly transferred to eukaryotes and their viruses, such as the nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses. Conclusions Along with a comprehensive inventory of toxins and immunity proteins, we present several testable predictions regarding active sites and catalytic mechanisms of toxins, their processing and trafficking and their role in intra-specific and inter-specific interactions between bacteria. These systems provide insights regarding the emergence of key systems at different points in eukaryotic evolution, such as ADP ribosylation, interaction of myosin VI with cargo proteins, mediation of apoptosis, hyphal heteroincompatibility, hedgehog signaling, arthropod toxins, cell-cell interaction molecules like teneurins and different signaling messengers. Reviewers This article was reviewed by AM, FE and IZ.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group
                2045-2322
                22 March 2017
                2017
                : 7
                : 45133
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta , Alberta, Canada
                [2 ]Department of Zoology, University of Oxford , Oxford, United Kingdom
                [3 ]Department of Biological Sciences, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley , Texas, United States
                [4 ]Department of Immunology & Microbiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine , Colorado, United States
                Author notes
                Article
                srep45133
                10.1038/srep45133
                5361080
                28327641
                cd9ee18d-c516-4242-bd0e-9fe949e0f72c
                Copyright © 2017, The Author(s)

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                History
                : 07 December 2016
                : 17 February 2017
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