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Bibliography on: Evolution of Multicelluarity

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 17 Jun 2024 at 01:46 Created: 

Evolution of Multicelluarity

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2024-06-11
CmpDate: 2024-06-11

Tsuchikane Y, Watanabe M, Kawaguchi YW, et al (2024)

Diversity of genome size and chromosome number in homothallic and heterothallic strains of the Closterium peracerosum-strigosum-littorale complex (Desmidiales, Zygnematophyceae, Streptophyta).

Journal of phycology, 60(3):654-667.

The evolutionary transitions of mating systems between outcrossing and self-fertilization are often suggested to associate with the cytological and genomic changes, but the empirical reports are limited in multicellular organisms. Here we used the unicellular zygnematophycean algae, the Closterium peracerosum-strigosum-littorale (C. psl.) complex, to address whether genomic properties such as genome sizes and chromosome numbers are associated with mating system transitions between homothallism (self-fertility) and heterothallism (self-sterility). Phylogenetic analysis revealed the polyphyly of homothallic strains, suggesting multiple transitions between homothallism and heterothallism in the C. psl. complex. Flow cytometry analysis identified a more than 2-fold genome size variation, ranging from 0.53 to 1.42 Gbp, which was positively correlated with chromosome number variation between strains. Although we did not find consistent trends in genome size change and mating system transitions, the mean chromosome sizes tend to be smaller in homothallic strains than in their relative heterothallic strains. This result suggests that homothallic strains possibly have more fragmented chromosomes, which is consistent with the argument that self-fertilizing populations may tolerate more chromosomal rearrangements.

RevDate: 2024-06-09
CmpDate: 2024-06-06

Almeida LV, Reis-Cunha JL, DC Bartholomeu (2024)

dgfr: an R package to assess sequence diversity of gene families.

BMC bioinformatics, 25(1):207.

BACKGROUND: Gene families are groups of homologous genes that often have similar biological functions. These families are formed by gene duplication events throughout evolution, resulting in multiple copies of an ancestral gene. Over time, these copies can acquire mutations and structural variations, resulting in members that may vary in size, motif ordering and sequence. Multigene families have been described in a broad range of organisms, from single-celled bacteria to complex multicellular organisms, and have been linked to an array of phenomena, such as host-pathogen interactions, immune evasion and embryonic development. Despite the importance of gene families, few approaches have been developed for estimating and graphically visualizing their diversity patterns and expression profiles in genome-wide studies.

RESULTS: Here, we introduce an R package named dgfr, which estimates and enables the visualization of sequence divergence within gene families, as well as the visualization of secondary data such as gene expression. The package takes as input a multi-fasta file containing the coding sequences (CDS) or amino acid sequences from a multigene family, performs a pairwise alignment among all sequences, and estimates their distance, which is subjected to dimension reduction, optimal cluster determination, and gene assignment to each cluster. The result is a dataset that allows for the visualization of sequence divergence and expression within the gene family, an approximation of the number of clusters present in the family.

CONCLUSIONS: dgfr provides a way to estimate and study the diversity of gene families, as well as visualize the dispersion and secondary profile of the sequences. The dgfr package is available at under the GPL-3 license.

RevDate: 2024-06-06

Liao H, Choi J, J Shendure (2024)

Molecular recording using DNA Typewriter.

Nature protocols [Epub ahead of print].

Recording molecular information to genomic DNA is a powerful means of investigating topics ranging from multicellular development to cancer evolution. With molecular recording based on genome editing, events such as cell divisions and signaling pathway activity drive specific alterations in a cell's DNA, marking the genome with information about a cell's history that can be read out after the fact. Although genome editing has been used for molecular recording, capturing the temporal relationships among recorded events in mammalian cells remains challenging. The DNA Typewriter system overcomes this limitation by leveraging prime editing to facilitate sequential insertions to an engineered genomic region. DNA Typewriter includes three distinct components: DNA Tape as the 'substrate' to which edits accrue in an ordered manner, the prime editor enzyme, and prime editing guide RNAs, which program insertional edits to DNA Tape. In this protocol, we describe general design considerations for DNA Typewriter, step-by-step instructions on how to perform recording experiments by using DNA Typewriter in HEK293T cells, and example scripts for analyzing DNA Typewriter data ( This protocol covers two main applications of DNA Typewriter: recording sequential transfection events with programmed barcode insertions by using prime editing and recording lineage information during the expansion of a single cell to many. Compared with other methods that are compatible with mammalian cells, DNA Typewriter enables the recording of temporal information with higher recording capacities and can be completed within 4-6 weeks with basic expertise in molecular cloning, mammalian cell culturing and DNA sequencing data analysis.

RevDate: 2024-06-05

Errbii M, Gadau J, Becker K, et al (2024)

Causes and consequences of a complex recombinational landscape in the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior.

Genome research pii:gr.278392.123 [Epub ahead of print].

Eusocial Hymenoptera have the highest recombination rates among all multicellular animals studied so far, but it is unclear why this is and how this affects the biology of individual species. A high-resolution linkage map for the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior corroborates genome-wide high recombination rates reported for ants (8.1 cM/Mb). However, recombination is locally suppressed in regions either enriched with TEs, with strong haplotype divergence, or showing signatures of epistatic selection in C. obscurior The results do not support the hypotheses that high recombination rates are linked to phenotypic plasticity or to modulating selection efficiency. Instead, genetic diversity and the frequency of structural variants correlate positively with local recombination rates, potentially compensating for the low levels of genetic variation expected in haplodiploid social Hymenoptera with low effective population size. Ultimately, the data show that recombination contributes to within-population polymorphism and to the divergence of the lineages within C. obscurior.

RevDate: 2024-06-04

Bierenbroodspot M, Pröschold T, Fürst-Jansen JMR, et al (2024)

Phylogeny and evolution of streptophyte algae.

Annals of botany pii:7687509 [Epub ahead of print].

The Streptophyta emerged about a billion years ago. Nowadays, this branch of the green lineage is most famous for one of its clades, the land plants (Embryophyta). While Embryophyta make up the major share of species numbers in Streptophyta, there is a diversity of likely more than 5000 species of streptophyte algae that form a paraphyletic grade next to land plants. Here, we focus on the deep divergences that gave rise to the diversity of streptophytes-and thus, particularly on the streptophyte algae. Phylogenomic efforts have not only clarified the position of streptophyte algae to land plants but recent efforts have also begun to unravel the relationships and major radiations within streptophyte algal diversity. We illustrate how new phylogenomic perspectives have changed our view on the evolutionary emergence of key traits such as intricate signaling networks that are intertwined with multicellular growth and the chemodiverse hotbed from which they emerged. These traits are key for the biology of land plants-but were bequeathed from their algal progenitors.

RevDate: 2024-06-06

Jackson JA, Romeo N, Mietke A, et al (2023)

Scaling behaviour and control of nuclear wrinkling.

Nature physics, 19(12):1927-1935.

The cell nucleus is enveloped by a complex membrane, whose wrinkling has been implicated in disease and cellular aging. The biophysical dynamics and spectral evolution of nuclear wrinkling during multicellular development remain poorly understood due to a lack of direct quantitative measurements. Here, we characterize the onset and dynamics of nuclear wrinkling during egg development in the fruit fly when nurse cell nuclei increase in size and display stereotypical wrinkling behavior. A spectral analysis of three-dimensional high-resolution live imaging data from several hundred nuclei reveals a robust asymptotic power-law scaling of angular fluctuations consistent with renormalization and scaling predictions from a nonlinear elastic shell model. We further demonstrate that nuclear wrinkling can be reversed through osmotic shock and suppressed by microtubule disruption, providing tuneable physical and biological control parameters for probing mechanical properties of the nuclear envelope. Our findings advance the biophysical understanding of nuclear membrane fluctuations during early multicellular development.

RevDate: 2024-06-03
CmpDate: 2024-05-31

Stillinovic M, Sarangdhar MA, Andina N, et al (2024)

Ribonuclease inhibitor and angiogenin system regulates cell type-specific global translation.

Science advances, 10(22):eadl0320.

Translation of mRNAs is a fundamental process that occurs in all cell types of multicellular organisms. Conventionally, it has been considered a default step in gene expression, lacking specific regulation. However, recent studies have documented that certain mRNAs exhibit cell type-specific translation. Despite this, it remains unclear whether global translation is controlled in a cell type-specific manner. By using human cell lines and mouse models, we found that deletion of the ribosome-associated protein ribonuclease inhibitor 1 (RNH1) decreases global translation selectively in hematopoietic-origin cells but not in the non-hematopoietic-origin cells. RNH1-mediated cell type-specific translation is mechanistically linked to angiogenin-induced ribosomal biogenesis. Collectively, this study unravels the existence of cell type-specific global translation regulators and highlights the complex translation regulation in vertebrates.

RevDate: 2024-05-30

Bennett GM, Kwak Y, R Maynard (2024)

Endosymbioses have shaped the evolution of biological diversity and complexity time and time again.

Genome biology and evolution pii:7685168 [Epub ahead of print].

Life on Earth comprises prokaryotes and a broad assemblage of endosymbioses. The pages of Molecular Biology and Evolution (MBE) and Genome Biology and Evolution (GBE) have provided an essential window into how endosymbioses have evolved and shaped biological diversity. Here, we provide a current perspective on this knowledge by drawing on decades of revelatory research published in MBE and GBE, and insights from the field at large. The accumulated work clearly illustrates how endosymbioses provide hosts with novel phenotypes that allow them to transition between adaptive landscapes to access environmental resources. Such endosymbiotic relationships have shaped and reshaped life on Earth. The early serial establishment of mitochondria and chloroplasts through endosymbioses permitted massive upscaling of cellular energetics, multicellularity, and terrestrial planetary greening. These endosymbioses are also the foundation upon which all later ones are built, including everything from land-plant endosymbioses with fungi and bacteria to the nutritional endosymbioses found in invertebrate animals. Common evolutionary mechanisms have shaped this broad range of interactions. Endosymbionts generally experience adaptive and stochastic genome streamlining, the extent of which depends on several key factors (e.g., mode of transmission). Hosts, in contrast, adapt complex mechanisms of resource exchange, cellular integration and regulation, and genetic support mechanisms to prop up degraded symbionts. However, there are significant differences between endosymbiotic interactions not only in how partners have evolved with each other, but also in the scope of their influence on biological diversity. These differences are important considerations for predicting how endosymbioses will persist and adapt to a changing planet.

RevDate: 2024-06-01
CmpDate: 2024-05-29

Li XC, Gandara L, Ekelöf M, et al (2024)

Rapid response of fly populations to gene dosage across development and generations.

Nature communications, 15(1):4551.

Although the effects of genetic and environmental perturbations on multicellular organisms are rarely restricted to single phenotypic layers, our current understanding of how developmental programs react to these challenges remains limited. Here, we have examined the phenotypic consequences of disturbing the bicoid regulatory network in early Drosophila embryos. We generated flies with two extra copies of bicoid, which causes a posterior shift of the network's regulatory outputs and a decrease in fitness. We subjected these flies to EMS mutagenesis, followed by experimental evolution. After only 8-15 generations, experimental populations have normalized patterns of gene expression and increased survival. Using a phenomics approach, we find that populations were normalized through rapid increases in embryo size driven by maternal changes in metabolism and ovariole development. We extend our results to additional populations of flies, demonstrating predictability. Together, our results necessitate a broader view of regulatory network evolution at the systems level.

RevDate: 2024-05-31

Starr AL, Nishimura T, Igarashi KJ, et al (2024)

Disentangling cell-intrinsic and extrinsic factors underlying gene expression evolution.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

Chimeras have played a foundational role in biology, for example by enabling the classification of developmental processes into those driven intrinsically by individual cells versus those driven extrinsically by their extracellular environment. Here, we extend this framework to decompose evolutionary divergence in gene expression and other quantitative traits into cell-intrinsic, extrinsic, and intrinsic-extrinsic interaction components. Applying this framework to reciprocal rat-mouse chimeras, we found that the majority of gene expression divergence is attributable to cell-intrinsic factors, though extrinsic factors also play an integral role. For example, a rat-like extracellular environment extrinsically up-regulates the expression of a key transcriptional regulator of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response in some but not all cell types, which in turn strongly predicts extrinsic up-regulation of its target genes and of the ER stress response pathway as a whole. This effect is also seen at the protein level, suggesting propagation through multiple regulatory levels. We also demonstrate that our framework is applicable to a cellular trait, neuronal differentiation, and estimated the intrinsic and extrinsic contributions to its divergence. Finally, we show that imprinted genes are dramatically mis-expressed in species-mismatched environments, suggesting that mismatch between rapidly evolving intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms controlling gene imprinting may contribute to barriers to interspecies chimerism. Overall, our conceptual framework opens new avenues to investigate the mechanistic basis of evolutionary divergence in gene expression and other quantitative traits in any multicellular organism.

RevDate: 2024-05-27

Perotti O, Esparza GV, DS Booth (2024)

A red algal polysaccharide influences the multicellular development of the choanoflagellate Salpingoeca rosetta.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.05.14.594265.

We uncovered an interaction between a choanoflagellate and alga, in which porphyran, a polysaccharide produced by the red alga Porphyra umbilicalis , induces multicellular development in the choanoflagellate Salpingoeca rosetta . We first noticed this possible interaction when we tested the growth of S. rosetta in media that was steeped with P. umbilicalis as a nutritional source. Under those conditions, S. rosetta formed multicellular rosette colonies even in the absence of any bacterial species that can induce rosette development. In biochemical purifications, we identified porphyran, a extracellular polysaccharide produced by red algae, as the rosette inducing factor The response of S. rosetta to porphyran provides a biochemical insight for associations between choanoflagellates and algae that have been observed since the earliest descriptions of choanoflagellates. Moreover, this work provides complementary evidence to ecological and geochemical studies that show the profound impact algae have exerted on eukaryotes and their evolution, including a rise in algal productivity that coincided with the origin of animals, the closest living relatives of choanoflagellates.

RevDate: 2024-05-27

Kidner RQ, Goldstone EB, Rodefeld HJ, et al (2024)

Exogenous lipid vesicles induce endocytosis-mediated cellular aggregation in a close unicellular relative of animals.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.05.14.593945.

Capsaspora owczarzaki is a protozoan that may both reveal aspects of animal evolution and also curtail the spread of schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease. Capsaspora exhibits a chemically regulated aggregative behavior that resembles cellular aggregation in some animals. This behavior may have played a key role in the evolution of animal multicellularity. Additionally, this aggregative behavior may be important for Capsaspora 's ability to colonize the intermediate host of parasitic schistosomes and potentially prevent the spread of schistosomiasis. Both applications demand elucidation of the molecular mechanism of Capsaspora aggregation. Toward this goal, we first determined the necessary chemical properties of lipid cues that activate aggregation. We found that a wide range of abundant zwitterionic lipids induced aggregation, revealing that the aggregative behavior could be activated by diverse lipid-rich conditions. Furthermore, we demonstrated that aggregation in Capsaspora requires clathrin-mediated endocytosis, highlighting the potential significance of endocytosis-linked cellular signaling in recent animal ancestors. Finally, we found that aggregation was initiated by post-translational activation of cell-cell adhesion-not transcriptional regulation of cellular adhesion machinery. Our findings illuminate the chemical, molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate Capsaspora aggregative behavior-with implications for the evolution of animal multicellularity and the transmission of parasites.

RevDate: 2024-05-27
CmpDate: 2024-05-25

Bibo-Verdugo B, G Salvesen (2024)

Evolution of Caspases and the Invention of Pyroptosis.

International journal of molecular sciences, 25(10):.

The protein scaffold that includes the caspases is ancient and found in all domains of life. However, the stringent specificity that defines the caspase biologic function is relatively recent and found only in multicellular animals. During the radiation of the Chordata, members of the caspase family adopted roles in immunity, events coinciding with the development of substrates that define the modern innate immune response. This review focuses on the switch from the non-inflammatory cellular demise of apoptosis to the highly inflammatory innate response driven by distinct members of the caspase family, and the interplay between these two regulated cell death pathways.

RevDate: 2024-05-27
CmpDate: 2024-05-25

Zhang B, Xiao L, Lyu L, et al (2024)

Exploring the landscape of symbiotic diversity and distribution in unicellular ciliated protists.

Microbiome, 12(1):96.

BACKGROUND: The eukaryotic-bacterial symbiotic system plays an important role in various physiological, developmental, and evolutionary processes. However, our current understanding is largely limited to multicellular eukaryotes without adequate consideration of diverse unicellular protists, including ciliates.

RESULTS: To investigate the bacterial profiles associated with unicellular organisms, we collected 246 ciliate samples spanning the entire Ciliophora phylum and conducted single-cell based metagenome sequencing. This effort has yielded the most extensive collection of bacteria linked to unicellular protists to date. From this dataset, we identified 883 bacterial species capable of cohabiting with ciliates, unveiling the genomes of 116 novel bacterial cohabitants along with 7 novel archaeal cohabitants. Highlighting the intimate relationship between ciliates and their cohabitants, our study unveiled that over 90% of ciliates coexist with bacteria, with individual hosts fostering symbiotic relationships with multiple bacteria concurrently, resulting in the observation of seven distinct symbiotic patterns among bacteria. Our exploration of symbiotic mechanisms revealed the impact of host digestion on the intracellular diversity of cohabitants. Additionally, we identified the presence of eukaryotic-like proteins in bacteria as a potential contributing factor to their resistance against host digestion, thereby expanding their potential host range.

CONCLUSIONS: As the first large-scale analysis of prokaryotic associations with ciliate protists, this study provides a valuable resource for future research on eukaryotic-bacterial symbioses. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2024-05-24
CmpDate: 2024-05-23

Ondracka A, Dudin O, J Bråte (2023)

Time-resolved small RNA transcriptomics of the ichthyosporean Sphaeroforma arctica.

F1000Research, 12:542.

Ichthyosporea, a clade of holozoans, represent a clade closely related to animals, and thus hold a key phylogenetic position for understanding the origin of animals. We have previously discovered that an ichthyosporean, Sphaeroforma arctica, contains microRNAs (miRNAs) as well as the miRNA processing machinery. This was the first discovery of miRNAs among the closest single-celled relatives of animals and raised intriguing questions about the roles of regulatory small RNAs in cell development and differentiation in unicellular eukaryotes. Like many ichthyosporeans, S. arctica also undergoes a transient multicellular developmental life cycle. As miRNAs are, among other roles, key regulators of gene expression during development in animals, we wanted to investigate the dynamics of miRNAs during the developmental cycle in S. arctica. Here we have therefore collected a comprehensive time-resolved small RNA transcriptome linked to specific life stages with a substantially higher sequencing depth than before, which can enable further discovery of functionally relevant small RNAs. The data consists of Illumina-sequenced small RNA libraries from two independent biological replicates of the entire life cycle of S. arctica with high temporal resolution. The dataset is directly linked and comes from the same samples as a previously published mRNA-seq dataset, thus enabling direct cross-functional analyses.

RevDate: 2024-05-21

Cho CJ, Brown JW, JC Mills (2024)

Origins of cancer: ain't it just mature cells misbehaving?.

The EMBO journal [Epub ahead of print].

A pervasive view is that undifferentiated stem cells are alone responsible for generating all other cells and are the origins of cancer. However, emerging evidence demonstrates fully differentiated cells are plastic, can be coaxed to proliferate, and also play essential roles in tissue maintenance, regeneration, and tumorigenesis. Here, we review the mechanisms governing how differentiated cells become cancer cells. First, we examine the unique characteristics of differentiated cell division, focusing on why differentiated cells are more susceptible than stem cells to accumulating mutations. Next, we investigate why the evolution of multicellularity in animals likely required plastic differentiated cells that maintain the capacity to return to the cell cycle and required the tumor suppressor p53. Finally, we examine an example of an evolutionarily conserved program for the plasticity of differentiated cells, paligenosis, which helps explain the origins of cancers that arise in adults. Altogether, we highlight new perspectives for understanding the development of cancer and new strategies for preventing carcinogenic cellular transformations from occurring.

RevDate: 2024-05-23
CmpDate: 2024-05-21

MacDonald N, Raven N, Diep W, et al (2024)

The molecular evolution of cancer associated genes in mammals.

Scientific reports, 14(1):11650.

Cancer is a disease that many multicellular organisms have faced for millions of years, and species have evolved various tumour suppression mechanisms to control oncogenesis. Although cancer occurs across the tree of life, cancer related mortality risks vary across mammalian orders, with Carnivorans particularly affected. Evolutionary theory predicts different selection pressures on genes associated with cancer progression and suppression, including oncogenes, tumour suppressor genes and immune genes. Therefore, we investigated the evolutionary history of cancer associated gene sequences across 384 mammalian taxa, to detect signatures of selection across categories of oncogenes (GRB2, FGL2 and CDC42), tumour suppressors (LITAF, Casp8 and BRCA2) and immune genes (IL2, CD274 and B2M). This approach allowed us to conduct a fine scale analysis of gene wide and site-specific signatures of selection across mammalian lineages under the lens of cancer susceptibility. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that for most species the evolution of cancer associated genes follows the species' evolution. The gene wide selection analyses revealed oncogenes being the most conserved, tumour suppressor and immune genes having similar amounts of episodic diversifying selection. Despite BRCA2's status as a key caretaker gene, episodic diversifying selection was detected across mammals. The site-specific selection analyses revealed that the two apoptosis associated domains of the Casp8 gene of bats (Chiroptera) are under opposing forces of selection (positive and negative respectively), highlighting the importance of site-specific selection analyses to understand the evolution of highly complex gene families. Our results highlighted the need to critically assess different types of selection pressure on cancer associated genes when investigating evolutionary adaptations to cancer across the tree of life. This study provides an extensive assessment of cancer associated genes in mammals with highly representative, and substantially large sample size for a comparative genomic analysis in the field and identifies various avenues for future research into the mechanisms of cancer resistance and susceptibility in mammals.

RevDate: 2024-05-21

Luu N, Zhang S, Lam RHW, et al (2024)

Mechanical Constraints in Tumor Guide Emergent Spatial Patterns of Glioblastoma Cancer Stem Cells.

Mechanobiology in medicine, 2(1):.

The mechanical constraints in the overcrowding glioblastoma (GBM) microenvironment have been implicated in the regulation of tumor heterogeneity and disease progression. Especially, such mechanical cues can alter cellular DNA transcription and give rise to a subpopulation of tumor cells called cancer stem cells (CSCs). These CSCs with stem-like properties are critical drivers of tumorigenesis, metastasis, and treatment resistance. Yet, the biophysical and molecular machinery underlying the emergence of CSCs in tumor remained unexplored. This work employed a two-dimensional micropatterned multicellular model to examine the impact of mechanical constraints arisen from geometric confinement on the emergence and spatial patterning of CSCs in GBM tumor. Our study identified distinct spatial distributions of GBM CSCs in different geometric patterns, where CSCs mostly emerged in the peripheral regions. The spatial pattern of CSCs was found to correspond to the gradients of mechanical stresses resulted from the interplay between the cell-ECM and cell-cell interactions within the confined environment. Further mechanistic study highlighted a Piezo1-RhoA-focal adhesion signaling axis in regulating GBM cell mechanosensing and the subsequent CSC phenotypic transformation. These findings provide new insights into the biophysical origin of the unique spatial pattern of CSCs in GBM tumor and offer potential avenues for targeted therapeutic interventions.

RevDate: 2024-05-20

Balasenthilkumaran NV, Whitesell JC, Pyle L, et al (2024)

Network approach reveals preferential T-cell and macrophage association with α-linked β-cells in early stage of insulitis in NOD mice.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.05.06.592831.

One of the challenges in studying islet inflammation - insulitis - is that it is a transient phenomenon. Traditional reporting of the insulitis progression is based on cumulative, donor-averaged values of leucocyte density in the vicinity of pancreatic islets, that hinders intra- and inter-islet heterogeneity of disease progression. Here, we aimed to understand why insulitis is non-uniform, often with peri-insulitis lesions formed on one side of an islet. To achieve this, we demonstrated applicability of network theory in detangling intra-islet multi-cellular interactions during insulitis. Specifically, we asked the question "what is unique about regions of the islet which interact with immune cells first". This study utilized the non-obese diabetic mouse model of type one diabetes and examined the interplay among α-, β-, T-cells, myeloid cells, and macrophages in pancreatic islets during the progression of insulitis. Disease evolution was tracked based on T/β cell ratio in individual islets. In the early stage, we found that immune cells are preferentially interacting with α-cell-rich regions of an islet. At the islet periphery α-linked β-cells were found to be targeted significantly more compared to those without α-cell neighbors. Additionally, network analysis revealed increased T-myeloid, and T-macrophage interactions with all β-cells.

RevDate: 2024-05-17
CmpDate: 2024-05-17

Derényi I, Demeter MC, Pérez-Jiménez M, et al (2024)

How mutation accumulation depends on the structure of the cell lineage tree.

Physical review. E, 109(4-1):044407.

All the cells of a multicellular organism are the product of cell divisions that trace out a single binary tree, the so-called cell lineage tree. Because cell divisions are accompanied by replication errors, the shape of the cell lineage tree is a key determinant of how somatic evolution, which can potentially lead to cancer, proceeds. Carcinogenesis requires the accumulation of a certain number of driver mutations. By mapping the accumulation of mutations into a graph theoretical problem, we present an exact numerical method to calculate the probability of collecting a given number of mutations and show that for low mutation rates it can be approximated with a simple analytical formula, which depends only on the distribution of the lineage lengths, and is dominated by the longest lineages. Our results are crucial in understanding how natural selection can shape the cell lineage trees of multicellular organisms and curtail somatic evolution.

RevDate: 2024-05-15
CmpDate: 2024-05-12

Aprile D, Patrone D, Peluso G, et al (2024)

Multipotent/pluripotent stem cell populations in stromal tissues and peripheral blood: exploring diversity, potential, and therapeutic applications.

Stem cell research & therapy, 15(1):139.

The concept of "stemness" incorporates the molecular mechanisms that regulate the unlimited self-regenerative potential typical of undifferentiated primitive cells. These cells possess the unique ability to navigate the cell cycle, transitioning in and out of the quiescent G0 phase, and hold the capacity to generate diverse cell phenotypes. Stem cells, as undifferentiated precursors endow with extraordinary regenerative capabilities, exhibit a heterogeneous and tissue-specific distribution throughout the human body. The identification and characterization of distinct stem cell populations across various tissues have revolutionized our understanding of tissue homeostasis and regeneration. From the hematopoietic to the nervous and musculoskeletal systems, the presence of tissue-specific stem cells underlines the complex adaptability of multicellular organisms. Recent investigations have revealed a diverse cohort of non-hematopoietic stem cells (non-HSC), primarily within bone marrow and other stromal tissue, alongside established hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). Among these non-HSC, a rare subset exhibits pluripotent characteristics. In vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated the remarkable differentiation potential of these putative stem cells, known by various names including multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPC), marrow-isolated adult multilineage inducible cells (MIAMI), small blood stem cells (SBSC), very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs), and multilineage differentiating stress enduring cells (MUSE). The diverse nomenclatures assigned to these primitive stem cell populations may arise from different origins or varied experimental methodologies. This review aims to present a comprehensive comparison of various subpopulations of multipotent/pluripotent stem cells derived from stromal tissues. By analysing isolation techniques and surface marker expression associated with these populations, we aim to delineate the similarities and distinctions among stromal tissue-derived stem cells. Understanding the nuances of these tissue-specific stem cells is critical for unlocking their therapeutic potential and advancing regenerative medicine. The future of stem cells research should prioritize the standardization of methodologies and collaborative investigations in shared laboratory environments. This approach could mitigate variability in research outcomes and foster scientific partnerships to fully exploit the therapeutic potential of pluripotent stem cells.

RevDate: 2024-05-11

Lenz G (2024)

Heterogeneity generating capacity in tumorigenesis and cancer therapeutics.

Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular basis of disease pii:S0925-4439(24)00215-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Cells of multicellular organisms generate heterogeneity in a controlled and transient fashion during embryogenesis, which can be reactivated in pathologies such as cancer. Although genomic heterogeneity is an important part of tumorigenesis, continuous generation of phenotypic heterogeneity is central for the adaptation of cancer cells to the challenges of tumorigenesis and response to therapy. Here I discuss the capacity of generating heterogeneity, hereafter called cell hetness, in cancer cells both as the activation of hetness oncogenes and inactivation of hetness tumor suppressor genes, which increase the generation of heterogeneity, ultimately producing an increase in adaptability and cell fitness. Transcriptomic high hetness states in therapy-tolerant cell states denote its importance in cancer resistance to therapy. The definition of the concept of hetness will allow the understanding of its origins, its control during embryogenesis, its loss of control in tumorigenesis and cancer therapeutics and its active targeting.

RevDate: 2024-05-08

Yaron-Barir TM, Joughin BA, Huntsman EM, et al (2024)

The intrinsic substrate specificity of the human tyrosine kinome.

Nature [Epub ahead of print].

Phosphorylation of proteins on tyrosine (Tyr) residues evolved in metazoan organisms as a mechanism of coordinating tissue growth[1]. Multicellular eukaryotes typically have more than 50 distinct protein Tyr kinases that catalyse the phosphorylation of thousands of Tyr residues throughout the proteome[1-3]. How a given Tyr kinase can phosphorylate a specific subset of proteins at unique Tyr sites is only partially understood[4-7]. Here we used combinatorial peptide arrays to profile the substrate sequence specificity of all human Tyr kinases. Globally, the Tyr kinases demonstrate considerable diversity in optimal patterns of residues surrounding the site of phosphorylation, revealing the functional organization of the human Tyr kinome by substrate motif preference. Using this information, Tyr kinases that are most compatible with phosphorylating any Tyr site can be identified. Analysis of mass spectrometry phosphoproteomic datasets using this compendium of kinase specificities accurately identifies specific Tyr kinases that are dysregulated in cells after stimulation with growth factors, treatment with anti-cancer drugs or expression of oncogenic variants. Furthermore, the topology of known Tyr signalling networks naturally emerged from a comparison of the sequence specificities of the Tyr kinases and the SH2 phosphotyrosine (pTyr)-binding domains. Finally we show that the intrinsic substrate specificity of Tyr kinases has remained fundamentally unchanged from worms to humans, suggesting that the fidelity between Tyr kinases and their protein substrate sequences has been maintained across hundreds of millions of years of evolution.

RevDate: 2024-05-09
CmpDate: 2024-05-09

Wang H, Marucci G, Munke A, et al (2024)

High-resolution comparative atomic structures of two Giardiavirus prototypes infecting G. duodenalis parasite.

PLoS pathogens, 20(4):e1012140 pii:PPATHOGENS-D-23-01960.

The Giardia lamblia virus (GLV) is a non-enveloped icosahedral dsRNA and endosymbiont virus that infects the zoonotic protozoan parasite Giardia duodenalis (syn. G. lamblia, G. intestinalis), which is a pathogen of mammals, including humans. Elucidating the transmission mechanism of GLV is crucial for gaining an in-depth understanding of the virulence of the virus in G. duodenalis. GLV belongs to the family Totiviridae, which infects yeast and protozoa intracellularly; however, it also transmits extracellularly, similar to the phylogenetically, distantly related toti-like viruses that infect multicellular hosts. The GLV capsid structure is extensively involved in the longstanding discussion concerning extracellular transmission in Totiviridae and toti-like viruses. Hence, this study constructed the first high-resolution comparative atomic models of two GLV strains, namely GLV-HP and GLV-CAT, which showed different intracellular localization and virulence phenotypes, using cryogenic electron microscopy single-particle analysis. The atomic models of the GLV capsids presented swapped C-terminal extensions, extra surface loops, and a lack of cap-snatching pockets, similar to those of toti-like viruses. However, their open pores and absence of the extra crown protein resemble those of other yeast and protozoan Totiviridae viruses, demonstrating the essential structures for extracellular cell-to-cell transmission. The structural comparison between GLV-HP and GLV-CAT indicates the first evidence of critical structural motifs for the transmission and virulence of GLV in G. duodenalis.

RevDate: 2024-05-07

Oszoli I, I Zachar (2024)

Group-selection via aggregative propagule-formation enables cooperative multicellularity in an individual based, spatial model.

PLoS computational biology, 20(5):e1012107 pii:PCOMPBIOL-D-23-01729 [Epub ahead of print].

The emergence of multicellularity is one of the major transitions in evolution that happened multiple times independently. During aggregative multicellularity, genetically potentially unrelated lineages cooperate to form transient multicellular groups. Unlike clonal multicellularity, aggregative multicellular organisms do not rely on kin selection instead other mechanisms maintain cooperation against cheater phenotypes that benefit from cooperators but do not contribute to groups. Spatiality with limited diffusion can facilitate group selection, as interactions among individuals are restricted to local neighbourhoods only. Selection for larger size (e.g. avoiding predation) may facilitate the emergence of aggregation, though it is unknown, whether and how much role such selection played during the evolution of aggregative multicellularity. We have investigated the effect of spatiality and the necessity of predation on the stability of aggregative multicellularity via individual-based modelling on the ecological timescale. We have examined whether aggregation facilitates the survival of cooperators in a temporally heterogeneous environment against cheaters, where only a subset of the population is allowed to periodically colonize a new, resource-rich habitat. Cooperators constitutively produce adhesive molecules to promote aggregation and propagule-formation while cheaters spare this expense to grow faster but cannot aggregate on their own, hence depending on cooperators for long-term survival. We have compared different population-level reproduction modes with and without individual selection (predation) to evaluate the different hypotheses. In a temporally homogeneous environment without propagule-based colonization, cheaters always win. Predation can benefit cooperators, but it is not enough to maintain the necessary cooperator amount in successive dispersals, either randomly or by fragmentation. Aggregation-based propagation however can ensure the adequate ratio of cooperators-to-cheaters in the propagule and is sufficient to do so even without predation. Spatiality combined with temporal heterogeneity helps cooperators via group selection, thus facilitating aggregative multicellularity. External stress selecting for larger size (e.g. predation) may facilitate aggregation, however, according to our results, it is neither necessary nor sufficient for aggregative multicellularity to be maintained when there is effective group-selection.

RevDate: 2024-05-05

Enström A, Carlsson R, Buizza C, et al (2024)

Pericyte-Specific Secretome Profiling in Hypoxia Using TurboID in a Multicellular In Vitro Spheroid-Model.

Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP pii:S1535-9476(24)00072-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Cellular communication within the brain is imperative for maintaining homeostasis and mounting effective responses to pathological triggers like hypoxia. However, a comprehensive understanding of the precise composition and dynamic release of secreted molecules has remained elusive, confined primarily to investigations using isolated monocultures. To overcome these limitations, we utilized the potential of TurboID, a non-toxic biotin ligation enzyme, to capture and enrich secreted proteins specifically originating from human brain pericytes in spheroid co-cultures with human endothelial cells and astrocytes. This approach allowed us to characterize the pericyte secretome within a more physiologically relevant multi-cellular setting encompassing the constituents of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Through a combination of mass spectrometry and multiplex immunoassays, we identified a wide spectrum of different secreted proteins by pericytes. Our findings demonstrate that the pericytes secretome is profoundly shaped by their inter-cellular communication with other BBB-residing cells. Moreover, we identified substantial differences in the secretory profiles between hypoxic and normoxic pericytes. Mass spectrometry analysis showed that hypoxic pericytes in co-culture increase their release of signals related to protein secretion, mTOR signalling and the complement system, while hypoxic pericytes in monocultures showed an upregulation in proliferative pathways including G2M checkpoints, E2F- and Myc-targets. In addition, hypoxic pericytes show an upregulation of proangiogenic proteins such as VEGFA but display downregulation of canonical proinflammatory cytokines such as CXCL1, MCP-1, and CXCL6. Understanding the specific composition of secreted proteins in the multi-cellular brain microvasculature is crucial for advancing our knowledge of brain homeostasis and the mechanisms underlying pathology. This study has implications for the identification of targeted therapeutic strategies aimed at modulating microvascular signalling in brain pathologies associated with hypoxia.

RevDate: 2024-05-07
CmpDate: 2024-05-07

Brown AL, Meiborg AB, Franz-Wachtel M, et al (2024)

Characterization of the Pristionchus pacificus "epigenetic toolkit" reveals the evolutionary loss of the histone methyltransferase complex PRC2.

Genetics, 227(1):.

Comparative approaches have revealed both divergent and convergent paths to achieving shared developmental outcomes. Thus, only through assembling multiple case studies can we understand biological principles. Yet, despite appreciating the conservation-or lack thereof-of developmental networks, the conservation of epigenetic mechanisms regulating these networks is poorly understood. The nematode Pristionchus pacificus has emerged as a model system of plasticity and epigenetic regulation as it exhibits a bacterivorous or omnivorous morph depending on its environment. Here, we determined the "epigenetic toolkit" available to P. pacificus as a resource for future functional work on plasticity, and as a comparison with Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate the conservation of epigenetic mechanisms. Broadly, we observed a similar cast of genes with putative epigenetic function between C. elegans and P. pacificus. However, we also found striking differences. Most notably, the histone methyltransferase complex PRC2 appears to be missing in P. pacificus. We described the deletion/pseudogenization of the PRC2 genes mes-2 and mes-6 and concluded that both were lost in the last common ancestor of P. pacificus and a related species P. arcanus. Interestingly, we observed the enzymatic product of PRC2 (H3K27me3) by mass spectrometry and immunofluorescence, suggesting that a currently unknown methyltransferase has been co-opted for heterochromatin silencing. Altogether, we have provided an inventory of epigenetic genes in P. pacificus to compare with C. elegans. This inventory will enable reverse-genetic experiments related to plasticity and has revealed the first loss of PRC2 in a multicellular organism.

RevDate: 2024-05-03

Pozdnyakov IR, Selyuk AO, Kalashnikova VA, et al (2024)

HMG-B transcription factors of unicellular opisthokonts and their relatedness to the Sox-Tcf/Lef-Mata proteins of Metazoa and fungi.

Gene pii:S0378-1119(24)00401-3 [Epub ahead of print].

A phylogenetic analysis of transcription factors of the Sox-Tcf/Lef-Mata (STM) family of the HMG-B superfamily was carried out in order to clarify the evolutionary roots of the Wnt signaling pathway in unicellular organisms. The data set for analysis included protein sequences of metazoans, fungi, unicellular opisthokonts, apusomonads and amoebozoans. The topology of the phylogenetic tree suggests that STM-related proteins arose in the common ancestor of Opisthokonta and Amoebozoa, two of amoebozoan STM proteins are sister-related to opisthokont ones and the three known lineages of STM transcription factors (STM family in narrow sence) are found in Opisthokonta only. Of these, the holozoan Sox protein branch is the result of either the first or second branching, that originated in the common ancestor of Opisthokonta. The lineage containing Tcf/Lef proteins (holozoan) and the lineage containing Mata proteins (holomycotan) are sister. They derived either at the time of the Holozoa and Holomycota divergence or originate from two paralogs of the common ancestor of Opisthokonta, which arose after the separation of the Sox lineage. Interaction with Armadillo-like proteins may be an original feature of the STM protein family and existed in the unicellular ancestors of multicellular animals; a connection is possible between the presence of Mata-related proteins in Aphelidium protococcorum and specific genome feature of this species.

RevDate: 2024-05-03
CmpDate: 2024-05-03

Maloney KM, Halverson GP, Lechte M, et al (2024)

The paleoredox context of early eukaryotic evolution: insights from the Tonian Mackenzie Mountains Supergroup, Canada.

Geobiology, 22(3):e12598.

Tonian (ca. 1000-720 Ma) marine environments are hypothesised to have experienced major redox changes coinciding with the evolution and diversification of multicellular eukaryotes. In particular, the earliest Tonian stratigraphic record features the colonisation of benthic habitats by multicellular macroscopic algae, which would have been powerful ecosystem engineers that contributed to the oxygenation of the oceans and the reorganisation of biogeochemical cycles. However, the paleoredox context of this expansion of macroalgal habitats in Tonian nearshore marine environments remains uncertain due to limited well-preserved fossils and stratigraphy. As such, the interdependent relationship between early complex life and ocean redox state is unclear. An assemblage of macrofossils including the chlorophyte macroalga Archaeochaeta guncho was recently discovered in the lower Mackenzie Mountains Supergroup in Yukon (Canada), which archives marine sedimentation from ca. 950-775 Ma, permitting investigation into environmental evolution coincident with eukaryotic ecosystem evolution and expansion. Here we present multi-proxy geochemical data from the lower Mackenzie Mountains Supergroup to constrain the paleoredox environment within which these large benthic macroalgae thrived. Two transects show evidence for basin-wide anoxic (ferruginous) oceanic conditions (i.e., high FeHR/FeT, low Fepy/FeHR), with muted redox-sensitive trace metal enrichments and possible seasonal variability. However, the weathering of sulfide minerals in the studied samples may obscure geochemical signatures of euxinic conditions. These results suggest that macroalgae colonized shallow environments in an ocean that remained dominantly anoxic with limited evidence for oxygenation until ca. 850 Ma. Collectively, these geochemical results provide novel insights into the environmental conditions surrounding the evolution and expansion of benthic macroalgae and the eventual dominance of oxygenated oceanic conditions required for the later emergence of animals.

RevDate: 2024-05-01

Feng X, Zheng J, Irisarri I, et al (2024)

Genomes of multicellular algal sisters to land plants illuminate signaling network evolution.

Nature genetics [Epub ahead of print].

Zygnematophyceae are the algal sisters of land plants. Here we sequenced four genomes of filamentous Zygnematophyceae, including chromosome-scale assemblies for three strains of Zygnema circumcarinatum. We inferred traits in the ancestor of Zygnematophyceae and land plants that might have ushered in the conquest of land by plants: expanded genes for signaling cascades, environmental response, and multicellular growth. Zygnematophyceae and land plants share all the major enzymes for cell wall synthesis and remodifications, and gene gains shaped this toolkit. Co-expression network analyses uncover gene cohorts that unite environmental signaling with multicellular developmental programs. Our data shed light on a molecular chassis that balances environmental response and growth modulation across more than 600 million years of streptophyte evolution.

RevDate: 2024-05-01
CmpDate: 2024-05-01

Yu P, Li Y, Fang W, et al (2024)

Mechanochemical dynamics of collective cells and hierarchical topological defects in multicellular lumens.

Science advances, 10(18):eadn0172.

Collective cell dynamics is essential for tissue morphogenesis and various biological functions. However, it remains incompletely understood how mechanical forces and chemical signaling are integrated to direct collective cell behaviors underlying tissue morphogenesis. Here, we propose a three-dimensional (3D) mechanochemical theory accounting for biochemical reaction-diffusion and cellular mechanotransduction to investigate the dynamics of multicellular lumens. We show that the interplay between biochemical signaling and mechanics can trigger either pitchfork or Hopf bifurcation to induce diverse static mechanochemical patterns or generate oscillations with multiple modes both involving marked mechanical deformations in lumens. We uncover the crucial role of mechanochemical feedback in emerging morphodynamics and identify the evolution and morphogenetic functions of hierarchical topological defects including cell-level hexatic defects and tissue-level orientational defects. Our theory captures the common mechanochemical traits of collective dynamics observed in experiments and could provide a mechanistic context for understanding morphological symmetry breaking in 3D lumen-like tissues.

RevDate: 2024-05-01
CmpDate: 2024-05-01

Anonymous (2024)

Transitions in development - an interview with Thibaut Brunet.

Development (Cambridge, England), 151(9):.

Thibaut Brunet is a group leader at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France, where he works on choanoflagellates (known as 'choanos' for short). These unicellular organisms are close relatives of animals that have the potential to form multicellular assemblies under certain conditions, and Thibaut's lab are leveraging them to gain insights into how animal morphogenesis evolved. We met with Thibaut over Zoom to discuss his career path so far, and learnt how an early interest in dinosaurs contributed to his life-long fascination with evolutionary biology.

RevDate: 2024-04-29
CmpDate: 2024-04-30

Trigos AS, Bongiovanni F, Zhang Y, et al (2024)

Disruption of metazoan gene regulatory networks in cancer alters the balance of co-expression between genes of unicellular and multicellular origins.

Genome biology, 25(1):110.

BACKGROUND: Metazoans inherited genes from unicellular ancestors that perform essential biological processes such as cell division, metabolism, and protein translation. Multicellularity requires careful control and coordination of these unicellular genes to maintain tissue integrity and homeostasis. Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) that arose during metazoan evolution are frequently altered in cancer, resulting in over-expression of unicellular genes. We propose that an imbalance in co-expression of unicellular (UC) and multicellular (MC) genes is a driving force in cancer.

RESULTS: We combine gene co-expression analysis to infer changes to GRNs in cancer with protein sequence conservation data to distinguish genes with UC and MC origins. Co-expression networks created using RNA sequencing data from 31 tumor types and normal tissue samples are divided into modules enriched for UC genes, MC genes, or mixed UC-MC modules. The greatest differences between tumor and normal tissue co-expression networks occur within mixed UC-MC modules. MC and UC genes not commonly co-expressed in normal tissues form distinct co-expression modules seen only in tumors. The degree of rewiring of genes within mixed UC-MC modules increases with tumor grade and stage. Mixed UC-MC modules are enriched for somatic mutations in cancer genes, particularly amplifications, suggesting an important driver of the rewiring observed in tumors is copy number changes.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows the greatest changes to gene co-expression patterns during tumor progression occur between genes of MC and UC origins, implicating the breakdown and rewiring of metazoan gene regulatory networks in cancer development and progression.

RevDate: 2024-04-25

Singleton MD, MB Eisen (2024)

Evolutionary analyses of intrinsically disordered regions reveal widespread signals of conservation.

PLoS computational biology, 20(4):e1012028 pii:PCOMPBIOL-D-24-00042 [Epub ahead of print].

Intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) are segments of proteins without stable three-dimensional structures. As this flexibility allows them to interact with diverse binding partners, IDRs play key roles in cell signaling and gene expression. Despite the prevalence and importance of IDRs in eukaryotic proteomes and various biological processes, associating them with specific molecular functions remains a significant challenge due to their high rates of sequence evolution. However, by comparing the observed values of various IDR-associated properties against those generated under a simulated model of evolution, a recent study found most IDRs across the entire yeast proteome contain conserved features. Furthermore, it showed clusters of IDRs with common "evolutionary signatures," i.e. patterns of conserved features, were associated with specific biological functions. To determine if similar patterns of conservation are found in the IDRs of other systems, in this work we applied a series of phylogenetic models to over 7,500 orthologous IDRs identified in the Drosophila genome to dissect the forces driving their evolution. By comparing models of constrained and unconstrained continuous trait evolution using the Brownian motion and Ornstein-Uhlenbeck models, respectively, we identified signals of widespread constraint, indicating conservation of distributed features is mechanism of IDR evolution common to multiple biological systems. In contrast to the previous study in yeast, however, we observed limited evidence of IDR clusters with specific biological functions, which suggests a more complex relationship between evolutionary constraints and function in the IDRs of multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2024-04-25

Tong K, Datta S, Cheng V, et al (2024)

Whole-genome duplication in the Multicellularity Long Term Evolution Experiment.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.04.18.588554.

Whole-genome duplication (WGD) is widespread across eukaryotes and can promote adaptive evolution [1-4] . However, given the instability of newly-formed polyploid genomes [5-7] , understanding how WGDs arise in a population, persist, and underpin adaptations remains a challenge. Using our ongoing Multicellularity Long Term Evolution Experiment (MuLTEE) [8] , we show that diploid snowflake yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) under selection for larger multicellular size rapidly undergo spontaneous WGD. From its origin within the first 50 days of the experiment, tetraploids persist for the next 950 days (nearly 5,000 generations, the current leading edge of our experiment) in ten replicate populations, despite being genomically unstable. Using synthetic reconstruction, biophysical modeling, and counter-selection experiments, we found that tetraploidy evolved because it confers immediate fitness benefits in this environment, by producing larger, longer cells that yield larger clusters. The same selective benefit also maintained tetraploidy over long evolutionary timescales, inhibiting the reversion to diploidy that is typically seen in laboratory evolution experiments. Once established, tetraploidy facilitated novel genetic routes for adaptation, playing a key role in the evolution of macroscopic multicellular size via the origin of evolutionarily conserved aneuploidy. These results provide unique empirical insights into the evolutionary dynamics and impacts of WGD, showing how it can initially arise due to its immediate adaptive benefits, be maintained by selection, and fuel long-term innovations by creating additional dimensions of heritable genetic variation.

RevDate: 2024-04-24

Wu T, Huang J, Li Y, et al (2024)

Prenatal acetaminophen exposure and the developing ovary: time, dose, and course consequences for fetal mice.

Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association pii:S0278-6915(24)00245-X [Epub ahead of print].

Acetaminophen is an emerging endocrine disrupting chemical and has been detected in various natural matrices. Numerous studies have documented developmental toxicity associated with prenatal acetaminophen exposure (PAcE). In this study, we established a PAcE Kunming mouse model at different time (middle pregnancy and third trimester), doses (low, middle, high) and courses (single or multi-) to systematically investigate their effects on fetal ovarian development. The findings indicated PAcE affected ovarian development, reduced fetal ovarian oocyte number and inhibited cell proliferation. A reduction in mRNA expression was observed for genes associated with oocyte markers (NOBOX and Figlα), follicular development markers (BMP15 and GDF9), and pre-granulosa cell steroid synthase (SF1 and StAR). Notably, exposure in middle pregnancy, high dose, multi-course resulted in the most pronounced inhibition of oocyte development; exposure in third trimester, high dose and multi-course led to the most pronounced inhibition of follicular development; and in third trimester, low dose and single course, the inhibition of pre-granulosa cell function was most pronounced. Mechanistic investigations revealed that PAcE had the most pronounced suppression of the ovarian Notch signaling pathway. Overall, PAcE caused fetal ovarian multicellular toxicity and inhibited follicular development with time, dose and course differences.

RevDate: 2024-04-25
CmpDate: 2024-04-25

Reis-Cunha JL, Pimenta-Carvalho SA, Almeida LV, et al (2024)

Ancestral aneuploidy and stable chromosomal duplication resulting in differential genome structure and gene expression control in trypanosomatid parasites.

Genome research, 34(3):441-453 pii:gr.278550.123.

Aneuploidy is widely observed in both unicellular and multicellular eukaryotes, usually associated with adaptation to stress conditions. Chromosomal duplication stability is a tradeoff between the fitness cost of having unbalanced gene copies and the potential fitness gained from increased dosage of specific advantageous genes. Trypanosomatids, a family of protozoans that include species that cause neglected tropical diseases, are a relevant group to study aneuploidies. Their life cycle has several stressors that could select for different patterns of chromosomal duplications and/or losses, and their nearly universal use of polycistronic transcription increases their reliance on gene expansion/contraction, as well as post-transcriptional control as mechanisms for gene expression regulation. By evaluating the data from 866 isolates covering seven trypanosomatid genera, we have revealed that aneuploidy tolerance is an ancestral characteristic of trypanosomatids but has a reduced occurrence in a specific monophyletic clade that has undergone large genomic reorganization and chromosomal fusions. We have also identified an ancient chromosomal duplication that was maintained across these parasite's speciation, named collectively as the trypanosomatid ancestral supernumerary chromosome (TASC). TASC has most genes in the same coding strand, is expressed as a disomic chromosome (even having four copies), and has increased potential for functional variation, but it purges highly deleterious mutations more efficiently than other chromosomes. The evidence of stringent control over gene expression in this chromosome suggests that these parasites have adapted to mitigate the fitness cost associated with this ancient chromosomal duplication.

RevDate: 2024-04-24

Chen C, Chen H, Wang P, et al (2024)

Ca[2+] Overload Decreased Cellular Viability in Magnetic Hyperthermia without a Macroscopic Temperature Rise.

ACS biomaterials science & engineering [Epub ahead of print].

Magnetic hyperthermia is a crucial medical engineering technique for treating diseases, which usually uses alternating magnetic fields (AMF) to interplay with magnetic substances to generate heat. Recently, it has been found that in some cases, there is no detectable temperature increment after applying an AMF, which caused corresponding effects surprisingly. The mechanisms involved in this phenomenon are not yet fully understood. In this study, we aimed to explore the role of Ca[2+] overload in the magnetic hyperthermia effect without a perceptible temperature rise. A cellular system expressing the fusion proteins TRPV1 and ferritin was prepared. The application of an AMF (518 kHz, 16 kA/m) could induce the fusion protein to release a large amount of iron ions, which then participates in the production of massive reactive oxygen radicals (ROS). Both ROS and its induced lipid oxidation enticed the opening of ion channels, causing intracellular Ca[2+] overload, which further led to decreased cellular viability. Taken together, Ca[2+] overload triggered by elevated ROS and the induced oxidation of lipids contributes to the magnetic hyperthermia effect without a perceptible temperature rise. These findings would be beneficial for expanding the application of temperature-free magnetic hyperthermia, such as in cellular and neural regulation, design of new cancer treatment methods.

RevDate: 2024-04-23

Xin H, Wang Y, Zhang W, et al (2024)

Celine, a long interspersed nuclear element retrotransposon, colonizes in the centromeres of poplar chromosomes.

Plant physiology pii:7656883 [Epub ahead of print].

Centromeres in most multicellular eukaryotes are composed of long arrays of repetitive DNA sequences. Interestingly, several transposable elements, including the well-known long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposon CRM (centromeric retrotransposon of maize), were found to be enriched in functional centromeres marked by the centromeric histone H3 (CENH3). Here we report a centromeric long interspersed nuclear element (LINE), Celine, in Populus species. Celine has colonized preferentially in the CENH3-associated chromatin of every poplar chromosome, with 84% of the Celine elements localized in the CENH3-binding domains. By contrast, only 51% of the CRM elements were bound to CENH3 domains in Populus trichocarpa. These results suggest different centromere targeting mechanisms employed by Celine and CRM elements. Nevertheless, the high target specificity seems to be detrimental to further amplification of the Celine elements, leading to a shorter life span and patchy distribution among plant species compared to the CRM elements. Using a phylogenetically guided approach we were able to identify Celine-like LINE elements in tea plant (Camellia sinensis) and green ash tree (Fraxinus pennsylvanica). The centromeric localization of these Celine-like LINEs was confirmed in both species. We demonstrate that the centromere targeting property of Celine-like LINEs is of primitive origin and has been conserved among distantly related plant species.

RevDate: 2024-04-23

Thomas F, Ujvari B, AM Dujon (2024)

[Evolution of cancer resistance in the animal kingdom].

Medecine sciences : M/S, 40(4):343-350.

Cancer is an inevitable collateral problem inherent in the evolution of multicellular organisms, which appeared at the end of the Precambrian. Faced to this constraint, a range of diverse anticancer defenses has evolved across the animal kingdom. Today, investigating how animal organisms, especially those of large size and long lifespan, manage cancer-related issues has both fundamental and applied outcomes, as it could inspire strategies for preventing or treating human cancers. In this article, we begin by presenting the conceptual framework for understanding evolutionary theories regarding the development of anti-cancer defenses. We then present a number of examples that have been extensively studied in recent years, including naked mole rats, elephants, whales, placozoa, xenarthras (such as sloths, armadillos and anteaters) and bats. The contributions of comparative genomics to understanding evolutionary convergences are also discussed. Finally, we emphasize that natural selection has also favored anti-cancer adaptations aimed at avoiding mutagenic environments, for example by maximizing immediate reproductive efforts in the event of cancer. Exploring these adaptive solutions holds promise for identifying novel approaches to improve human health.

RevDate: 2024-04-22

Chen C, Chen H, Wang P, et al (2024)

Reactive Oxygen Species Activate a Ferritin-Linked TRPV4 Channel under a Static Magnetic Field.

ACS chemical biology [Epub ahead of print].

Magnetogenetics has shown great potential for cell function and neuromodulation using heat or force effects under different magnetic fields; however, there is still a contradiction between experimental effects and underlying mechanisms by theoretical computation. In this study, we aimed to investigate the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in mechanical force-dependent regulation from a physicochemical perspective. The transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) cation channels fused to ferritin (T4F) were overexpressed in HEK293T cells and exposed to static magnetic fields (sMF, 1.4-5.0 mT; gradient: 1.62 mT/cm). An elevation of ROS levels was found under sMF in T4F-overexpressing cells, which could lead to lipid oxidation. Compared with the overexpression of TRPV4, ferritin in T4F promoted the generation of ROS under the stimulation of sMF, probably related to the release of iron ions from ferritin. Then, the resulting ROS regulated the opening of the TRPV4 channel, which was attenuated by the direct addition of ROS inhibitors or an iron ion chelator, highlighting a close relationship among iron release, ROS production, and TRPV4 channel activation. Taken together, these findings indicate that the produced ROS under sMF act on the TRPV4 channel, regulating the influx of calcium ions. The study would provide a scientific basis for the application of magnetic regulation in cellular or neural regulation and disease treatment and contribute to the development of the more sensitive regulatory technology.

RevDate: 2024-04-23

Baron V, Sommer ST, Fiegle DJ, et al (2024)

Effects of electro-mechanical uncouplers, hormonal stimulation and pacing rate on the stability and function of cultured rabbit myocardial slices.

Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology, 12:1363538.

Introduction: Recent advances have enabled organotypic culture of beating human myocardial slices that are stable for weeks. However, human myocardial samples are rare, exhibit high variability and frequently originate from diseased hearts. Thus, there is a need to adapt long-term slice culture for animal myocardium. When applied to animal cardiac slices, studies in healthy or genetically modified myocardium will be possible. We present the culture of slices from rabbit hearts, which resemble the human heart in microstructure, electrophysiology and excitation-contraction coupling. Methods: Left ventricular myocardium from New Zealand White rabbits was cut using a vibratome and cultured in biomimetic chambers for up to 7 days (d). Electro-mechanical uncoupling agents 2,3-butanedione monoxime (BDM) and cytochalasin D (CytoD) were added during initiation of culture and effects on myocyte survival were quantified. We investigated pacing rates (0.5 Hz, 1 Hz, and 2 Hz) and hormonal supplements (cortisol, T3, catecholamines) at physiological plasma concentrations. T3 was buffered using BSA. Contractile force was recorded continuously. Glucose consumption and lactate production were measured. Whole-slice Ca[2+] transients and action potentials were recorded. Effects of culture on microstructure were investigated with confocal microscopy and image analysis. Results: Protocols for human myocardial culture resulted in sustained contracture and myocyte death in rabbit slices within 24 h, which could be prevented by transient application of a combination of BDM and CytoD. Cortisol stabilized contraction amplitude and kinetics in culture. T3 and catecholaminergic stimulation did not further improve stability. T3 and higher pacing rates increased metabolic rate and lactate production. T3 stabilized the response to β-adrenergic stimulation over 7 d. Pacing rates above 1 Hz resulted in progredient decline in contraction force. Image analysis revealed no changes in volume fractions of cardiomyocytes or measures of fibrosis over 7 d. Ca[2+] transient amplitudes and responsiveness to isoprenaline were comparable after 1 d and 7 d, while Ca[2+] transient duration was prolonged after 7 d in culture. Conclusions: A workflow for rabbit myocardial culture has been established, preserving function for up to 7 d. This research underscores the importance of glucocorticoid signaling in maintaining tissue function and extending culture duration. Furthermore, BDM and CytoD appear to protect from tissue damage during the initiation phase of tissue culture.

RevDate: 2024-04-22

Daignan-Fornier B, T Pradeu (2024)

Critically assessing atavism, an evolution-centered and deterministic hypothesis on cancer.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology [Epub ahead of print].

Cancer is most commonly viewed as resulting from somatic mutations enhancing proliferation and invasion. Some hypotheses further propose that these new capacities reveal a breakdown of multicellularity allowing cancer cells to escape proliferation and cooperation control mechanisms that were implemented during evolution of multicellularity. Here we critically review one such hypothesis, named "atavism," which puts forward the idea that cancer results from the re-expression of normally repressed genes forming a program, or toolbox, inherited from unicellular or simple multicellular ancestors. This hypothesis places cancer in an interesting evolutionary perspective that has not been widely explored and deserves attention. Thinking about cancer within an evolutionary framework, especially the major transitions to multicellularity, offers particularly promising perspectives. It is therefore of the utmost important to analyze why one approach that tries to achieve this aim, the atavism hypothesis, has not so far emerged as a major theory on cancer. We outline the features of the atavism hypothesis that, would benefit from clarification and, if possible, unification.

RevDate: 2024-04-15

Egorova KS, Kibardin AV, Posvyatenko AV, et al (2024)

Mechanisms of Biological Effects of Ionic Liquids: From Single Cells to Multicellular Organisms.

Chemical reviews [Epub ahead of print].

The review presents a detailed discussion of the evolving field studying interactions between ionic liquids (ILs) and biological systems. Originating from molten salt electrolytes to present multiapplication substances, ILs have found usage across various fields due to their exceptional physicochemical properties, including excellent tunability. However, their interactions with biological systems and potential influence on living organisms remain largely unexplored. This review examines the cytotoxic effects of ILs on cell cultures, biomolecules, and vertebrate and invertebrate organisms. Our understanding of IL toxicity, while growing in recent years, is yet nascent. The established findings include correlations between harmful effects of ILs and their ability to disturb cellular membranes, their potential to trigger oxidative stress in cells, and their ability to cause cell death via apoptosis. Future research directions proposed in the review include studying the distribution of various ILs within cellular compartments and organelles, investigating metabolic transformations of ILs in cells and organisms, detailed analysis of IL effects on proteins involved in oxidative stress and apoptosis, correlation studies between IL doses, exposure times and resulting adverse effects, and examination of effects of subtoxic concentrations of ILs on various biological objects. This review aims to serve as a critical analysis of the current body of knowledge on IL-related toxicity mechanisms. Furthermore, it can guide researchers toward the design of less toxic ILs and the informed use of ILs in drug development and medicine.

RevDate: 2024-04-15

Nelson DR, Mystikou A, Jaiswal A, et al (2024)

Macroalgal deep genomics illuminate multiple paths to aquatic, photosynthetic multicellularity.

Molecular plant pii:S1674-2052(24)00084-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Macroalgae are multicellular, aquatic autotrophs that play vital roles in global climate maintenance and have diverse applications in biotechnology and eco-engineering, which are directly linked to their multicellularity phenotypes. However, their genomic diversity and the evolutionary mechanisms underlying multicellularity in these organisms remain uncharacterized. In this study, we sequenced 110 macroalgal genomes from diverse climates and phyla, and identified key genomic features that distinguish them from their microalgal relatives. Genes for cell adhesion, extracellular matrix formation, cell polarity, transport, and cell differentiation distinguish macroalgae from microalgae across all three major phyla, constituting conserved and unique gene sets supporting multicellular processes. Adhesome genes show phylum- and climate-specific expansions that may facilitate niche adaptation. Collectively, our study reveals genetic determinants of convergent and divergent evolutionary trajectories that have shaped morphological diversity in macroalgae and provides genome-wide frameworks to understand photosynthetic multicellular evolution in aquatic environments.

RevDate: 2024-04-15
CmpDate: 2024-04-15

Deng S, Gong H, Zhang D, et al (2024)

A statistical method for quantifying progenitor cells reveals incipient cell fate commitments.

Nature methods, 21(4):597-608.

Quantifying the number of progenitor cells that found an organ, tissue or cell population is of fundamental importance for understanding the development and homeostasis of a multicellular organism. Previous efforts rely on marker genes that are specifically expressed in progenitors. This strategy is, however, often hindered by the lack of ideal markers. Here we propose a general statistical method to quantify the progenitors of any tissues or cell populations in an organism, even in the absence of progenitor-specific markers, by exploring the cell phylogenetic tree that records the cell division history during development. The method, termed targeting coalescent analysis (TarCA), computes the probability that two randomly sampled cells of a tissue coalesce within the tissue-specific monophyletic clades. The inverse of this probability then serves as a measure of the progenitor number of the tissue. Both mathematic modeling and computer simulations demonstrated the high accuracy of TarCA, which was then validated using real data from nematode, fruit fly and mouse, all with related cell phylogenetic trees. We further showed that TarCA can be used to identify lineage-specific upregulated genes during embryogenesis, revealing incipient cell fate commitments in mouse embryos.

RevDate: 2024-04-13
CmpDate: 2024-04-12

Lindsey CR, Knoll AH, Herron MD, et al (2024)

Fossil-calibrated molecular clock data enable reconstruction of steps leading to differentiated multicellularity and anisogamy in the Volvocine algae.

BMC biology, 22(1):79.

BACKGROUND: Throughout its nearly four-billion-year history, life has undergone evolutionary transitions in which simpler subunits have become integrated to form a more complex whole. Many of these transitions opened the door to innovations that resulted in increased biodiversity and/or organismal efficiency. The evolution of multicellularity from unicellular forms represents one such transition, one that paved the way for cellular differentiation, including differentiation of male and female gametes. A useful model for studying the evolution of multicellularity and cellular differentiation is the volvocine algae, a clade of freshwater green algae whose members range from unicellular to colonial, from undifferentiated to completely differentiated, and whose gamete types can be isogamous, anisogamous, or oogamous. To better understand how multicellularity, differentiation, and gametes evolved in this group, we used comparative genomics and fossil data to establish a geologically calibrated roadmap of when these innovations occurred.

RESULTS: Our ancestral-state reconstructions, show that multicellularity arose independently twice in the volvocine algae. Our chronograms indicate multicellularity evolved during the Carboniferous-Triassic periods in Goniaceae + Volvocaceae, and possibly as early as the Cretaceous in Tetrabaenaceae. Using divergence time estimates we inferred when, and in what order, specific developmental changes occurred that led to differentiated multicellularity and oogamy. We find that in the volvocine algae the temporal sequence of developmental changes leading to differentiated multicellularity is much as proposed by David Kirk, and that multicellularity is correlated with the acquisition of anisogamy and oogamy. Lastly, morphological, molecular, and divergence time data suggest the possibility of cryptic species in Tetrabaenaceae.

CONCLUSIONS: Large molecular datasets and robust phylogenetic methods are bringing the evolutionary history of the volvocine algae more sharply into focus. Mounting evidence suggests that extant species in this group are the result of two independent origins of multicellularity and multiple independent origins of cell differentiation. Also, the origin of the Tetrabaenaceae-Goniaceae-Volvocaceae clade may be much older than previously thought. Finally, the possibility of cryptic species in the Tetrabaenaceae provides an exciting opportunity to study the recent divergence of lineages adapted to live in very different thermal environments.

RevDate: 2024-04-09
CmpDate: 2024-04-08

Wang H, Guan Z, L Zheng (2024)

Single-cell RNA sequencing explores the evolution of the ecosystem from leukoplakia to head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Scientific reports, 14(1):8097.

It has been found that progression from leukoplakia to head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a long-term process that may involve changes in the multicellular ecosystem. We acquired scRNA-seq samples information from gene expression omnibus and UCSC Xena database. The BEAM function was used to construct the pseudotime trajectory and analyze the differentially expressed genes in different branches. We used the ssGSEA method to explore the correlation between each cell subgroup and survival time, and obtained the cell subgroup related to prognosis. During the progression from leukoplakia to HNSCC, we found several prognostic cell subgroups, such as AURKB + epithelial cells, SFRP1 + fibroblasts, SLC7A8 + macrophages, FCER1A + CD1C + dendritic cells, and TRGC2 + NK/T cells. All cell subgroups had two different fates, one tending to cell proliferation, migration, and enhancement of angiogenesis capacity, and the other tending to inflammatory immune response, leukocyte chemotaxis, and T cell activation. Tumor-promoting genes such as CD163 and CD209 were highly expressed in the myeloid cells, and depletion marker genes such as TIGIT, LAG3 were highly expressed in NK/T cells. Our study may provide a reference for the molecular mechanism of HNSCC and theoretical basis for the development of new therapeutic strategies.

RevDate: 2024-04-09
CmpDate: 2024-04-09

Shao S, Liu K, Du J, et al (2024)

Functional characterization of serine proteinase inhibitor Kazal-Type in the red claw crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus.

Fish & shellfish immunology, 148:109525.

Serine protease inhibitors Kazal type (SPINKs) function in physiological and immunological processes across multicellular organisms. In the present study, we identified a SPINK gene, designated as CqSPINK, in the red claw crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus, which is the ortholog of human SPINK5. The deduced CqSPINK contains two Kazal domains consisting of 45 amino acid residues with a typical signature motif C-X3-C-X5-PVCG-X5-Y-X3-C-X6-C-X12-14-C. Each Kazal domain contains six conserved cysteine residues forming three pairs of disulfide bonds, segmenting the structure into three rings. Phylogenetic analysis revealed CqSPINK as a homolog of human SPINK5. CqSPINK expression was detected exclusively in hepatopancreas and epithelium, with rapid up-regulation in hepatopancreas upon Vibrio parahaemolyticus E1 challenge. Recombinant CqSPINK protein (rCqSPINK) was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli and purified for further study. Proteinase inhibition assays demonstrated that rCqSPINK could potently inhibit proteinase K and subtilisin A, weakly inhibit α-chymotrypsin and elastase, but extremely weak inhibit trypsin. Furthermore, CqSPINK inhibited bacterial secretory proteinase activity from Bacillus subtilis, E. coli, and Staphylococcus aureus, and inhibited B. subtilis growth. These findings suggest CqSPINK's involvement in antibacterial immunity through direct inhibition of bacterial proteases, contributing to resistance against pathogen invasion.

RevDate: 2024-03-30

Deng Y, Xia L, Zhang J, et al (2024)

Multicellular ecotypes shape progression of lung adenocarcinoma from ground-glass opacity toward advanced stages.

Cell reports. Medicine pii:S2666-3791(24)00135-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Lung adenocarcinoma is a type of cancer that exhibits a wide range of clinical radiological manifestations, from ground-glass opacity (GGO) to pure solid nodules, which vary greatly in terms of their biological characteristics. Our current understanding of this heterogeneity is limited. To address this gap, we analyze 58 lung adenocarcinoma patients via machine learning, single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), and whole-exome sequencing, and we identify six lung multicellular ecotypes (LMEs) correlating with distinct radiological patterns and cancer cell states. Notably, GGO-associated neoantigens in early-stage cancers are recognized by CD8[+] T cells, indicating an immune-active environment, while solid nodules feature an immune-suppressive LME with exhausted CD8[+] T cells, driven by specific stromal cells such as CTHCR1[+] fibroblasts. This study also highlights EGFR(L858R) neoantigens in GGO samples, suggesting potential CD8[+] T cell activation. Our findings offer valuable insights into lung adenocarcinoma heterogeneity, suggesting avenues for targeted therapies in early-stage disease.

RevDate: 2024-03-30

Kapsetaki SE, Cisneros LH, CC Maley (2024)

Cell-in-cell phenomena across the tree of life.

Scientific reports, 14(1):7535.

Cells in obligately multicellular organisms by definition have aligned fitness interests, minimum conflict, and cannot reproduce independently. However, some cells eat other cells within the same body, sometimes called cell cannibalism. Such cell-in-cell events have not been thoroughly discussed in the framework of major transitions to multicellularity. We performed a systematic screening of 508 articles, from which we chose 115 relevant articles in a search for cell-in-cell events across the tree of life, the age of cell-in-cell-related genes, and whether cell-in-cell events are associated with normal multicellular development or cancer. Cell-in-cell events are found across the tree of life, from some unicellular to many multicellular organisms, including non-neoplastic and neoplastic tissue. Additionally, out of the 38 cell-in-cell-related genes found in the literature, 14 genes were over 2.2 billion years old, i.e., older than the common ancestor of some facultatively multicellular taxa. All of this suggests that cell-in-cell events may have originated before the origins of obligate multicellularity. Thus, our results show that cell-in-cell events exist in obligate multicellular organisms, but are not a defining feature of them. The idea of eradicating cell-in-cell events from obligate multicellular organisms as a way of treating cancer, without considering that cell-in-cell events are also part of normal development, should be abandoned.

RevDate: 2024-03-28

Odelgard A, Hägglund E, Guy L, et al (2024)

Phylogeny and Expansion of Serine/Threonine Kinases in Phagocytotic Bacteria in the Phylum Planctomycetota.

Genome biology and evolution pii:7637138 [Epub ahead of print].

The recently isolated bacterium "Candidatus Uabimicrobium amorphum" is the only known prokaryote that can engulf other bacterial cells. Its proteome contains a high fraction of proteins involved in signal transduction systems, which is a feature normally associated with multicellularity in eukaryotes. Here, we present a protein-based phylogeny which shows that "Ca. Uabimicrobium amorphum" represents an early diverging lineage that clusters with the Saltatorellus clade within the phylum Planctomycetota. A gene flux analysis indicated a gain of 126 protein families for signal transduction functions in "Ca. Uabimicrobium amorphum", of which 66 families contained eukaryotic-like Serine/Threonine kinases (STKs) with Pkinase domains. In total, we predicted 525 functional STKs in "Ca. Uabimicrobium amorphum", which represent 8% of the proteome and is the highest fraction of STKs in a bacterial proteome. The majority of STKs in this species are membrane proteins and 30% contain long, tandem arrays of WD40 or TPR domains. The pKinase domain was predicted to be located in the cytoplasm, while the WD40 and TPR domains were predicted to be located in the periplasm. Such domain combinations were also identified in the STKs of other species in the Planctomycetota, although in much lower abundances. A phylogenetic analysis of the STKs in the Planctomycetota inferred from the Pkinase domain alone provided support for lineage-specific expansions of the STKs in "Ca. Uabimicrobium amorphum". The results imply that expansions of eukaryotic-like signal transduction systems are not restricted to multicellular organisms, but have occurred in parallel in prokaryotes with predatory lifestyles and phagocytotic-like behaviors.

RevDate: 2024-03-28
CmpDate: 2024-03-28

Domazet-Lošo M, Široki T, Šimičević K, et al (2024)

Macroevolutionary dynamics of gene family gain and loss along multicellular eukaryotic lineages.

Nature communications, 15(1):2663.

The gain and loss of genes fluctuate over evolutionary time in major eukaryotic clades. However, the full profile of these macroevolutionary trajectories is still missing. To give a more inclusive view on the changes in genome complexity across the tree of life, here we recovered the evolutionary dynamics of gene family gain and loss ranging from the ancestor of cellular organisms to 352 eukaryotic species. We show that in all considered lineages the gene family content follows a common evolutionary pattern, where the number of gene families reaches the highest value at a major evolutionary and ecological transition, and then gradually decreases towards extant organisms. This supports theoretical predictions and suggests that the genome complexity is often decoupled from commonly perceived organismal complexity. We conclude that simplification by gene family loss is a dominant force in Phanerozoic genomes of various lineages, probably underpinned by intense ecological specializations and functional outsourcing.

RevDate: 2024-03-27
CmpDate: 2024-03-27

Li R, Chen X, X Yang (2024)

Navigating the landscapes of spatial transcriptomics: How computational methods guide the way.

Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. RNA, 15(2):e1839.

Spatially resolved transcriptomics has been dramatically transforming biological and medical research in various fields. It enables transcriptome profiling at single-cell, multi-cellular, or sub-cellular resolution, while retaining the information of geometric localizations of cells in complex tissues. The coupling of cell spatial information and its molecular characteristics generates a novel multi-modal high-throughput data source, which poses new challenges for the development of analytical methods for data-mining. Spatial transcriptomic data are often highly complex, noisy, and biased, presenting a series of difficulties, many unresolved, for data analysis and generation of biological insights. In addition, to keep pace with the ever-evolving spatial transcriptomic experimental technologies, the existing analytical theories and tools need to be updated and reformed accordingly. In this review, we provide an overview and discussion of the current computational approaches for mining of spatial transcriptomics data. Future directions and perspectives of methodology design are proposed to stimulate further discussions and advances in new analytical models and algorithms. This article is categorized under: RNA Methods > RNA Analyses in Cells RNA Evolution and Genomics > Computational Analyses of RNA RNA Export and Localization > RNA Localization.

RevDate: 2024-03-25

Wielgoss S, Van Dyken JD, GJ Velicer (2024)

Mutation rate and effective population size of the model cooperative bacterium Myxococcus xanthus.

Genome biology and evolution pii:7634483 [Epub ahead of print].

Intrinsic rates of genetic mutation have diverged greatly across taxa and exhibit statistical associations with several other parameters and features. These include effective population size (Ne), genome size, and gametic multicellularity, with the latter being associated with both increased mutation rates and decreased effective population sizes. However, data sufficient to test for possible relationships between microbial multicellularity and mutation rate (µ) are lacking. Here we report estimates of two key population-genetic parameters, Ne and µ, for Myxococcus xanthus, a bacterial model organism for the study of aggregative multicellular development, predation, and social swarming. To estimate µ, we conducted an ∼400-day mutation-accumulation (MA) experiment with 46 lineages subjected to regular single colony bottlenecks prior to clonal regrowth. Upon conclusion, we sequenced one clonal-isolate genome per lineage. Given collective evolution for 85,323 generations across all lines, we calculate a per base-pair mutation rate of ∼5.5 × 10-10 per site per generation, one of the highest mutation rates among free-living eubacteria. Given our estimate of µ, we derived Ne at ∼107 from neutral diversity at four-fold degenerate sites across two dozen M. xanthus natural isolates. This estimate is below average for eubacteria and strengthens an already clear negative correlation between µ and Ne in prokaryotes. The higher and lower than average mutation rate and Ne for M. xanthus, respectively, amplify the question of whether any features of its multicellular life-cycle - such as group-size reduction during fruiting-body development - or its highly structured spatial distribution have significantly influenced how these parameters have evolved.

RevDate: 2024-03-23

Anonymous (2024)

Multicellularity drives ecological diversity in a long-term evolution experiment.

Nature ecology & evolution [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2024-03-25
CmpDate: 2024-03-25

Carreira de Paula J, García Olmedo P, Gómez-Moracho T, et al (2024)

Promastigote EPS secretion and haptomonad biofilm formation as evolutionary adaptations of trypanosomatid parasites for colonizing honeybee hosts.

NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, 10(1):27.

Bees are major pollinators involved in the maintenance of all terrestrial ecosystems. Biotic and abiotic factors placing these insects at risk is a research priority for ecological and agricultural sustainability. Parasites are one of the key players of this global decline and the study of their mechanisms of action is essential to control honeybee colony losses. Trypanosomatid parasites and particularly the Lotmaria passim are widely spread in honeybees, however their lifestyle is poorly understood. In this work, we show how these parasites are able to differentiate into a new parasitic lifestyle: the trypanosomatid biofilms. Using different microscopic techniques, we demonstrated that the secretion of Extracellular Polymeric Substances by free-swimming unicellular promastigote forms is a prerequisite for the generation and adherence of multicellular biofilms to solid surfaces in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, compared to human-infective trypanosomatid parasites our study shows how trypanosomatid parasites of honeybees increases their resistance and thus resilience to drastic changes in environmental conditions such as ultralow temperatures and hypoosmotic shock, which would explain their success thriving within or outside their hosts. These results set up the basis for the understanding of the success of this group of parasites in nature and to unveil the impact of such pathogens in honeybees, a keystones species in most terrestrial ecosystems.

RevDate: 2024-03-23

Phillips JE, D Pan (2024)

The Hippo kinase cascade regulates a contractile cell behavior and cell density in a close unicellular relative of animals.

eLife, 12:.

The genomes of close unicellular relatives of animals encode orthologs of many genes that regulate animal development. However, little is known about the function of such genes in unicellular organisms or the evolutionary process by which these genes came to function in multicellular development. The Hippo pathway, which regulates cell proliferation and tissue size in animals, is present in some of the closest unicellular relatives of animals, including the amoeboid organism Capsaspora owczarzaki. We previously showed that the Capsaspora ortholog of the Hippo pathway nuclear effector Yorkie/YAP/TAZ (coYki) regulates actin dynamics and the three-dimensional morphology of Capsaspora cell aggregates, but is dispensable for cell proliferation control (Phillips et al., 2022). However, the function of upstream Hippo pathway components, and whether and how they regulate coYki in Capsaspora, remained unknown. Here, we analyze the function of the upstream Hippo pathway kinases coHpo and coWts in Capsaspora by generating mutant lines for each gene. Loss of either kinase results in increased nuclear localization of coYki, indicating an ancient, premetazoan origin of this Hippo pathway regulatory mechanism. Strikingly, we find that loss of either kinase causes a contractile cell behavior and increased density of cell packing within Capsaspora aggregates. We further show that this increased cell density is not due to differences in proliferation, but rather actomyosin-dependent changes in the multicellular architecture of aggregates. Given its well-established role in cell density-regulated proliferation in animals, the increased density of cell packing in coHpo and coWts mutants suggests a shared and possibly ancient and conserved function of the Hippo pathway in cell density control. Together, these results implicate cytoskeletal regulation but not proliferation as an ancestral function of the Hippo pathway kinase cascade and uncover a novel role for Hippo signaling in regulating cell density in a proliferation-independent manner.

RevDate: 2024-03-22

Dsilva GJ, S Galande (2024)

From sequence to consequence: Deciphering the complex cisregulatory landscape.

Journal of biosciences, 49:.

Cell type-specific expression of genes plays a pivotal role in the development and evolution of multicellular organisms over millions of years. The majority of regulatory control resides within the non-coding regions of the genome, referred to as 'dark matter', which contains cis-regulatory modules. These cis-regulatory modules function collectively and can impact gene expression even when located far from the target gene, exhibiting context-specific behaviour. Consequently, the cis-regulatory code governing gene expression patterns is intricate, in contrast to the universally understood genetic code. This overview centres on the current knowledge regarding cis-regulatory elements, primarily enhancers and their role in governing the spatiotemporal gene expression patterns, and how they have evolved and adapted across different species.

RevDate: 2024-03-21

Luthringer R, Raphalen M, Guerra C, et al (2024)

Repeated co-option of HMG-box genes for sex determination in brown algae and animals.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 383(6689):eadk5466.

In many eukaryotes, genetic sex determination is not governed by XX/XY or ZW/ZZ systems but by a specialized region on the poorly studied U (female) or V (male) sex chromosomes. Previous studies have hinted at the existence of a dominant male-sex factor on the V chromosome in brown algae, a group of multicellular eukaryotes distantly related to animals and plants. The nature of this factor has remained elusive. Here, we demonstrate that an HMG-box gene acts as the male-determining factor in brown algae, mirroring the role HMG-box genes play in sex determination in animals. Over a billion-year evolutionary timeline, these lineages have independently co-opted the HMG box for male determination, representing a paradigm for evolution's ability to recurrently use the same genetic "toolkit" to accomplish similar tasks.

RevDate: 2024-03-20

Narula K, Sinha A, Choudhary P, et al (2024)

Combining extracellular matrix proteome and phosphoproteome of chickpea and meta-analysis reveal novel proteoforms and evolutionary significance of clade-specific wall-associated events in plant.

Plant direct, 8(3):e572.

Extracellular matrix (ECM) plays central roles in cell architecture, innate defense and cell wall integrity (CWI) signaling. During transition to multicellularity, modular domain structures of ECM proteins and proteoforms have evolved due to continuous adaptation across taxonomic clades under different ecological niche. Although this incredible diversity has to some extent been investigated at protein level, extracellular phosphorylation events and molecular evolution of ECM proteoform families remains unexplored. We developed matrisome proteoform atlas in a grain legume, chickpea and performed meta-analyses of 74 plant matrisomes. MS/MS analysis identified 1,424 proteins and 315 phosphoproteins involved in diverse functions. Cross-species ECM protein network identified proteoforms associated with CWI maintenance system. Phylogenetic characterization of eighteen matrix protein families highlighted the role of taxon-specific paralogs and orthologs. Novel information was acquired on gene expansion and loss, co-divergence, sub functionalization and neofunctionalization during evolution. Modular networks of matrix protein families and hub proteins showed higher diversity across taxonomic clades than among organs. Furthermore, protein families differ in nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution rates. Our study pointed towards the matrix proteoform functionality, sequence divergence variation, interactions between wall remodelers and molecular evolution using a phylogenetic framework. This is the first report on comprehensive matrisome proteoform network illustrating presence of CWI signaling proteins in land plants.

RevDate: 2024-03-20
CmpDate: 2024-03-20

Földi C, Merényi Z, Balázs B, et al (2024)

Snowball: a novel gene family required for developmental patterning of fruiting bodies of mushroom-forming fungi (Agaricomycetes).

mSystems, 9(3):e0120823.

UNLABELLED: The morphogenesis of sexual fruiting bodies of fungi is a complex process determined by a genetically encoded program. Fruiting bodies reached the highest complexity levels in the Agaricomycetes; yet, the underlying genetics is currently poorly known. In this work, we functionally characterized a highly conserved gene termed snb1, whose expression level increases rapidly during fruiting body initiation. According to phylogenetic analyses, orthologs of snb1 are present in almost all agaricomycetes and may represent a novel conserved gene family that plays a substantial role in fruiting body development. We disrupted snb1 using CRISPR/Cas9 in the agaricomycete model organism Coprinopsis cinerea. snb1 deletion mutants formed unique, snowball-shaped, rudimentary fruiting bodies that could not differentiate caps, stipes, and lamellae. We took advantage of this phenotype to study fruiting body differentiation using RNA-Seq analyses. This revealed differentially regulated genes and gene families that, based on wild-type RNA-Seq data, were upregulated early during development and showed tissue-specific expression, suggesting a potential role in differentiation. Taken together, the novel gene family of snb1 and the differentially expressed genes in the snb1 mutants provide valuable insights into the complex mechanisms underlying developmental patterning in the Agaricomycetes.

IMPORTANCE: Fruiting bodies of mushroom-forming fungi (Agaricomycetes) are complex multicellular structures, with a spatially and temporally integrated developmental program that is, however, currently poorly known. In this study, we present a novel, conserved gene family, Snowball (snb), termed after the unique, differentiation-less fruiting body morphology of snb1 knockout strains in the model mushroom Coprinopsis cinerea. snb is a gene of unknown function that is highly conserved among agaricomycetes and encodes a protein of unknown function. A comparative transcriptomic analysis of the early developmental stages of differentiated wild-type and non-differentiated mutant fruiting bodies revealed conserved differentially expressed genes which may be related to tissue differentiation and developmental patterning fruiting body development.

RevDate: 2024-03-18

Piccini C, Martínez de la Escalera G, Segura A, et al (2024)

The Microcystis-microbiome interactions: origins of the colonial lifestyle.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:7631344 [Epub ahead of print].

Species of the Microcystis genus are the most common bloom-forming toxic cyanobacteria worldwide. They belong to a clade of unicellular cyanobacteria whose ability to reach high biomasses during blooms is linked to the formation of colonies. Colonial lifestyle provides several advantages under stressing conditions of light intensity, ultraviolet light, toxic substances and grazing. The progression from a single-celled organism to multicellularity in Microcystis has usually been interpreted as individual phenotypic responses of the cyanobacterial cells to the environment. Here, we synthesize current knowledge about Microcystis colonial lifestyle and its role in the organism ecology. We then briefly review the available information on Microcystis microbiome and propose that changes leading from single cells to colonies are the consequence of specific and tightly regulated signals between the cyanobacterium and its microbiome through a biofilm-like mechanism. The resulting colony is a multi-specific community of interdependent microorganisms.

RevDate: 2024-03-18

Bozdag GO, Szeinbaum N, Conlin PL, et al (2024)

Chapter 5: Major Biological Innovations in the History of Life on Earth.

Astrobiology, 24(S1):S107-S123.

All organisms living on Earth descended from a single, common ancestral population of cells, known as LUCA-the last universal common ancestor. Since its emergence, the diversity and complexity of life have increased dramatically. This chapter focuses on four key biological innovations throughout Earth's history that had a significant impact on the expansion of phylogenetic diversity, organismal complexity, and ecospace habitation. First is the emergence of the last universal common ancestor, LUCA, which laid the foundation for all life-forms on Earth. Second is the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis, which resulted in global geochemical and biological transformations. Third is the appearance of a new type of cell-the eukaryotic cell-which led to the origin of a new domain of life and the basis for complex multicellularity. Fourth is the multiple independent origins of multicellularity, resulting in the emergence of a new level of complex individuality. A discussion of these four key events will improve our understanding of the intertwined history of our planet and its inhabitants and better inform the extent to which we can expect life at different degrees of diversity and complexity elsewhere.

RevDate: 2024-03-18

Hörandl E (2024)

Apomixis and the paradox of sex in plants.

Annals of botany pii:7630939 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The predominance of sex in eukaryotes, despite the high costs of meiosis and mating, is still an evolutionary enigma. Many theories have been proposed, none of them being conclusive on its own, and they are partly not well applicable to land plants. Sexual reproduction is obligate in embryophytes for the great majority of species.

SCOPE: This review will compare the main forms of sexual and asexual reproduction in ferns and angiosperms, based on the generation cycling of sporophyte and gametophyte (leaving vegetative propagation aside). The benefits of sexual reproduction for maintenance of genomic integrity compared to asexuality will be discussed in the light of developmental, evolutionary, genetic and phylogenetic studies.

CONCLUSIONS: Asexual reproduction represents modifications of the sexual pathway, with various forms of facultative sexuality. For sexual land plants, meiosis provides direct DNA repair mechanisms of oxidative damage in reproductive tissues. The ploidy alternations of meiosis-syngamy cycles, and prolonged, multicellular stages in the haploid phase in the gametophytes provide a high efficiency of purifying selection against recessive deleterious mutations. Asexual lineages might buffer effects of such mutations via polyploidy, and can purge the mutational load via facultative sexuality. The role of organelle-nuclear genome compatibility for maintenance of genome integrity is still not well understood. The costs of mating are in plants in general low because of predominant hermaphroditism. Phylogenetic patterns in the Archaeplastid clade suggest that high frequencies of sexuality in land plants are concomitant with a stepwise increase of intrinsic and extrinsic stress factors. Furthermore, expansion of genome size in land plants would increase the potential mutational load. Sexual reproduction appears to be essential for keeping long term genomic integrity, and only rare combinations of extrinsic and intrinsic factors allow for shifts to asexuality.

RevDate: 2024-03-18
CmpDate: 2024-03-18

Bing J, Guan Z, Zheng T, et al (2024)

Rapid evolution of an adaptive multicellular morphology of Candida auris during systemic infection.

Nature communications, 15(1):2381.

Candida auris has become a serious threat to public health. The mechanisms of how this fungal pathogen adapts to the mammalian host are poorly understood. Here we report the rapid evolution of an adaptive C. auris multicellular aggregative morphology in the murine host during systemic infection. C. auris aggregative cells accumulate in the brain and exhibit obvious advantages over the single-celled yeast-form cells during systemic infection. Genetic mutations, specifically de novo point mutations in genes associated with cell division or budding processes, underlie the rapid evolution of this aggregative phenotype. Most mutated C. auris genes are associated with the regulation of cell wall integrity, cytokinesis, cytoskeletal properties, and cellular polarization. Moreover, the multicellular aggregates are notably more recalcitrant to the host antimicrobial peptides LL-37 and PACAP relative to the single-celled yeast-form cells. Overall, to survive in the host, C. auris can rapidly evolve a multicellular aggregative morphology via genetic mutations.

RevDate: 2024-03-16

Li X, Gao T, Ma X, et al (2024)

Extraction and identification of exosomes from three different sources of human ovarian granulosa cells and analysis of their differential miRNA expression profiles.

Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: As important functional cells in the ovary, ovarian granulosa cells are involved in the regulation of oocyte growth and development and play an important role in the study of female fertility preservation. Based on the importance of granulosa cell functionalism, in this study, we analyzed the exosome secretion capacity of human ovarian granulosa cells (SVOG/KGN-cell line, PGC-primary cells) and the differences in their miRNA expression.

METHODS: Cells were identified by hematoxylin-eosin staining (HE) and FSHR immunofluorescence staining; CCK8 and colony-forming assay were performed to compare cell proliferation capacity; exosomes were extracted and identified by ultra-high speed centrifugation, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA), and western blot analysis (WB), and the expression profile of each cellular exosomal miRNA was analyzed by miRNA high-throughput sequencing.

RESULTS: The proliferative abilities of the three granulosa cells differed, but all had the ability to secrete exosomes. In the exosomes of SVOG, KGN, and PGC cells, 218, 327, and 471 miRNAs were detected, respectively. When compared to the exosomal miRNAs of PGC cells, 111 miRNAs were significantly different in SVOG, and 70 miRNAs were washed two significantly different in KGN cells. These differential miRNA functions were mainly enriched in the cell cycle, cell division/differentiation, multicellular biogenesis, and protein binding.

CONCLUSION: Human ovarian granulosa cells of different origins are capable of secreting exosomes, but there are still some differences in their exosomes and exosomal miRNAs, and experimental subjects should be selected rationally according to the actual situation.

RevDate: 2024-03-15

Pineau RM, Libby E, Demory D, et al (2024)

Emergence and maintenance of stable coexistence during a long-term multicellular evolution experiment.

Nature ecology & evolution [Epub ahead of print].

The evolution of multicellular life spurred evolutionary radiations, fundamentally changing many of Earth's ecosystems. Yet little is known about how early steps in the evolution of multicellularity affect eco-evolutionary dynamics. Through long-term experimental evolution, we observed niche partitioning and the adaptive divergence of two specialized lineages from a single multicellular ancestor. Over 715 daily transfers, snowflake yeast were subjected to selection for rapid growth, followed by selection favouring larger group size. Small and large cluster-forming lineages evolved from a monomorphic ancestor, coexisting for over ~4,300 generations, specializing on divergent aspects of a trade-off between growth rate and survival. Through modelling and experimentation, we demonstrate that coexistence is maintained by a trade-off between organismal size and competitiveness for dissolved oxygen. Taken together, this work shows how the evolution of a new level of biological individuality can rapidly drive adaptive diversification and the expansion of a nascent multicellular niche, one of the most historically impactful emergent properties of this evolutionary transition.

RevDate: 2024-03-15
CmpDate: 2024-03-15

Wu Z, Liu D, Ou Y, et al (2024)

Mechanism and endoscopic-treatment-induced evolution of biliary non-anastomotic stricture after liver transplantation revealed by single-cell RNA sequencing.

Clinical and translational medicine, 14(3):e1622.

BACKGROUND: Biliary complications, especially non-anastomotic stricture (NAS), are the main complications after liver transplantation. Insufficient sampling and no recognized animal models obstruct the investigation. Thus, the mechanisms and alterations that occur during endoscopic treatment (ET) of NAS remain unclear.

METHODS: Samples were obtained with endoscopic forceps from the hilar bile ducts of NAS patients receiving continuous biliary stent implantation after diagnosis. Retrospective analysis of multiple studies indicated that the duration of ET for NAS was approximately 1-2 years. Thus, we divided the patients into short-term treatment (STT) and long-term treatment (LTT) groups based on durations of less or more than 1 year. Samples were subjected to single-cell RNA sequencing. Transcriptomic differences between STT and normal groups were defined as the NAS mechanism. Similarly, alterations from STT to LTT groups were regarded as endoscopic-treatment-induced evolution.

RESULTS: In NAS, inflammation and immune-related pathways were upregulated in different cell types, with nonimmune cells showing hypoxia pathway upregulation and immune cells showing ATP metabolism pathway upregulation, indicating heterogeneity. We confirmed a reduction in bile acid metabolism-related SPP1[+] epithelial cells in NAS. Increases in proinflammatory and profibrotic fibroblast subclusters indicated fibrotic progression in NAS. Furthermore, immune disorders in NAS were exacerbated by an increase in plasma cells and dysfunction of NK and NKT cells. ET downregulated multicellular immune and inflammatory responses and restored epithelial and endothelial cell proportions.

CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals the pathophysiological and genetic mechanisms and evolution of NAS induced by ET, thereby providing preventive and therapeutic insights into NAS.

HIGHLIGHTS: For the first time, single-cell transcriptome sequencing was performed on the bile ducts of patients with biliary complications. scRNA-seq analysis revealed distinct changes in the proportion and phenotype of multiple cell types during Nonanastomotic stricture (NAS) and endoscopic treatment. A reduction in bile acid metabolism-related SPP1+ epithelial cells and VEGFA+ endothelial cells, along with explosive infiltration of plasma cells and dysfunction of T and NK cells in NAS patients. SPP1+ macrophages and BST2+ T cells might serve as a surrogate marker for predicting endoscopic treatment.

RevDate: 2024-03-14

von Hoyningen-Huene AJE, Bang C, Rausch P, et al (2024)

The archaeome in metaorganism research, with a focus on marine models and their bacteria-archaea interactions.

Frontiers in microbiology, 15:1347422.

Metaorganism research contributes substantially to our understanding of the interaction between microbes and their hosts, as well as their co-evolution. Most research is currently focused on the bacterial community, while archaea often remain at the sidelines of metaorganism-related research. Here, we describe the archaeome of a total of eleven classical and emerging multicellular model organisms across the phylogenetic tree of life. To determine the microbial community composition of each host, we utilized a combination of archaea and bacteria-specific 16S rRNA gene amplicons. Members of the two prokaryotic domains were described regarding their community composition, diversity, and richness in each multicellular host. Moreover, association with specific hosts and possible interaction partners between the bacterial and archaeal communities were determined for the marine models. Our data show that the archaeome in marine hosts predominantly consists of Nitrosopumilaceae and Nanoarchaeota, which represent keystone taxa among the porifera. The presence of an archaeome in the terrestrial hosts varies substantially. With respect to abundant archaeal taxa, they harbor a higher proportion of methanoarchaea over the aquatic environment. We find that the archaeal community is much less diverse than its bacterial counterpart. Archaeal amplicon sequence variants are usually host-specific, suggesting adaptation through co-evolution with the host. While bacterial richness was higher in the aquatic than the terrestrial hosts, a significant difference in diversity and richness between these groups could not be observed in the archaeal dataset. Our data show a large proportion of unclassifiable archaeal taxa, highlighting the need for improved cultivation efforts and expanded databases.

RevDate: 2024-03-14
CmpDate: 2024-03-14

Jung J, Loschko T, Reich S, et al (2024)

Newly identified nematodes from the Great Salt Lake are associated with microbialites and specially adapted to hypersaline conditions.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 291(2018):20232653.

Extreme environments enable the study of simplified food-webs and serve as models for evolutionary bottlenecks and early Earth ecology. We investigated the biodiversity of invertebrate meiofauna in the benthic zone of the Great Salt Lake (GSL), Utah, USA, one of the most hypersaline lake systems in the world. The hypersaline bays within the GSL are currently thought to support only two multicellular animals: brine fly larvae and brine shrimp. Here, we report the presence, habitat, and microbial interactions of novel free-living nematodes. Nematode diversity drops dramatically along a salinity gradient from a freshwater river into the south arm of the lake. In Gilbert Bay, nematodes primarily inhabit reef-like organosedimentary structures built by bacteria called microbialites. These structures likely provide a protective barrier to UV and aridity, and bacterial associations within them may support life in hypersaline environments. Notably, sampling from Owens Lake, another terminal lake in the Great Basin that lacks microbialites, did not recover nematodes from similar salinities. Phylogenetic divergence suggests that GSL nematodes represent previously undescribed members of the family Monhysteridae-one of the dominant fauna of the abyssal zone and deep-sea hydrothermal vents. These findings update our understanding of halophile ecosystems and the habitable limit of animals.

RevDate: 2024-03-13

Jiménez-López D, Xoconostle-Cázares B, Calderón-Pérez B, et al (2024)

Evolutionary and Structural Analysis of PP16 in Viridiplantae.

International journal of molecular sciences, 25(5): pii:ijms25052839.

Members of the phloem protein 16 (PP16) gene family are induced by elicitors in rice and the corresponding proteins from cucurbits, which display RNA binding and intercellular transport activities, are accumulated in phloem sap. These proteins facilitate the movement of protein complexes through the phloem translocation flow and may be involved in the response to water deficit, among other functions. However, there is scant information regarding their function in other plants, including the identification of paralog genes in non-vascular plants and chlorophytes. In the present work, an evolutionary and structural analysis of the PP16 family in green plants (Viridiplantae) was carried out. Data mining in different databases indicated that PP16 likely originated from a larger gene present in an ancestral lineage that gave rise to chlorophytes and multicellular plants. This gene encodes a protein related to synaptotagmin, which is involved in vesicular transport in animal systems, although other members of this family play a role in lipid turnover in endomembranes and organelles. These proteins contain a membrane-binding C2 domain shared with PP16 proteins in vascular plants. In silico analysis of the predicted structure of the PP16 protein family identified several β-sheets, one α-helix, and intrinsically disordered regions. PP16 may have been originally involved in vesicular trafficking and/or membrane maintenance but specialized in long-distance signaling during the emergence of the plant vascular system.

RevDate: 2024-03-12

Cui L, Zhu K, Li R, et al (2024)

The Cambrian microfossil Qingjiangonema reveals the co-evolution of sulfate-reducing bacteria and the oxygenation of Earth's surface.

Science bulletin pii:S2095-9273(24)00145-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Sulfate reduction is an essential metabolism that maintains biogeochemical cycles in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Sulfate reducers are exclusively prokaryotic, phylogenetically diverse, and may have evolved early in Earth's history. However, their origin is elusive and unequivocal fossils are lacking. Here we report a new microfossil, Qingjiangonema cambria, from ∼518-million-year-old black shales that yield the Qingjiang biota. Qingjiangonema is a long filamentous form comprising hundreds of cells filled by equimorphic and equidimensional pyrite microcrystals with a light sulfur isotope composition. Multiple lines of evidence indicate Qingjiangonema was a sulfate-reducing bacterium that exhibits similar patterns of cell organization to filamentous forms within the phylum Desulfobacterota, including the sulfate-reducing Desulfonema and sulfide-oxidizing cable bacteria. Phylogenomic analyses confirm separate, independent origins of multicellularity in Desulfonema and in cable bacteria. Molecular clock analyses infer that the Desulfobacterota, which encompass a majority of sulfate-reducing taxa, diverged ∼2.41 billion years ago during the Paleoproterozoic Great Oxygenation Event, while cable bacteria diverged ∼0.56 billion years ago during or immediately after the Neoproterozoic Oxygenation Event. Taken together, we interpret Qingjiangonema as a multicellular sulfate-reducing microfossil and propose that cable bacteria evolved from a multicellular filamentous sulfate-reducing ancestor. We infer that the diversification of the Desulfobacterota and the origin of cable bacteria may have been responses to oxygenation events in Earth's history.

RevDate: 2024-03-11

Borland G, Wilkie SE, Thomson J, et al (2024)

Polr3b heterozygosity in mice induces both beneficial and deleterious effects on health during ageing with no effect on lifespan.

Aging cell [Epub ahead of print].

The genetic pathways that modulate ageing in multicellular organisms are typically highly conserved across wide evolutionary distances. Recently RNA polymerase III (Pol III) was shown to promote ageing in yeast, C. elegans and D. melanogaster. In this study we investigated the role of Pol III in mammalian ageing using C57BL/6N mice heterozygous for Pol III (Polr3b[+/-]). We identified sexually dimorphic, organ-specific beneficial as well as detrimental effects of the Polr3b[+/-] mutation on health. Female Polr3b[+/-] mice displayed improved bone health during ageing, but their ability to maintain an effective gut barrier function was compromised and they were susceptible to idiopathic dermatitis (ID). In contrast, male Polr3b[+/-] mice were lighter than wild-type (WT) males and had a significantly improved gut barrier function in old age. Several metabolic parameters were affected by both age and sex, but no genotype differences were detected. Neither male nor female Polr3b[+/-] mice were long-lived compared to WT controls. Overall, we find no evidence that a reduced Pol III activity extends mouse lifespan but we do find some potential organ- and sex-specific benefits for old-age health.

RevDate: 2024-03-10

Libertini G (2023)

Phenoptosis and the Various Types of Natural Selection.

Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 88(12):2007-2022.

In the first description of evolution, the fundamental mechanism is the natural selection favoring the individuals best suited for survival and reproduction (selection at the individual level or classical Darwinian selection). However, this is a very reductive description of natural selection that does not consider or explain a long series of known phenomena, including those in which an individual sacrifices or jeopardizes his life on the basis of genetically determined mechanisms (i.e., phenoptosis). In fact, in addition to (i) selection at the individual level, it is essential to consider other types of natural selection such as those concerning: (ii) kin selection and some related forms of group selection; (iii) the interactions between the innumerable species that constitute a holobiont; (iv) the origin of the eukaryotic cell from prokaryotic organisms; (v) the origin of multicellular eukaryotic organisms from unicellular organisms; (vi) eusociality (e.g., in many species of ants, bees, termites); (vii) selection at the level of single genes, or groups of genes; (viii) the interactions between individuals (or more precisely their holobionts) of the innumerable species that make up an ecosystem. These forms of natural selection, which are all effects and not violations of the classical Darwinian selection, also show how concepts as life, species, individual, and phenoptosis are somewhat not entirely defined and somehow arbitrary. Furthermore, the idea of organisms selected on the basis of their survival and reproduction capabilities is intertwined with that of organisms also selected on the basis of their ability to cooperate and interact, even by losing their lives or their distinct identities.

RevDate: 2024-03-11
CmpDate: 2024-03-11

Stanojković A, Skoupý S, Johannesson H, et al (2024)

The global speciation continuum of the cyanobacterium Microcoleus.

Nature communications, 15(1):2122.

Speciation is a continuous process driven by genetic, geographic, and ecological barriers to gene flow. It is widely investigated in multicellular eukaryotes, yet we are only beginning to comprehend the relative importance of mechanisms driving the emergence of barriers to gene flow in microbial populations. Here, we explored the diversification of the nearly ubiquitous soil cyanobacterium Microcoleus. Our dataset consisted of 291 genomes, of which 202 strains and eight herbarium specimens were sequenced for this study. We found that Microcoleus represents a global speciation continuum of at least 12 lineages, which radiated during Eocene/Oligocene aridification and exhibit varying degrees of divergence and gene flow. The lineage divergence has been driven by selection, geographical distance, and the environment. Evidence of genetic divergence and selection was widespread across the genome, but we identified regions of exceptional differentiation containing candidate genes associated with stress response and biosynthesis of secondary metabolites.

RevDate: 2024-03-10

Montrose K, Lac DT, Burnetti AJ, et al (2024)

Proteostatic tuning underpins the evolution of novel multicellular traits.

Science advances, 10(10):eadn2706.

The evolution of multicellularity paved the way for the origin of complex life on Earth, but little is known about the mechanistic basis of early multicellular evolution. Here, we examine the molecular basis of multicellular adaptation in the multicellularity long-term evolution experiment (MuLTEE). We demonstrate that cellular elongation, a key adaptation underpinning increased biophysical toughness and organismal size, is convergently driven by down-regulation of the chaperone Hsp90. Mechanistically, Hsp90-mediated morphogenesis operates by destabilizing the cyclin-dependent kinase Cdc28, resulting in delayed mitosis and prolonged polarized growth. Reinstatement of Hsp90 or Cdc28 expression resulted in shortened cells that formed smaller groups with reduced multicellular fitness. Together, our results show how ancient protein folding systems can be tuned to drive rapid evolution at a new level of biological individuality by revealing novel developmental phenotypes.

RevDate: 2024-03-06

Park S, SW Cho (2024)

Bioengineering toolkits for potentiating organoid therapeutics.

Advanced drug delivery reviews pii:S0169-409X(24)00060-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Organoids are three-dimensional, multicellular constructs that recapitulate the structural and functional features of specific organs. Because of these characteristics, organoids have been widely applied in biomedical research in recent decades. Remarkable advancements in organoid technology have positioned them as promising candidates for regenerative medicine. However, current organoids still have limitations, such as the absence of internal vasculature, limited functionality, and a small size that is not commensurate with that of actual organs. These limitations hinder their survival and regenerative effects after transplantation. Another significant concern is the reliance on mouse tumor-derived matrix in organoid culture, which is unsuitable for clinical translation due to its tumor origin and safety issues. Therefore, our aim is to describe engineering strategies and alternative biocompatible materials that can facilitate the practical applications of organoids in regenerative medicine. Furthermore, we highlight meaningful progress in organoid transplantation, with a particular emphasis on the functional restoration of various organs.

RevDate: 2024-03-05

Prondzynski M, Pioner JM, Sala L, et al (2024)

Editorial: Advances in pluripotent stem cell-based in vitro models of the human heart for cardiac physiology, disease modeling and clinical applications.

Frontiers in physiology, 15:1378495 pii:1378495.

RevDate: 2024-03-04

Szathmáry E (2024)

Nonadaptive onset of complex multicellularity.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 121(11):e2401220121.

RevDate: 2024-03-04

Matsumoto H, M Ueda (2024)

Polarity establishment in the plant zygote at a glance.

Journal of cell science, 137(5):.

The complex structures of multicellular organisms originate from a unicellular zygote. In most angiosperms, including Arabidopsis thaliana, the zygote is distinctly polar and divides asymmetrically to produce an apical cell, which generates the aboveground part of the plant body, and a basal cell, which generates the root tip and extraembryonic suspensor. Thus, zygote polarity is pivotal for establishing the apical-basal axis running from the shoot apex to the root tip of the plant body. The molecular mechanisms and spatiotemporal dynamics behind zygote polarization remain elusive. However, advances in live-cell imaging of plant zygotes have recently made significant insights possible. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and the accompanying poster, we summarize our understanding of the early steps in apical-basal axis formation in Arabidopsis, with a focus on de novo transcriptional activation after fertilization and the intracellular dynamics leading to the first asymmetric division of the zygote.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Bayer EM, Y Benitez-Alfonso (2024)

Plasmodesmata: Channels Under Pressure.

Annual review of plant biology [Epub ahead of print].

Multicellularity has emerged multiple times in evolution, enabling groups of cells to share a living space and reducing the burden of solitary tasks. While unicellular organisms exhibit individuality and independence, cooperation among cells in multicellular organisms brings specialization and flexibility. However, multicellularity also necessitates intercellular dependence and relies on intercellular communication. In plants, this communication is facilitated by plasmodesmata: intercellular bridges that allow the direct (cytoplasm-to-cytoplasm) transfer of information between cells. Plasmodesmata transport essential molecules that regulate plant growth, development, and stress responses. They are embedded in the extracellular matrix but exhibit flexibility, adapting intercellular flux to meet the plant's needs. In this review, we delve into the formation and functionality of plasmodesmata and examine the capacity of the plant communication network to respond to developmental and environmental cues. We illustrate how environmental pressure shapes cellular interactions and aids the plant in adapting its growth. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Plant Biology, Volume 75 is May 2024. Please see for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2024-03-04
CmpDate: 2024-03-04

Nino Barreat JG, A Katzourakis (2024)

Ecological and evolutionary dynamics of cell-virus-virophage systems.

PLoS computational biology, 20(2):e1010925.

Microbial eukaryotes, giant viruses and virophages form a unique hyperparasitic system. Virophages are parasites of the virus transcription machinery and can interfere with virus replication, resulting in a benefit to the eukaryotic host population. Surprisingly, virophages can integrate into the genomes of their cell or virus hosts, and have been shown to reactivate during coinfection. This raises questions about the role of integration in the dynamics of cell-virus-virophage systems. We use mathematical models and computational simulations to understand the effect of virophage integration on populations of cells and viruses. We also investigate multicellularity and programmed cell-death (PCD) as potential antiviral defence strategies used by cells. We found that virophages which enter the cell independently of the host virus, such as Mavirus, are expected to integrate commonly into the genomes of their cell hosts. Our models suggest that integrations from virophages without an independent mode of entry like Sputnik, are less likely to become fixed in the cell host population. Alternatively, we found that Sputnik virophages can stably persist integrated in the virus population, as long as they do not completely inhibit virus replication. We also show that increasing virophage inhibition can stabilise oscillatory dynamics, which may explain the long-term persistence of viruses and virophages in the environment. Our results demonstrate that inhibition by virophages and multicellularity are effective antiviral strategies that may act in synergy against viral infection in microbial species.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Woudenberg S, Hadid F, Weijers D, et al (2024)

The maternal embrace: the protection of plant embryos.

Journal of experimental botany pii:7613627 [Epub ahead of print].

All land plants - the embryophytes - produce multicellular embryos, as other multicellular organisms, such as brown algae and animals. A unique characteristic of plant embryos is their immobile and confined nature. Their embedding in maternal tissues may offer protection from the environment, but also physically constrains development. Across the different land plants, a huge discrepancy is present between their reproductive structures whilst leading to similarly complex embryos. Therefore, we review the roles that maternal tissues play in the control of embryogenesis across land plants. These nurturing, constraining, and protective roles include both direct and indirect effects. In this review, we explore how the maternal surroundings affect embryogenesis and which chemical and mechanical barriers are in place. We regard these questions through the lens of evolution, and identify key questions for future research.

RevDate: 2024-02-22

Ratajczak MZ, J Ratajczak (2024)

Leukemogenesis occurs in a microenvironment enriched by extracellular microvesicles/exosomes: recent discoveries and questions to be answered.

Leukemia [Epub ahead of print].

In single-cell organisms, extracellular microvesicles (ExMVs) were one of the first cell-cell communication platforms that emerged very early during evolution. Multicellular organisms subsequently adapted this mechanism. Evidence indicates that all types of cells secrete these small circular structures surrounded by a lipid membrane that may be encrusted by ligands and receptors interacting with target cells and harboring inside a cargo comprising RNA species, proteins, bioactive lipids, signaling nucleotides, and even entire organelles "hijacked" from the cells of origin. ExMVs are secreted by normal cells and at higher levels by malignant cells, and there are some differences in their cargo. On the one hand, ExMVs secreted from malignant cells interact with cells in the microenvironment, and in return, they are exposed by a "two-way mechanism" to ExMVs secreted by non-leukemic cells. Therefore, leukemogenesis occurs and progresses in ExMVs enriched microenvironments, and this biological fact has pathologic, diagnostic, and therapeutic implications. We are still trying to decipher this intriguing cell-cell communication language better. We will present a current point of view on this topic and review some selected most recent discoveries and papers.

RevDate: 2024-02-22

Ilker E, M Hinczewski (2024)

Bioenergetic costs and the evolution of noise regulation by microRNAs.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 121(9):e2308796121.

Noise control, together with other regulatory functions facilitated by microRNAs (miRNAs), is believed to have played important roles in the evolution of multicellular eukaryotic organisms. miRNAs can dampen protein fluctuations via enhanced degradation of messenger RNA (mRNA), but this requires compensation by increased mRNA transcription to maintain the same expression levels. The overall mechanism is metabolically expensive, leading to questions about how it might have evolved in the first place. We develop a stochastic model of miRNA noise regulation, coupled with a detailed analysis of the associated metabolic costs. Additionally, we calculate binding free energies for a range of miRNA seeds, the short sequences which govern target recognition. We argue that natural selection may have fine-tuned the Michaelis-Menten constant [Formula: see text] describing miRNA-mRNA affinity and show supporting evidence from analysis of experimental data. [Formula: see text] is constrained by seed length, and optimal noise control (minimum protein variance at a given energy cost) is achievable for seeds of 6 to 7 nucleotides in length, the most commonly observed types. Moreover, at optimality, the degree of noise reduction approaches the theoretical bound set by the Wiener-Kolmogorov linear filter. The results illustrate how selective pressure toward energy efficiency has potentially shaped a crucial regulatory pathway in eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2024-02-22

Hesse E, S O'Brien (2024)

Ecological dependencies and the illusion of cooperation in microbial communities.

Microbiology (Reading, England), 170(2):.

Ecological dependencies - where organisms rely on other organisms for survival - are a ubiquitous feature of life on earth. Multicellular hosts rely on symbionts to provide essential vitamins and amino acids. Legume plants similarly rely on nitrogen-fixing rhizobia to convert atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia. In some cases, dependencies can arise via loss-of-function mutations that allow one partner to benefit from the actions of another. It is common in microbiology to label ecological dependencies between species as cooperation - making it necessary to invoke cooperation-specific frameworks to explain the phenomenon. However, in many cases, such traits are not (at least initially) cooperative, because they are not selected for because of the benefits they confer on a partner species. In contrast, dependencies in microbial communities may originate from fitness benefits gained from genomic-streamlining (i.e. Black Queen Dynamics). Here, we outline how the Black Queen Hypothesis predicts the formation of metabolic dependencies via loss-of-function mutations in microbial communities, without needing to invoke any cooperation-specific explanations. Furthermore we outline how the Black Queen Hypothesis can act as a blueprint for true cooperation as well as discuss key outstanding questions in the field. The nature of interactions in microbial communities can predict the ability of natural communities to withstand and recover from disturbances. Hence, it is vital to gain a deeper understanding of the factors driving these dynamic interactions over evolutionary time.

RevDate: 2024-02-21

Mikhailovsky GE (2024)

Life, its definition, origin, evolution, and four-dimensional hierarchical structure.

Bio Systems pii:S0303-2647(24)00043-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The main unique features of biological systems are reviewed, and four necessary and sufficient attributes of life are formulated, based on the ideas of Ervin Bauer. The possibility of the occurrence of each of these attributes during the origin of life is analyzed. As a result, different scenarios for the origin of life are presented, with all their pros and cons. Next, the mainstream of biological evolution is discussed, considering it as a special case of general complexification, and structuredness is defined as a quantitative measure of structural complexity. By introducing the concepts of post-dissipative structure and ratcheting process based on "frozen" patterns, their role in the generation of biological structures underlying biological evolution is demonstrated. Furthermore, it is proposed that all living things can be divided into micro- (unicellular) and macro- (multicellular) creatures, which differ from each other even more radically than the difference between prokaryotes and unicellular eukaryotes. Then the fifth, sufficient, but not necessary attribute of life, hierarchicality, is formulated, which is fully applicable only to macrolife. It is also shown that living organisms are primarily chemodynamic rather than thermodynamic systems, and three basic laws of biochemodynamics are formulated. Finally, fifteen basic features of living beings, grouped into four basic blocks, are summarized.

RevDate: 2024-02-22

Kidner RQ, Goldstone EB, Laidemitt MR, et al (2024)

Host lipids regulate multicellular behavior of a predator of a human pathogen.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

As symbionts of animals, microbial eukaryotes benefit and harm their hosts in myriad ways. A model microeukaryote (Capsaspora owczarzaki) is a symbiont of Biomphalaria glabrata snails and may prevent transmission of parasitic schistosomes from snails to humans. However, it is unclear which host factors determine Capsaspora's ability to colonize snails. Here, we discovered that Capsaspora forms multicellular aggregates when exposed to snail hemolymph. We identified a molecular cue for aggregation: a hemolymph-derived phosphatidylcholine, which becomes elevated in schistosome-infected snails. Therefore, Capsaspora aggregation may be a response to the physiological state of its host, and it may determine its ability to colonize snails and exclude parasitic schistosomes. Furthermore, Capsaspora is an evolutionary model organism whose aggregation may be ancestral to animals. This discovery, that a prevalent lipid induces Capsaspora multicellularity, suggests that this aggregation phenotype may be ancient. Additionally, the specific lipid will be a useful tool for further aggregation studies.

RevDate: 2024-02-20

Edelbroek B, Kjellin J, Biryukova I, et al (2024)

Evolution of microRNAs in Amoebozoa and implications for the origin of multicellularity.

Nucleic acids research pii:7611030 [Epub ahead of print].

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important and ubiquitous regulators of gene expression in both plants and animals. They are thought to have evolved convergently in these lineages and hypothesized to have played a role in the evolution of multicellularity. In line with this hypothesis, miRNAs have so far only been described in few unicellular eukaryotes. Here, we investigate the presence and evolution of miRNAs in Amoebozoa, focusing on species belonging to Acanthamoeba, Physarum and dictyostelid taxonomic groups, representing a range of unicellular and multicellular lifestyles. miRNAs that adhere to both the stringent plant and animal miRNA criteria were identified in all examined amoebae, expanding the total number of protists harbouring miRNAs from 7 to 15. We found conserved miRNAs between closely related species, but the majority of species feature only unique miRNAs. This shows rapid gain and/or loss of miRNAs in Amoebozoa, further illustrated by a detailed comparison between two evolutionary closely related dictyostelids. Additionally, loss of miRNAs in the Dictyostelium discoideum drnB mutant did not seem to affect multicellular development and, hence, demonstrates that the presence of miRNAs does not appear to be a strict requirement for the transition from uni- to multicellular life.

RevDate: 2024-02-17

Kriete A (2024)

Dissipative scaling of development and aging in multicellular organisms.

Bio Systems pii:S0303-2647(24)00042-X [Epub ahead of print].

Evolution, self-replication and ontogenesis are highly dynamic, irreversible and self-organizing processes dissipating energy. While progress has been made to decipher the role of thermodynamics in cellular fission, it is not yet clear how entropic balances shape organism growth and aging. This paper derives a general dissipation theory for the life-history of organisms. It implies a self-regulated entropy production facilitating exponential growth within a hierarchical and entropy lowering self-organization. The theory predicts ceilings in energy expenditures imposed by geometric constrains, which promote thermal optimality during development, and a dissipative scaling across organisms consistent with ecological scaling laws combining isometric and allometric terms. The theory also illustrates how growing organisms can tolerate damage through continuous extension and production of new dissipative structures low in entropy. However, when organisms reduce their rate of cell division and reach a steady adult state, they become thermodynamically unstable, increase internal entropy by accumulating damage, and age.

RevDate: 2024-02-16
CmpDate: 2024-02-16

Doré H, Eisenberg AR, Junkins EN, et al (2024)

Targeted hypermutation of putative antigen sensors in multicellular bacteria.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 121(9):e2316469121.

Diversity-generating retroelements (DGRs) are used by bacteria, archaea, and viruses as a targeted mutagenesis tool. Through error-prone reverse transcription, DGRs introduce random mutations at specific genomic loci, enabling rapid evolution of these targeted genes. However, the function and benefits of DGR-diversified proteins in cellular hosts remain elusive. We find that 82% of DGRs from one of the major monophyletic lineages of DGR reverse transcriptases are encoded by multicellular bacteria, which often have two or more DGR loci in their genomes. Using the multicellular purple sulfur bacterium Thiohalocapsa sp. PB-PSB1 as an example, we characterized nine distinct DGR loci capable of generating 10[282] different combinations of target proteins. With environmental metagenomes from individual Thiohalocapsa aggregates, we show that most of PB-PSB1's DGR target genes are diversified across its biogeographic range, with spatial heterogeneity in the diversity of each locus. In Thiohalocapsa PB-PSB1 and other bacteria hosting this lineage of cellular DGRs, the diversified target genes are associated with NACHT-domain anti-phage defenses and putative ternary conflict systems previously shown to be enriched in multicellular bacteria. We propose that these DGR-diversified targets act as antigen sensors that confer a form of adaptive immunity to their multicellular consortia, though this remains to be experimentally tested. These findings could have implications for understanding the evolution of multicellularity, as the NACHT-domain anti-phage systems and ternary systems share both domain homology and conceptual similarities with the innate immune and programmed cell death pathways of plants and metazoans.

RevDate: 2024-02-14

Iwaï H, Beyer HM, Johansson JEM, et al (2024)

The three-dimensional structure of the Vint domain from Tetrahymena thermophila suggests a ligand-regulated cleavage mechanism by the HINT fold.

FEBS letters [Epub ahead of print].

Vint proteins have been identified in unicellular metazoans as a novel hedgehog-related gene family, merging the von Willebrand factor type A domain and the Hedgehog/INTein (HINT) domains. We present the first three-dimensional structure of the Vint domain from Tetrahymena thermophila corresponding to the auto-processing domain of hedgehog proteins, shedding light on the unique features, including an adduct recognition region (ARR). Our results suggest a potential binding between the ARR and sulfated glycosaminoglycans like heparin sulfate. Moreover, we uncover a possible regulatory role of the ARR in the auto-processing by Vint domains, expanding our understanding of the HINT domain evolution and their use in biotechnological applications. Vint domains might have played a crucial role in the transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms.

RevDate: 2024-02-09

Wang R, Meng Q, Wang X, et al (2024)

Comparative genomic analysis of symbiotic and free-living Fluviibacter phosphoraccumulans strains provides insights into the evolutionary origins of obligate Euplotes-bacterial endosymbioses.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Endosymbiosis is a widespread and important phenomenon requiring diverse model systems. Ciliates are a widespread group of protists that often form symbioses with diverse microorganisms. Endosymbioses between the ciliate Euplotes and heritable bacterial symbionts are common in nature, and four essential symbionts were described: Polynucleobacter necessarius, "Candidatus Protistobacter heckmanni," "Ca. Devosia symbiotica," and "Ca. Devosia euplotis." Among them, only the genus Polynucleobacter comprises very close free-living and symbiotic representatives, which makes it an excellent model for investigating symbiont replacements and recent symbioses. In this article, we characterized a novel endosymbiont inhabiting the cytoplasm of Euplotes octocarinatus and found that it is a close relative of the free-living bacterium Fluviibacter phosphoraccumulans (Betaproteobacteria and Rhodocyclales). We present the complete genome sequence and annotation of the symbiotic Fluviibacter. Comparative analyses indicate that the genome of symbiotic Fluviibacter is small in size and rich in pseudogenes when compared with free-living strains, which seems to fit the prediction for recently established endosymbionts undergoing genome erosion. Further comparative analysis revealed reduced metabolic capacities in symbiotic Fluviibacter, which implies that the symbiont relies on the host Euplotes for carbon sources, organic nitrogen and sulfur, and some cofactors. We also estimated substitution rates between symbiotic and free-living Fluviibacter pairs for 233 genes; the results showed that symbiotic Fluviibacter displays higher dN/dS mean value than free-living relatives, which suggested that genetic drift is the main driving force behind molecular evolution in endosymbionts.IMPORTANCEIn the long history of symbiosis research, most studies focused mainly on organelles or bacteria within multicellular hosts. The single-celled protists receive little attention despite harboring an immense diversity of symbiotic associations with bacteria and archaea. One subgroup of the ciliate Euplotes species is strictly dependent on essential symbionts for survival and has emerged as a valuable model for understanding symbiont replacements and recent symbioses. However, almost all of our knowledge about the evolution and functions of Euplotes symbioses comes from the Euplotes-Polynucleobacter system. In this article, we report a novel essential symbiont, which also has very close free-living relatives. Genome analysis indicated that it is a recently established endosymbiont undergoing genome erosion and relies on the Euplotes host for many essential molecules. Our results provide support for the notion that essential symbionts of the ciliate Euplotes evolve from free-living progenitors in the natural water environment.

RevDate: 2024-02-14
CmpDate: 2024-02-14

Zhang C, Zhu Z, Jiang A, et al (2023)

Genome-wide identification of the mitogen-activated kinase gene family from Limonium bicolor and functional characterization of LbMAPK2 under salt stress.

BMC plant biology, 23(1):565.

BACKGROUND: Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are ubiquitous signal transduction components in eukaryotes. In plants, MAPKs play an essential role in growth and development, phytohormone regulation, and abiotic stress responses. The typical recretohalophyte Limonium bicolor (Bunge) Kuntze has multicellular salt glands on its stems and leaves; these glands secrete excess salt ions from its cells to mitigate salt damage. The number, type, and biological function of L. bicolor MAPK genes are unknown.

RESULTS: We identified 20 candidate L. bicolor MAPK genes, which can be divided into four groups. Of these 20 genes, 17 were anchored to 7 chromosomes, while LbMAPK18, LbMAPK19, and LbMAPK20 mapped to distinct scaffolds. Structure analysis showed that the predicted protein LbMAPK19 contains the special structural motif TNY in its activation loop, whereas the other LbMAPK members harbor the conserved TEY or TDY motif. The promoters of most LbMAPK genes carry cis-acting elements related to growth and development, phytohormones, and abiotic stress. LbMAPK1, LbMAPK2, LbMAPK16, and LbMAPK20 are highly expressed in the early stages of salt gland development, whereas LbMAPK4, LbMAPK5, LbMAPK6, LbMAPK7, LbMAPK11, LbMAPK14, and LbMAPK15 are highly expressed during the late stages. These 20 LbMAPK genes all responded to salt, drought and ABA stress. We explored the function of LbMAPK2 via virus-induced gene silencing: knocking down LbMAPK2 transcript levels in L. bicolor resulted in fewer salt glands, lower salt secretion ability from leaves, and decreased salt tolerance. The expression of several genes [LbTTG1 (TRANSPARENT TESTA OF GL1), LbCPC (CAPRICE), and LbGL2 (GLABRA2)] related to salt gland development was significantly upregulated in LbMAPK2 knockdown lines, while the expression of LbEGL3 (ENHANCER OF GL3) was significantly downregulated.

CONCLUSION: These findings increase our understanding of the LbMAPK gene family and will be useful for in-depth studies of the molecular mechanisms behind salt gland development and salt secretion in L. bicolor. In addition, our analysis lays the foundation for exploring the biological functions of MAPKs in an extreme halophyte.

RevDate: 2024-02-09

Bowles AMC, Williamson CJ, Williams TA, et al (2024)

Cryogenian origins of multicellularity in Archaeplastida.

Genome biology and evolution pii:7604131 [Epub ahead of print].

Earth was impacted by global glaciations during the Cryogenian (720-635 million years ago; Ma), events invoked to explain both the origins of multicellularity in Archaeplastida and radiation of the first land plants. However, the temporal relationship between these environmental and biological events is poorly established, due to a paucity of molecular and fossil data, precluding resolution of the phylogeny and timescale of archaeplastid evolution. We infer a time-calibrated phylogeny of early archaeplastid evolution based on a revised molecular dataset and reappraisal of the fossil record. Phylogenetic topology testing resolves deep archaeplastid relationships, identifying two clades of Viridiplantae and placing Bryopsidales as sister to the Chlorophyceae. Our molecular clock analysis infers an origin of Archaeplastida in the late-Paleoproterozoic to early-Mesoproterozoic (1712-1387 Ma). Ancestral state reconstruction of cytomorphological traits on this time-calibrated tree reveals many of the independent origins of multicellularity span the Cryogenian, consistent with the Cryogenian multicellularity hypothesis. Multicellular rhodophytes emerged 902-655Ma while crown-Anydrophyta (Zygnematophyceae and Embryophyta) originated 796-671Ma, broadly compatible with the Cryogenian plant terrestrialisation hypothesis. Our analyses resolve the timetree of Archaeplastida with age estimates for ancestral multicellular archaeplastids coinciding with the Cryogenian, compatible with hypotheses that propose a role of Snowball Earth in plant evolution.

RevDate: 2024-02-08

Gupta P, Bermejo-Rodriguez C, Kocher H, et al (2024)

Chemotherapy Assessment in Advanced Multicellular 3D Models of Pancreatic Cancer: Unravelling the Importance of Spatiotemporal Mimicry of the Tumor Microenvironment.

Advanced biology [Epub ahead of print].

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a challenge for global health with very low survival rate and high therapeutic resistance. Hence, advanced preclinical models for treatment screening are of paramount importance. Herein, chemotherapeutic (gemcitabine) assessment on novel (polyurethane) scaffold-based spatially advanced 3D multicellular PDAC models is carried out. Through comprehensive image-based analysis at the protein level, and expression analysis at the mRNA level, the importance of stromal cells is confirmed, primarily activated stellate cells in the chemoresistance of PDAC cells within the models. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that, in addition to the presence of activated stellate cells, the spatial architecture of the scaffolds, i.e., segregation/compartmentalization of the cancer and stromal zones, affect the cellular evolution and is necessary for the development of chemoresistance. These results highlight that, further to multicellularity, mapping the tumor structure/architecture and zonal complexity in 3D cancer models is important for better mimicry of the in vivo therapeutic response.

RevDate: 2024-02-06

Glass DS, Bren A, Vaisbourd E, et al (2024)

A synthetic differentiation circuit in Escherichia coli for suppressing mutant takeover.

Cell pii:S0092-8674(24)00061-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Differentiation is crucial for multicellularity. However, it is inherently susceptible to mutant cells that fail to differentiate. These mutants outcompete normal cells by excessive self-renewal. It remains unclear what mechanisms can resist such mutant expansion. Here, we demonstrate a solution by engineering a synthetic differentiation circuit in Escherichia coli that selects against these mutants via a biphasic fitness strategy. The circuit provides tunable production of synthetic analogs of stem, progenitor, and differentiated cells. It resists mutations by coupling differentiation to the production of an essential enzyme, thereby disadvantaging non-differentiating mutants. The circuit selected for and maintained a positive differentiation rate in long-term evolution. Surprisingly, this rate remained constant across vast changes in growth conditions. We found that transit-amplifying cells (fast-growing progenitors) underlie this environmental robustness. Our results provide insight into the stability of differentiation and demonstrate a powerful method for engineering evolutionarily stable multicellular consortia.

RevDate: 2024-02-06

Donoghue PCJ, JW Clark (2024)

Plant evolution: Streptophyte multicellularity, ecology, and the acclimatisation of plants to life on land.

Current biology : CB, 34(3):R86-R89.

Land plants are celebrated as one of the three great instances of complex multicellularity, but new phylogenomic and phenotypic analyses are revealing deep evolutionary roots of multicellularity among algal relatives, prompting questions about the causal basis of this major evolutionary transition.

RevDate: 2024-02-05

Bingham EP, WC Ratcliff (2024)

A nonadaptive explanation for macroevolutionary patterns in the evolution of complex multicellularity.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 121(7):e2319840121.

"Complex multicellularity," conventionally defined as large organisms with many specialized cell types, has evolved five times independently in eukaryotes, but never within prokaryotes. A number of hypotheses have been proposed to explain this phenomenon, most of which posit that eukaryotes evolved key traits (e.g., dynamic cytoskeletons, alternative mechanisms of gene regulation, or subcellular compartments) which were a necessary prerequisite for the evolution of complex multicellularity. Here, we propose an alternative, nonadaptive hypothesis for this broad macroevolutionary pattern. By binning cells into groups with finite genetic bottlenecks between generations, the evolution of multicellularity greatly reduces the effective population size (Ne) of cellular populations, increasing the role of genetic drift in evolutionary change. While both prokaryotes and eukaryotes experience this phenomenon, they have opposite responses to drift: eukaryotes tend to undergo genomic expansion, providing additional raw genetic material for subsequent multicellular innovation, while prokaryotes generally face genomic erosion. Taken together, we hypothesize that these idiosyncratic lineage-specific evolutionary dynamics play a fundamental role in the long-term divergent evolution of complex multicellularity across the tree of life.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg.


ESP now offers a large collection of user-selected side-by-side timelines (e.g., all science vs. all other categories, or arts and culture vs. world history), designed to provide a comparative context for appreciating world events.


Biographical information about many key scientists (e.g., Walter Sutton).

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )