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Metaproteomics Reveals Abundant Transposase Expression in Mutualistic Endosymbionts

MPG-Autoren
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Kleiner,  M.
Department of Symbiosis, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Dubilier,  N.
Department of Symbiosis, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Zitation

Kleiner, M., Young, J. C., Shah, M., VerBerkmoes, N. C., & Dubilier, N. (2013). Metaproteomics Reveals Abundant Transposase Expression in Mutualistic Endosymbionts. Mbio, 4(3): e00223-13.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-C6E0-2
Zusammenfassung
Transposases, enzymes that catalyze the movement of mobile genetic elements, are the most abundant genes in nature. While many bacteria encode an abundance of transposases in their genomes, the current paradigm is that the expression of transposase genes is tightly regulated and generally low due to its severe mutagenic effects. In the current study, we detected the highest number of transposase proteins ever reported in bacteria, in symbionts of the gutless marine worm Olavius algarvensis with metaproteomics. At least 26 different transposases from 12 different families were detected, and genomic and proteomic analyses suggest that many of these are active. This high expression of transposases indicates that the mechanisms for their tight regulation have been disabled or no longer exist. IMPORTANCE The expansion of transposable elements (TE) within the genomes of host-restricted symbionts and pathogens plays an important role in their emergence and evolution and might be a key mechanism for adaptation to the host environment. However, little is known so far about the underlying causes and evolutionary mechanisms of this TE expansion. The current model of genome evolution in host-restricted bacteria explains TE expansion within the confines of the paradigm that transposase expression is always low. However, recent work failed to verify this model. Based on our data, we hypothesize that increased transposase expression, which has not previously been described, may play a role in TE expansion, and could be one explanation for the sometimes very rapid emergence and evolution of new obligate symbionts and pathogens from facultative ones.