Domesticated transposable element gene products in human cancer

University of Iowa
Mobile genetic elements 09/2013; 3(5):e26693. DOI: 10.4161/mge.26693
Source: PubMed


The adaptation of transposable elements inserted within the genome to serve novel functions in a host cell, a process known as molecular domestication, is a widespread phenomenon in nature. Around fifty protein-coding genes in humans have arisen through this mechanism. Functional characterization of these domesticated genes has revealed involvement in a multitude of diverse cellular processes. Some of these functions are related to cellular activities and pathways known to be involved in cancer development. In this mini-review we discuss such roles of domesticated genes that may be aberrantly regulated in human cancer, as well as studies that have identified disrupted expression in tumors. We also describe studies that have provided definitive experimental evidence for transposable element-derived gene products in promoting tumorigenesis.

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    • "Six SWINGs (~25%) are located in promoter regions (between roughly -2,000 nt and the transcription start site) which could influence gene expression; two of the genes are unknowns, one is an amino acid transporter and the remaining three code for enzymes involved in basal metabolism of amino acids. The emergent idea that transposable elements act as a rapid evolutionary mechanism to wire up genomic regulatory networks is now well accepted (Ellison and Bachtrog 2013) and is known as exaptation or " domestication " of REs into novel cis-regulatory elements (de Souza et al. 2013; Riordan and Dupuy 2013). Since SWING elements are not present in other Ophiostoma spp., we could hypothesize that SWING copies may have evolutionary consequences and drive certain aspects of pathogenicity specifically in "
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    Genome Biology and Evolution 12/2014; 7(2). DOI:10.1093/gbe/evu281 · 4.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background LTR-retrotransposons became functional neogenes through evolution by acquiring promoter sequences, regulatory elements and sequence modification. Mammalian retrotransposon transcripts (Mart1-9), also called sushi-ichi-related retrotransposon-homolog (SIRH) genes, are a class of Ty3/gypsy LTR-retroelements showing moderate homology to the sushi-ichi LTR-retrotransposon in pufferfish. Rtl1/Mart1 and Peg10/Mart2 expression in mouse placenta and demonstration of their functional roles during placental development exemplifies their importance in cellular processes. In this study, we analyzed all eleven mouse Mart genes from the blastocyst stage and throughout placentogenesis in order to gain information about their expression and regulation. Results Quantitative PCR, in situ hybridization (ISH) and immunoblotting showed various expression patterns of the 11 mouse Mart genes through different placental stages. Zcchc5/Mart3, Zcchc16/ Mart4 and Rgag1/Mart9 expression was undetectable. Rtl1/Mart1, Peg10/Mart2, Rgag4/Mart5 – Cxx1a,b,c/Mart8b,c,a gene expression was very low at the blastocyst stage. Later placental stages showed an increase of expression for Rtl1/Mart1, Rgag4/Mart5 – Cxx1a,b,c/Mart8b,c,a, the latter up to 1,489 molecules/ng cDNA at E9.5. From our recently published findings Peg10/Mart2 was the most highly expressed Mart gene. ISH demonstrated sense and antisense transcript co-localization of Rgag4/Mart5 to Cxx1a,b,c/Mart8b,c,a in trophoblast subtypes at the junctional zone, with an accumulation of antisense transcripts in the nuclei. To validate these results, we developed a TAG-aided sense/antisense transcript detection (TASA-TD) method, which verified sense and antisense transcripts for Rtl1/Mart1, Rgag4/Mart5 – Cxx1a,b,c/Mart8b,c,a. Except for Rtl1/Mart1 and Cxx1a,b/Mart8b,c all other Mart genes showed a reduced amount of antisense transcripts. Northern blot and 5′ and 3′ RACE confirmed both sense and antisense transcripts for Ldoc1/Mart7 and Cxx1a,b,c/Mart8b,c,a. Immunoblotting demonstrated a single protein throughout all placental stages for Ldoc1/Mart7, but for Cxx1a,b,c/Mart8b,c,a a switch occurred from a 57 kDa protein at E10.5 and E14.5 to a 25 kDa protein at E16.5 and E18.5. Conclusions RNA and protein detection of mouse Mart genes support neo-functionalization of retrotransposons in mammalian genomes. Undetectable expression of Zcchc5/Mart3, Zcchc16/Mart4 and Rgag1/Mart9 indicate no role during mouse placentogenesis. Rgag4/Mart5 to Cxx1a,b,c/Mart8b,c,a gene expression support a role for differentiation from the ectoplacental cone. Mart antisense transcripts and protein alterations predict unique and complex molecular regulation in a time directed manner throughout mouse placentogenesis. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12977-015-0138-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    Retrovirology 12/2015; 12(1). DOI:10.1186/s12977-015-0138-8 · 4.19 Impact Factor