High coding density on the largest Paramecium tetraurelia somatic chromosome.
ABSTRACT Paramecium, like other ciliates, remodels its entire germline genome at each sexual generation to produce a somatic genome stripped of transposons and other multicopy elements. The germline chromosomes are fragmented by a DNA elimination process that targets heterochromatin to give a reproducible set of some 200 linear molecules 50 kb to 1 Mb in size. These chromosomes are maintained at a ploidy of 800n in the somatic macronucleus and assure all gene expression. We isolated and sequenced the largest megabase somatic chromosome in order to explore its organization and gene content. The AT-rich (72%) chromosome is compact, with very small introns (average size 25 nt), short intergenic regions (median size 202 nt), and a coding density of at least 74%, higher than that reported for budding yeast (70%) or any other free-living eukaryote. Similarity to known proteins could be detected for 57% of the 460 potential protein coding genes. Thirty-two of the proteins are shared with vertebrates but absent from yeast, consistent with the morphogenetic complexity of Paramecium, a long-standing model for differentiated functions shared with metazoans but often absent from simpler eukaryotes. Extrapolation to the whole genome suggests that Paramecium has at least 30,000 genes.
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ABSTRACT: SNARE proteins (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors) mediate membrane interactions and are conventionally divided into Q-SNAREs and R-SNAREs according to the possession of a glutamine or arginine residue at the core of their SNARE domain. Here, we describe a set of R-SNAREs from the ciliate Paramecium tetraurelia consisting of seven families encoded by 12 genes that are expressed simultaneously. The complexity of the endomembrane system in Paramecium can explain this high number of genes. All P. tetraurelia synaptobrevins (PtSybs) possess a SNARE domain and show homology to the Longin family of R-SNAREs such as Ykt6, Sec22 and tetanus toxin-insensitive VAMP (TI-VAMP). We localized four exemplary PtSyb subfamilies with GFP constructs and antibodies on the light and electron microscopic level. PtSyb1-1, PtSyb1-2 and PtSyb3-1 were found in the endoplasmic reticulum, whereas PtSyb2 is localized exclusively in the contractile vacuole complex. PtSyb6 was found cytosolic but also resides in regularly arranged structures at the cell cortex (parasomal sacs), the cytoproct and oral apparatus, probably representing endocytotic compartments. With gene silencing, we showed that the R-SNARE of the contractile vacuole complex, PtSyb2, functions to maintain structural integrity as well as functionality of the osmoregulatory system but also affects cell division.Traffic 05/2006; 7(4):440-55. · 4.92 Impact Factor
Article: Nowa1p and Nowa2p: novel putative RNA binding proteins involved in trans-nuclear crosstalk in Paramecium tetraurelia.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The germline genome of ciliates is extensively rearranged during development of a new somatic macronucleus from the germline micronucleus, a process that follows sexual events. In Paramecium tetraurelia, single-copy internal eliminated sequences (IESs) and multicopy transposons are eliminated, whereas cellular genes are amplified to approximately 800 n. For a subset of IESs, introduction of the IES sequence into the maternal (prezygotic) macronucleus specifically inhibits excision of the homologous IES in the developing zygotic macronucleus. This and other homology-dependent maternal effects have suggested that rearrangement patterns are epigenetically determined by an RNA-mediated, trans-nuclear comparison, involving the RNA interference pathway, of germline and somatic genomes. We report the identification of novel developmentally regulated RNA binding proteins, Nowa1p and Nowa2p, which are required for the survival of sexual progeny. Green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusions show that Nowa1p accumulates into the maternal macronucleus shortly before meiosis of germline micronuclei and is later transported to developing macronuclei. Nowa1p/2p depletion impairs the elimination of transposons and of those IESs that are controlled by maternal effects, confirming the existence of distinct IES classes. The results indicate that Nowa proteins are essential components of the trans-nuclear-crosstalk mechanism that is responsible for epigenetic programming of genome rearrangements. We discuss implications for the current models of genome scanning in ciliates, a process related to the formation of heterochromatin by RNA interference in other eukaryotes.Current Biology 10/2005; 15(18):1616-28. · 9.65 Impact Factor