The amphidromous sleeper Eleotris oxycephala (Perciformes: Eleotridae) is mainly distributed along the Kuroshio Current in East Asia, and this current is thought to be the main driver of the species' dispersal. Due to anthropogenic environmental changes in rivers, E. oxycephala is ranked as a threatened or near-threatened species in the red lists of 12 prefectures in Japan. Moreover, there is concern that the species' dispersal pattern could be changed due to fluctuations in the Kuroshio Current caused by global warming. In this study, 40 microsatellite markers were developed for E. oxycephala, and their suitability was tested on 43 individuals from two populations of E. oxycephala from Kanagawa and Miyazaki Prefectures. The number of alleles, expected heterozygosity and fixation index at each locus were 2–10 (mean = 5.350), 0.034–0.860 (mean = 0.650) and -0.261–0.448 (mean = 0.065), respectively. Furthermore, there was a lack of genetic difference between the two populations (FST = 0.008, F'ST = 0.024), indicating widespread gene flow via the Kuroshio Current. These markers will be useful to evaluate the genetic structure and infer population demographic history of E. oxycephala populations, which may assist in the conservation of this species.
Genome instability is a cause of cellular senescence. The ribosomal RNA gene repeat (rDNA) is one of the most unstable regions in the genome and its instability is proposed to be a major inducer of cellular senescence and restricted lifespan. We previously conducted a genome-wide screen using a budding yeast deletion library to identify mutants that exhibit a change in the stability of the rDNA region, compared to the wild-type. To investigate the correlation between rDNA stability and lifespan, we examined deletion mutants with very stable rDNA and found that deletion of EAF3, encoding a component of the NuA4 histone acetyltransferase complex, reproducibly resulted in increased stabilization of the rDNA. In the absence of Eaf3, and of other subunits of the NuA4 complex, we observed lower levels of extrachromosomal rDNA circles that are produced by recombination in the rDNA and are thus an indicator of rDNA instability. The replicative lifespan in the eaf3 mutant was extended by ~30%, compared to the wild-type strain. Our findings provide evidence that rDNA stability is correlated with extended replicative lifespan. The eaf3 mutation possibly affects the non-coding transcription in rDNA that regulates rDNA recombination through cohesin dissociation.
Chromosome replication is a fundamental process in all domains of life. To accurately transmit genetic material to offspring, the initiation of chromosome replication is tightly regulated to ensure that it occurs only once in each cell division cycle. In the model bacterium Caulobacter crescentus, the CtrA response regulator inhibits the origin of replication at the pre-replication stage. Inactivation of CtrA permits the universal DnaA initiator to form an initiation complex at the origin, leading to replication initiation. Subsequently, the initiation complex is inactivated to prevent extra initiation. Whereas DNA replication occurs periodically in exponentially growing cells, replication initiation is blocked under various stress conditions to halt cell cycle progression until the normal condition is restored or the cells adapt to the stress. Thus, regulating the initiation complex plays an important role in not only driving cell cycle progression, but also maintaining cell integrity under stress. Multiple regulatory signaling pathways controlling CtrA and DnaA have been identified and recent studies have advanced our knowledge of the underlying mechanistic and molecular processes. This review focuses on how bacterial cells control replication initiation, highlighting the latest findings that have emerged from studies in C. crescentus.
Riboviruses are viruses that have RNA genomes and replicate only via RNA intermediates. Although they do not require a DNA phase for replication and do not encode reverse transcriptase, the presence of DNA forms of riboviral sequences in ribovirus-infected cells has been reported since the 1970s. Additionally, heritable ribovirus-derived sequences, called riboviral endogenous viral elements (EVEs), have been found in the genomes of many eukaryotes. These are now thought to be formed by the reverse transcription machineries of retrotransposons within eukaryotic genomes sometimes referred to as selfish elements. Surprisingly, some reverse-transcribed riboviral DNAs (including EVEs) provide physiological functions for their hosts, suggesting the occurrence of novel interactions among eukaryotic genomes, retrotransposons and riboviruses, and opening the door to new avenues of investigation. Here I review current knowledge on these triangular interactions, and discuss future directions in this field.
The majority of eukaryotic genomes contain a large fraction of repetitive sequences that primarily originate from transpositional bursts of transposable elements (TEs). Repbase serves as a database for eukaryotic repetitive sequences and has now become the largest collection of eukaryotic TEs. During the development of Repbase, many new superfamilies/lineages of TEs, which include Helitron, Polinton, Ginger and SINEU, were reported. The unique composition of protein domains and DNA motifs in TEs sometimes indicates novel mechanisms of transposition, replication, anti-suppression or proliferation. In this review, our current understanding regarding the diversity of eukaryotic TEs in sequence, protein domain composition and structural hallmarks is introduced and summarized, based on the classification system implemented in Repbase. Autonomous eukaryotic TEs can be divided into two groups: Class I TEs, also called retrotransposons, and Class II TEs, or DNA transposons. Long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, including endogenous retroviruses, non-LTR retrotransposons, tyrosine recombinase retrotransposons and Penelope-like elements, are well accepted groups of autonomous retrotransposons. They share reverse transcriptase for replication but are distinct in the catalytic components responsible for integration into the host genome. Similarly, at least three transposition machineries have been reported in eukaryotic DNA transposons: DDD/E transposase, tyrosine recombinase and HUH endonuclease combined with helicase. Among these, TEs with DDD/E transposase are dominant and are classified into 21 superfamilies in Repbase. Non-autonomous TEs are either simple derivatives generated by internal deletion, or are composed of several units that originated independently.