Retrotransposons Mimic Germ Plasm Determinants to Promote Transgenerational Inheritance

Bhavana Tiwari, Paula Kurtz, Amanda E. Jones, Annika Wylie, James F. Amatruda, Devi Prasad Boggupalli, Graydon Bennett Gonsalvez, John M. Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Retrotransposons are a pervasive class of mobile elements present in the genomes of virtually all forms of life [1, 2]. In metazoans, these are preferentially active in the germline, which, in turn, mounts defenses that restrain their activity [3, 4]. Here we report that certain classes of retrotransposons ensure transgenerational inheritance by invading presumptive germ cells before they are formed. Using sensitized Drosophila and zebrafish models, we found that diverse classes of retrotransposons migrate to the germ plasm, a specialized region of the oocyte that prefigures germ cells and specifies the germline of descendants in the fertilized egg. In Drosophila, we found evidence for a “stowaway” model, whereby Tahre retroelements traffic to the germ plasm by mimicking oskar RNAs and engaging the Staufen-dependent active transport machinery. Consistent with this, germ plasm determinants attracted retroelement RNAs even when these components were ectopically positioned in bipolar oocytes. Likewise, vertebrate retrotransposons similarly migrated to the germ plasm in zebrafish oocytes. Together, these results suggest that germ plasm targeting represents a fitness strategy adopted by some retrotransposons to ensure transgenerational propagation. Retrotransposons are mobile elements present in virtually all genomes. Tiwari et al. found that, as a fitness strategy, some types of retrotransposons migrate to the germ plasm, a structure that prefigures descendants in the developing oocyte.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3010-3016.e3
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume27
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 9 2017

Fingerprint

Retroelements
retrotransposons
inheritance (genetics)
germplasm
Oocytes
germ cells
oocytes
Zebrafish
Danio rerio
Germ Cells
Drosophila
Genes
Cells
Genome
RNA
tebufenozide
active transport
genome
Active Biological Transport
Zygote

Keywords

  • Staufen
  • germ plasm
  • germline
  • mobile elements
  • molecular mimicry
  • oocyte
  • oskar
  • p53
  • transgenerational inheritance
  • transposons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Tiwari, B., Kurtz, P., Jones, A. E., Wylie, A., Amatruda, J. F., Boggupalli, D. P., ... Abrams, J. M. (2017). Retrotransposons Mimic Germ Plasm Determinants to Promote Transgenerational Inheritance. Current Biology, 27(19), 3010-3016.e3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.08.036

Retrotransposons Mimic Germ Plasm Determinants to Promote Transgenerational Inheritance. / Tiwari, Bhavana; Kurtz, Paula; Jones, Amanda E.; Wylie, Annika; Amatruda, James F.; Boggupalli, Devi Prasad; Gonsalvez, Graydon Bennett; Abrams, John M.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 27, No. 19, 09.10.2017, p. 3010-3016.e3.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tiwari, B, Kurtz, P, Jones, AE, Wylie, A, Amatruda, JF, Boggupalli, DP, Gonsalvez, GB & Abrams, JM 2017, 'Retrotransposons Mimic Germ Plasm Determinants to Promote Transgenerational Inheritance', Current Biology, vol. 27, no. 19, pp. 3010-3016.e3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.08.036
Tiwari B, Kurtz P, Jones AE, Wylie A, Amatruda JF, Boggupalli DP et al. Retrotransposons Mimic Germ Plasm Determinants to Promote Transgenerational Inheritance. Current Biology. 2017 Oct 9;27(19):3010-3016.e3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.08.036
Tiwari, Bhavana ; Kurtz, Paula ; Jones, Amanda E. ; Wylie, Annika ; Amatruda, James F. ; Boggupalli, Devi Prasad ; Gonsalvez, Graydon Bennett ; Abrams, John M. / Retrotransposons Mimic Germ Plasm Determinants to Promote Transgenerational Inheritance. In: Current Biology. 2017 ; Vol. 27, No. 19. pp. 3010-3016.e3.
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