TitleThe Characterization of Sponge NLRs Provides Insight into the Origin and Evolution of This Innate Immune Gene Family in Animals
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsYuen B, Bayes JM, Degnan SM
Date PublishedJan
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0737-4038
Accession NumberZOOREC:ZOOR15004019546
Keywords/ ]., Amphimedon queenslandica, Amphimedon queenslandica (Demospongiae)., Animalia, Porifera, Demospongiae, characterization / comparative study] [Convergence / / ] [Phylogeny /, Evolution, Evolutionary adaptation, Genetics, Invertebrates, Metazoa (Animalia)., Metazoa [Molecular genetics / NLR gene family, Sponges
AbstractThe "Nucleotide-binding domain and Leucine-rich Repeat" (NLR) genes are a family of intracellular pattern recognition receptors (PRR) that are a critical component of the metazoan innate immune system, involved in both defense against pathogenic microorganisms and in beneficial interactions with symbionts. To investigate the origin and evolution of the NLR gene family, we characterized the full NACHT domain-containing gene complement in the genome of the sponge, Amphimedon queenslandica. As sister group to all animals, sponges are ideally placed to inform our understanding of the early evolution of this ancient PRR family. Amphimedon queenslandica has a large NACHT domain-containing gene complement that is dominated by bona fide NLRs (n = 135) with varied phylogenetic histories. Approximately half of these have a tripartite architecture that includes an N-terminal CARD or DEATH domain. The multiplicity of the A. queenslandica NLR genes and the high variability across the N- and C-terminal domains are consistent with involvement in immunity. We also provide new insight into the evolution of NLRs in invertebrates through comparative genomic analysis of multiple metazoan and nonmetazoan taxa. Specifically, we demonstrate that the NLR gene family appears to be a metazoan innovation, characterized by two major gene lineages that may have originated with the last common eumetazoan ancestor. Subsequent lineage-specific gene duplication, gene loss and domain shuffling all have played an important role in the highly dynamic evolutionary history of invertebrate NLRs.