Mosquito transposable elements.

Autor(es): Bensaadi-Merchermek N; Salvado J C; Mouchès C

Resumo: Most of the transposons so far characterized from mosquito genomes are retroelements which seem to be distributed worldwide. The Juan transposons constitute a family of non-LTR retroelements, or LINE-retroposons, which are dispersed in the genomes of several mosquito species. Three different Juan subfamilies have been characterized, each being amplified in the genomes of many strains, if not all, of a given mosquito species. These subfamilies have been designated respectively Juan-C in Culex pipiens, Juan-Ct in Culex tarsalis and Juan-A in Aedes aegypti. A large number of the Juan retroposons which are amplified in the mosquito genomes are apparently full-length copies and potentially encode the enzymes necessary for their transposition, a nucleic acid binding protein and a reverse transcriptase. However, these complete Juan copies seem to be most frequently transcriptionally silent in insects reared under laboratory conditions. A few of them are transcribed in C. pipiens cells grown in vitro, but from an external promoter, the Juan-C specific RNA being fused to an upstream RNA sequence. Therefore, the transcription of Juan retroposons seems to depend on external promoters which are most frequently inactive. The occurrence and distribution of Juan retroposon subfamilies among mosquito species do not reflect the phylogeny of these species. Furthermore, complete Juan-C and Juan-A copies which are reiterated in strains collected from regions covering different continents are nearly identical. Juan-C copies belonging to geographically different C. pipiens strains display low levels of divergence between their nucleotide sequences and many of the mutations which have occurred among these copies do not alter their coding potential. These results indicate that the Juan retroposons occur as homogeneous subfamilies distributed worldwide and that selective constraints against amino acid change have been acting recently on these elements, despite the fact that they are now highly repeated through mosquito genomes. Therefore, Juan transposons have most probably been recently amplified in mosquito genomes. Each subfamily may have been amplified from one master element present in a unique population which has since spread worldwide. Alternatively, this amplification may have arisen in many mosquito populations, but from highly conserved master elements submitted to selection pressures. Horizontal transfers between species may also have contributed to the spread of these transposons.

Palavras-Chave: Adaptation; Aedes aegypti; Biodiversity; Culex pipiens; Gene amplification; Insect; LINE; Mobile elements; Molecular evolution; Mosquitoes

Imprenta: Genetica, v. 93, n. 1-3, p. 139-148, 1994

Identificador do objeto digital: 10.1007/BF01435246

Descritores: Aedes aegypti - Cell ; Aedes aegypti - DNA ; Aedes aegypti - Genome ; Aedes aegypti - Molecular Structure ; Aedes aegypti - Pathogenesis ; Aedes aegypti - RNA

Data de publicação: 1994