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A brief survey of viruses and Multicellularity
Shahid Naeem (Chapters 19.1-19.3, 27, 9.5-9.6)
• Where we were
• Massive (half of biomass) • Diverse in form and function • Ancient, successful, planet transforming
• Not cellular, not independent, but living in many senses of the word
• From unicellularity to multicellularity
Lets build a living thing from scratch
• What would we need?
– – – – – – – – DNA RNA polymerase mRNA Ribosomes tRNAs all essential amino acids a plasma membrane bubble ATP
Lets build a living thing by outsourcing
We can have someone else make the proteins
We can have someone else make nucleic acids and phospholipids
We can have a cell do all the work for us
Minimally, we would need?
• DNA + protective coat (bacteriophage) • RNA + reverse transcriptase + protective coat (variola, HI-, entero-, flavi-, filo-, influenza, paramyxo-, corona-, rhabdo-virus) • naked piece of RNA in a “circle” (viroids - just a few hundred nucleotides long)
Viruses may be major players in the environment, but tough to study.
• Active or inactive • Virion (when outside a cell)
• Protein envelope containing a protein capsid containing DNA or RNA + enzymes • Helical or icosohedral
– RNA viruses – DNA viruses – Retroviruses (RNA with DNA intermediate)
Viruses and RNA World
• RNA World is a hypothesis that the first forms of “life” were entirely RNA and proteins (not DNA) • Protein synthesis involves ribosomes (RNA + protein) and tRNA • RNA can act as enzymes • DNA is more stable and proteins more versatile for enzymes, so DNA World replaced RNA World • Are viruses parasitic remnants of the RNA World?
Diversity of Viruses
• Host ranges (one, many?) • Tissue tropism (one, many?) • Virulence (innocuous, lethal) • DNA or RNA + reverse transcriptase • Infection duration (short, long, latent) • Given that most species have more than one virus, are viruses the most diverse replicating entity on Earth?
Animal virus cycle, HIV
• CCR5 receptor protein is the site of attachment • CD4+ cells, especially the Helper T cells, of the immune system • Latent phase – 2-10 years - HIV genome integrated into the CD4+ cell’s genome • Individuals during the latency phase are infectious • HIV is suppressed by immune system, but continuous mutation eventually leads to a form that escapes the immune system • gp120 (glycoprotein on surface) that binds to CD4 receptor and two co-receptors, CCR5 (chemokine co-receptor) or CxCR4, lead to endocytosis • HIV RNA + reverse transcriptase = HIV DNA (+ mutations) • Incorporates into host DNA then • after a latency period, leads to the production of HIV RNA and proteins for the capsid and gp120 • gp120 coats a membrane bud that encapsualtes
• Nucleoside analogues (terminate DNA polymerase) • protease inhibitors that prevent capsule formation • Promising nef-based vaccines (nef is an HIV gene that disrupts cell signaling and favors infection) • CD8+ cells may have a natural ability to regulate infection • Many drugs, complex administration, very expensive, debilitating side effects, and they do not eliminate the virus
Emerging Viral Diseases
Influenza – has been, and likely to be, a source of viral pandemics resulting in enormous numbers of fatalities SARS – could be another pandemic
Ebola – highly lethal hemorrhagic disease. Source unknown. Hanta virus – lethal pulmonary disease readily controlled by keeping homes rodent free West Nile virus – lethal for elderly – about 1/150 infected people perish
Cells aggregate and organize
• They attach – cell aggregates
• Coordinate (communicate) – colony
• Cells differentiate and coordinate – multicellular organism
Phylum Placazoa (1883, discovered in an aquarium)
Cadherins determine who you will and who you will not join with.
Totipotent or Regulative or Indeterminate form of development
Mosaic or Determinant form of development
Cell fates in development
Number of cell types the cell can become Stem cells
Cells in indeterminant development
Cells in determinant development Number of divisions after zygote
How is cell fate determined?
• Cytoplasmic determinants
– e.g., the morphogens bicoid and nanos mRNA laid down by the nurse cells in Drosophila eggs that determine the anterior-posterior axis – e.g., the gurken and dorsal mRNA that controls the dorsal-ventral axis in
• Cell-cell interactions
– e.g., cell adhesion or signal induction
The tadpole larva of an ascidian (urochordate)
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Notochord Hollow dorsal neural tube (nerve chord) Pharyngeal “slits” or “gill slits” Post-anal tail Segmented muscles