Enhancing Nanos expression via the bacterial TomO protein is a conserved strategy used by the symbiont Wolbachia to fuel germ stem cell maintenance in infected Drosophila females

Manabu Ote, Daisuke Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The toxic manipulator of oogenesis (TomO) protein has been identified in the wMel strain of Wolbachia that symbioses with the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster, as a protein that affects host reproduction. TomO protects germ stem cells (GSCs) from degeneration, which otherwise occurs in ovaries of host females that are mutant for the gene Sex-lethal (Sxl). We isolated the TomO homologs from wPip, a Wolbachia strain from the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus. One of the homologs, TomOw Pip1, exerted the GSC rescue activity in fly Sxl mutants when lacking its hydrophobic stretches. The GSC-rescuing action of the TomOw Pip1 variant was ascribable to its abilities to associate with Nanos (nos) mRNA and to enhance Nos protein expression. The analysis of structure–activity relationships with TomO homologs and TomO deletion variants revealed distinct modules in the protein that are each dedicated to different functions, i.e., subcellular localization, nos mRNA binding or Nos expression enhancement. We propose that modular reshuffling is the basis for structural and functional diversification of TomO protein members.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21471
JournalArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Volume98
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul

Keywords

  • Drosophila
  • RNA
  • Wolbachia
  • germline stem cell
  • symbiosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Insect Science

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