Albany 2015:Book of Abstracts

Albany 2015
Conversation 19
June 9-13 2015
©Adenine Press (2012)

Origin and evolution of adaptive immunity systems

Comparative genomics reveals unexpected, striking parallels between the evolutionary scenarios inferred for adaptive immunity systems in prokaryotes, ciliates and animals. The CRISPR-Cas mechanism of adaptive immunity in archaea, the IES-Ias defense system in ciliates and the vertebrate adaptive immunity that is centered on V(D)J recombination all appear to have evolved via similar scenarios. Each of these defense systems emerged through integration of a transposable elements into innate immunity loci in the respective genomes. Strikingly, neither the transposons nor the innate immune machineries involved are homologous. Thus, the unexpected parallelism between the origins of these unrelated defense mechanisms reveals general principles of evolution of genome manipulation strategies and also explains the remarkable efficiency of adaptive immunity systems as tools of molecular biology (Chylinski et al., 2014; Koonin and Krupovic, 2015a; Koonin and Krupovic, 2015b; Krupovic et al., 2014).

This research was supported by Intramural fund of the US Department of Health and Human Services (to National Library of Medicine)

    Chylinski, K., K. S. Makarova, E. Charpentier and E. V. Koonin 2014. Classification and evolution of type II CRISPR-Cas systems. Nucleic Acids Res. doi: gku241 [pii] 10.1093/nar/gku241

    Koonin, E. V. and M. Krupovic 2015a. Evolution of adaptive immunity from transposable elements combined with innate immune systems. Nat Rev Genet 16: 184-192.

    Koonin, E.V. and M. Krupovic 2015b. A Movable Defense. The Scientist.

    Krupovic, M., K. S. Makarova, P. Forterre, D. Prangishvili and E. V. Koonin 2014. Casposons: a new superfamily of self-synthesizing DNA transposons at the origin of prokaryotic CRISPR-Cas immunity. BMC Biology 12: 36.

Eugene V Koonin

National Center for Biotechnology Information
National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20894

Phone: 301-435-59138301