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Bioinform Biol Insights. 2012;6:69-96. doi: 10.4137/BBI.S9150. Epub 2012 Apr 23.

Transcriptome analysis in tardigrade species reveals specific molecular pathways for stress adaptations.

Author information

  • 1Dept. of Bioinformatics, Biocenter University of Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg, Germany.

Abstract

Tardigrades have unique stress-adaptations that allow them to survive extremes of cold, heat, radiation and vacuum. To study this, encoded protein clusters and pathways from an ongoing transcriptome study on the tardigrade Milnesium tardigradum were analyzed using bioinformatics tools and compared to expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from Hypsibius dujardini, revealing major pathways involved in resistance against extreme environmental conditions. ESTs are available on the Tardigrade Workbench along with software and databank updates. Our analysis reveals that RNA stability motifs for M. tardigradum are different from typical motifs known from higher animals. M. tardigradum and H. dujardini protein clusters and conserved domains imply metabolic storage pathways for glycogen, glycolipids and specific secondary metabolism as well as stress response pathways (including heat shock proteins, bmh2, and specific repair pathways). Redox-, DNA-, stress- and protein protection pathways complement specific repair capabilities to achieve the strong robustness of M. tardigradum. These pathways are partly conserved in other animals and their manipulation could boost stress adaptation even in human cells. However, the unique combination of resistance and repair pathways make tardigrades and M. tardigradum in particular so highly stress resistant.

KEYWORDS:

RNA; adaptation; cluster; expressed sequence tag; protein family; tardigrada; transcriptome

PMID:
22563243
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3342025
Free PMC Article

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