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© Institut Pasteur
Phlébotome. Petit diptère de la famille des psychodidés (dans l'Ancien Monde). La femelle hématophage peut être vectrice entre autres de leishmaniose qu'elle transmet par piqûre à un vertébré, chien (hôte principal réservoir), homme ou encore rat (hôtes occasionnels).
Publication : PLoS biology

The origin of RNA interference: Adaptive or neutral evolution?

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in PLoS biology - 29 Jun 2022

Torri A, Jaeger J, Pradeu T, Saleh MC,

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 35767561

Link to DOI – 10.1371/journal.pbio.3001715

PLoS Biol 2022 Jun; 20(6): e3001715

The origin of RNA interference (RNAi) is usually explained by a defense-based hypothesis, in which RNAi evolved as a defense against transposable elements (TEs) and RNA viruses and was already present in the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA). However, since RNA antisense regulation and double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) are ancient and widespread phenomena, the origin of defensive RNAi should have occurred in parallel with its regulative functions to avoid imbalances in gene regulation. Thus, we propose a neutral evolutionary hypothesis for the origin of RNAi in which qualitative system drift from a prokaryotic antisense RNA (asRNA) gene regulation mechanism leads to the formation of RNAi through constructive neutral evolution (CNE). We argue that RNAi was already present in the ancestor of LECA before the need for a new defense system arose and that its presence helped to shape eukaryotic genomic architecture and stability.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35767561