Deep transcriptome-sequencing and proteome analysis of the hydrothermal vent annelid Alvinella pompejana identifies the CvP-bias as a robust measure of eukaryotic thermostability
1 Max-Planck-Institute for Developmental Biology, Spemannstr. 35, Tübingen, D-72076, Germany
2 Equipe GAME, UMR 7144 CNRS-UPMC, Station Biologique, Place Georges Teissier, Roscoff, 29680, France
3 Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry, Department of Structural Cell Biology, Am Klopferspitz 18, Martinsried, D-82152, Germany
Biology Direct 2013, 8:2 doi:10.1186/1745-6150-8-2Published: 16 January 2013
Alvinella pompejana is an annelid worm that inhabits deep-sea hydrothermal vent sites in the Pacific Ocean. Living at a depth of approximately 2500 meters, these worms experience extreme environmental conditions, including high temperature and pressure as well as high levels of sulfide and heavy metals. A. pompejana is one of the most thermotolerant metazoans, making this animal a subject of great interest for studies of eukaryotic thermoadaptation.
In order to complement existing EST resources we performed deep sequencing of the A. pompejana transcriptome. We identified several thousand novel protein-coding transcripts, nearly doubling the sequence data for this annelid. We then performed an extensive survey of previously established prokaryotic thermoadaptation measures to search for global signals of thermoadaptation in A. pompejana in comparison with mesophilic eukaryotes. In an orthologous set of 457 proteins, we found that the best indicator of thermoadaptation was the difference in frequency of charged versus polar residues (CvP-bias), which was highest in A. pompejana. CvP-bias robustly distinguished prokaryotic thermophiles from prokaryotic mesophiles, as well as the thermophilic fungus Chaetomium thermophilum from mesophilic eukaryotes. Experimental values for thermophilic proteins supported higher CvP-bias as a measure of thermal stability when compared to their mesophilic orthologs. Proteome-wide mean CvP-bias also correlated with the body temperatures of homeothermic birds and mammals.
Our work extends the transcriptome resources for A. pompejana and identifies the CvP-bias as a robust and widely applicable measure of eukaryotic thermoadaptation.
This article was reviewed by Sándor Pongor, L. Aravind and Anthony M. Poole.