The soft genome

Worm
Sarit AnavaOded Rechavi

Abstract

Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) nematodes transmit small RNAs across generations, a process that enables transgenerational regulation of genes. In contrast to changes to the DNA sequence, transgenerational transmission of small RNA-mediated responses is reversible, and thus enables "soft" or "flexible" inheritance of acquired characteristics. Until very recently only introduction of foreign genetic material (viruses, transposons, transgenes) was shown to directly lead to inheritance of small RNAs. New discoveries however, demonstrate that starvation also triggers inheritance of endogenous small RNAs in C.elegans. Multiple generations of worms inherit starvation-responsive endogenous small RNAs, and starvation also results in heritable extension of the progeny's lifespan. In this Commentary paper we explore the intriguing possibility that large parts of the genome and many additional traits are similarly subjected to heritable small RNA-mediated regulation, and focus on the potential influence of transgenerational RNAi on the worm's physiology. While the universal relevance of this mechanism remains to be discovered, we will examine how the discoveries made in worms already challenge long held dogmas in genetics and evolution.

References

Mar 31, 2000·Science·Alla GrishokCraig C Mello
Nov 5, 2003·Development·Cassandra G Extavour, Michael Akam
Mar 16, 2006·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Shai Shaham
Aug 25, 2006·Nature·Nadine L VastenhouwRonald H A Plasterk
Mar 27, 2007·Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology·C P HunterM C Fitzgerald
Jun 6, 2008·Journal de la Société de biologie·Minoo RassoulzadeganFrançois Cuzin
Aug 16, 2008·Science·Stan J J BrounsJohn van der Oost
Aug 22, 2008·BJOG : an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology·R C PainterT J Roseboom
Aug 25, 2009·Nature·Yoshiko MaidaKenkichi Masutomi
Sep 25, 2010·Nature·Daniel H Chitwood, Marja C P Timmermans
Aug 2, 2011·Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics·Mariusz NowackiLaura F Landweber
Sep 3, 2011·Science·Cheryl L Johnson, Andrew M Spence
Jan 1, 2010·Viruses·Valerie Greco-Stewart, Martin Pelchat
Nov 8, 2011·Cell Communication and Signaling : CCS·Jonathan Bl Bard
Nov 23, 2011·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Nick O BurtonScott Kennedy
Aug 2, 2012·The EMBO Journal·Maartje J LuteijnRené F Ketting
Aug 28, 2012·Nature·Augustin de VanssayStéphane Ronsseray
Sep 15, 2012·Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology·Eva Jablonka
Sep 29, 2012·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·John S Mattick
Oct 17, 2012·DNA and Cell Biology·Julie M Claycomb
Dec 26, 2012·Trends in Cell Biology·Hyun O Lee, Caren Norden
Jan 19, 2013·Nature Reviews. Genetics·Stephane E Castel, Robert A Martienssen
Feb 16, 2013·Trends in Genetics : TIG·Jana P Lim, Anne Brunet
Feb 19, 2013·Nature Reviews. Genetics·Ueli GrossniklausSusan Lindquist
Jul 23, 2013·Cell Death & Disease·N RainyY Kloog
Jul 31, 2013·Advances in Genetics·Alla Grishok
Dec 24, 2013·Developmental Cell·Christopher J WedelesJulie M Claycomb
Apr 12, 2014·Science·Teri EvansMatthew Loose
Apr 15, 2014·Nature Neuroscience·Katharina GappIsabelle M Mansuy
Jul 19, 2014·Cell·Eugene V Koonin
Jul 24, 2014·Nature Reviews. Molecular Cell Biology·Peter Sarkies, Eric A Miska
Sep 26, 2014·Worm·Christopher J WedelesJulie M Claycomb
Oct 24, 2014·Worm·Suzanne W HoogstrateL Basten Snoek

Citations

Dec 13, 2016·Trends in Genetics : TIG·Leah Houri-Zeevi, Oded Rechavi
Apr 11, 2019·Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences·Itamar LevOded Rechavi
Dec 20, 2020·Journal of Developmental Biology·Abigail P BlinePatrick Allard

Methods Mentioned

BETA
immunoprecipitation

Related Concepts

Biological Evolution
Genes
Genome
Helminths
Physiological Aspects
RNA
Small Nuclear RNA
Virus
DNA Sequence
Caenorhabditis elegans

Related Feeds

Anthelmintics (ASM)

Anthelmintics or antihelminthics are a group of antiparasitic drugs that expel parasitic worms (helminths) and other internal parasites from the body by either stunning or killing them and without causing significant damage to the host. Discover the latest research on anthelmintics here.

Anthelmintics

Anthelmintics or antihelminthics are a group of antiparasitic drugs that expel parasitic worms (helminths) and other internal parasites from the body by either stunning or killing them and without causing significant damage to the host. Discover the latest research on anthelmintics here.