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Deciphering the Origin and Evolution of Hepatitis B Viruses by Means of a Family of Non-enveloped Fish Viruses

Lauber, Chris and Seitz, Stefan and Mattei, Simone and Suh, Alexander and Beck, Jürgen and Herstein, Jennifer and Börold, Jacob and Salzburger, Walter and Kaderali, Lars and Briggs, John A. G. and Bartenschlager, Ralf. (2017) Deciphering the Origin and Evolution of Hepatitis B Viruses by Means of a Family of Non-enveloped Fish Viruses. Cell Host & Microbe, 22 (3). 387-399.e6.

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Abstract

Hepatitis B viruses (HBVs), which are enveloped viruses with reverse-transcribed DNA genomes, constitute the family Hepadnaviridae. An outstanding feature of HBVs is their streamlined genome organization with extensive gene overlap. Remarkably, the ∼1,100 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding the envelope proteins is fully nested within the ORF of the viral replicase P. Here, we report the discovery of a diversified family of fish viruses, designated nackednaviruses, which lack the envelope protein gene, but otherwise exhibit key characteristics of HBVs including genome replication via protein-primed reverse-transcription and utilization of structurally related capsids. Phylogenetic reconstruction indicates that these two virus families separated more than 400 million years ago before the rise of tetrapods. We show that HBVs are of ancient origin, descending from non-enveloped progenitors in fishes. Their envelope protein gene emerged de novo, leading to a major transition in viral lifestyle, followed by co-evolution with their hosts over geologic eras.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Zoologie > Evolutionary Biology (Salzburger)
UniBasel Contributors:Salzburger, Walter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Cell Press
ISSN:1931-3128
e-ISSN:1934-6069
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:02 Feb 2018 15:05
Deposited On:02 Feb 2018 15:05

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