Title: An Evolutionary Systemic Approach to Virus-Host Interactions
Authors: Santiago F. Elena, Javier Carrera, Guillermo Rodrigo
Abstract:Understanding the underlying mechanisms by which viruses are able to overcome the variety of defenses exposed by the host and proliferate within a host has been a challenging problem for virologists because the large number of cellular factors involved in the process and the complexity of interactions established during of viral infectious cycle. The classic approach has been the identification, after tremendous efforts, of one or a few host genes involved in the interaction. However, the generalization of the use of ìomicî techniques for the analysis of host-virus interaction has open for the first time the possibility of producing a whole picture of the interaction. In this contribution, we present a reverse-engineering approach for network modeling to contextualize genome-wide expression data from viral infections. We use Arabidopsis thaliana as model host to analyze the lists of over/under-expressed genes from infection experiments with the potyviruses Tobacco etch virus, Turnip mosaic virus and Plum pox virus, and the phylogenetically unrelated Turnip crinkle virus. We firstly analyze those lists in terms of biological functions (GO/KEGG). Then, taking advantage of the recently inferred regulatory networks (transcriptional and protein-protein interactions) of A. thaliana that show the characteristic properties of hierarchical networks, we dissect the viral mode of action showing a directed mechanism by altering the expression of key genes on the interactome. The set of genes specifically responding for phylogenetically related viruses represents those interactions that have been acquired during the evolutionary diversification of a viral family. While those interactions shared by phylogenetically unrelated viruses should represent a non-specific response of the plant to virus infection.
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