- Short report
- Open Access
Adaptive evolution of bat dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (dpp4): implications for the origin and emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus
© Cui et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013
- Received: 3 September 2013
- Accepted: 3 October 2013
- Published: 10 October 2013
The newly emerged Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that first appeared in Saudi Arabia during the summer of 2012 has to date (20th September 2013) caused 58 human deaths. MERS-CoV utilizes the dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) host cell receptor, and analysis of the long-term interaction between virus and receptor provides key information on the evolutionary events that lead to the viral emergence.
We show that bat DPP4 genes have been subject to significant adaptive evolution, suggestive of a long-term arms-race between bats and MERS related CoVs. In particular, we identify three positively selected residues in DPP4 that directly interact with the viral surface glycoprotein.
Our study suggests that the evolutionary lineage leading to MERS-CoV may have circulated in bats for a substantial time period.
- Adaptive evolution
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) , first described by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 23rd September 2012 [2, 3], has to date (20th September 2013) caused 130 laboratory-confirmed human infections with 58 deaths (http://www.who.int/csr/don/2013_09_20/en/index.html). MERS-CoV belongs to lineage C of the genus Betacoronavirus in the family Coronaviridae, and is closely related to Tylonycteris bat coronavirus HKU4 (BtCoV-HKU4), Pipistrellus bat coronavirus HKU5 (Bt-HKU5) [4, 5] and CoVs in Nycteris bats , suggestive of a bat-origin . Unlike severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) CoV which uses the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor for cell entry , MERS-CoV employs the dipeptidyl peptidase 4 receptor (DPP4; also known as CD26), and recent work has demonstrated that expression of both human and bat DPP4 in non-susceptible cells enabled viral entry .
Cell-surface receptors such as DPP4 play a key role in facilitating viral invasion and tropism. As a consequence, the long-term co-evolutionary dynamics between hosts and viruses often leave evolutionary footprints in both receptor-encoding genes of hosts and the receptor-binding domains (RBDs) of viruses in the form of positively selected amino acid residues (i.e. adaptive evolution). For example, signatures of recurrent positive selection have been observed in ACE2 genes in bats , supporting the past circulation of SARS related CoVs in bats. To better understand the origins of MERS-CoV, as well as their potentially long-term (compared to short-term which lacks virus-host interaction) evolutionary dynamics with bat hosts [5, 10], we studied the molecular evolution of DPP4 across the mammalian phylogeny.
Sequences used in the evolutionary analysis of DDP4
Odobenus rosmarus divergens
Mustela putorius furo
Large flying fox
Black flying fox
Common vampire bat
Little brown bat
Lesser Egyptian jerboa
Gorilla gorilla gorilla
Numbers of nonsynonymous (d N ) and synonymous (d S ) substitutions per site DPP4 genes in different mammals
Large flying fox
Black flying fox
Common vampire bat
Little brown bat
Lesser Egyptian jerboa
Putatively positive selected DPP4 codons in bats
Codon position a
Posterior probability b
Our analysis therefore suggests that the evolutionary lineage leading to current MERS-CoV co-evolved with bat hosts for an extended time period, eventually jumping species boundaries to infect humans and perhaps through an intermediate host. As such, the emergence of MERS-CoV may parallel that of the related SARS-CoV . Although one bat species, Taphozous erforatus, in Saudi Arabia has been found to harbour a small RdRp (RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase) fragment of MERS-CoV , a larger viral sampling of bats and other animals with close exposure to humans, including dromedary camels were serological evidence for MERS-CoV has been identified , are clearly needed to better understand the viral transmission route. Alternatively, it is possible that the adaptive evolution present on the bat DPP4 was due to viruses other than MERS-CoVs, and which will need to be better assessed when a larger number of viruses are available for analysis. Overall, our study provides evidence that a long-term evolutionary arms race likely occurred between MERS related CoVs and bats.
We thank Christopher Cowled at CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory for annotating the Pterous aleco DPP4. This word was supported in part by a grant from the National Research Foundation, Singapore (NRF2012NRF-CRP-001-056) and the CSIRO Office of the Chief Executive Science Leaders Award. ECH is supported by an NHMRC Australia Fellowship.
- de Groot RJ, Baker SC, Baric RS, Brown CS, Drosten C, Enjuanes L, Fouchier RA, Galiano M, Gorbalenya AE, Memish ZA, Perlman S, Poon LL, Snijder EJ, Stephens GM, Woo PC, Zaki AM, Zambon M, Ziebuhr J: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV): announcement of the coronavirus study group. J Virol 2013, 87: 7790-7792. 10.1128/JVI.01244-13PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Zaki AM, van Boheemen S, Bestebroer TM, Osterhaus AD, Fouchier RA: Isolation of a novel coronavirus from a man with pneumonia in Saudi Arabia. N Engl J Med 2012, 367: 1814-1820. 10.1056/NEJMoa1211721PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Bermingham A, Chand MA, Brown CS, Aarons E, Tong C, Langrish C, Hoschler K, Brown K, Galiano M, Myers R, Pebody RG, Green HK, Boddington NL, Gopal R, Price N, Newsholme W, Drosten C, Fouchier RA, Zambon M: Severe respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus, in a patient transferred to the United Kingdom from the Middle East, September 2012. Euro Surveill 2012, 17: 20290.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- van Boheemen S, de Graaf M, Lauber C, Bestebroer TM, Raj VS, Zaki AM, Osterhaus AD, Haagmans BL, Gorbalenya AE, Snijder EJ, Fouchier RA: Genomic characterization of a newly discovered coronavirus associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome in humans. mBio 2012, 3: e00473-12. 10.1128/mBio.00473-12PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Lau SK, Li KS, Tsang AK, Lam CS, Ahmed S, Chen H, Chan KH, Woo PC, Yuen KY: Genetic characterization of Betacoronavirus lineage C viruses in bats reveals marked sequence divergence in the spike protein of Pipistrellus bat coronavirus HKU5 in Japanese Pipistrelle: implications for the origin of the novel Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. J Virol 2013, 87: 8638-8650. 10.1128/JVI.01055-13PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Annan A, Baldwin HJ, Corman VM, Klose SM, Owusu M, Nkrumah EE, Badu EK, Anti P, Agbenyega O, Meyer B, Oppong S, Sarkodie YA, Kalko EK, Lina PH, Godlevska EV, Reusken C, Seebens A, Gloza-Rausch F, Vallo P, Tschapka M, Drosten C, Drexler JF: Human betacoronavirus 2c EMC/2012-related viruses in bats, Ghana and Europe. Emerg Infect Dis 2013, 19: 456-459. 10.3201/eid1903.121503PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Müller MA, Raj VS, Muth D, Meyer B, Kallies S, Smits SL, Wollny R, Bestebroer TM, Specht S, Suliman T, Zimmermann K, Binger T, Eckerle I, Tschapka M, Zaki AM, Osterhaus AD, Fouchier RA, Haagmans BL, Drosten C: Human coronavirus EMC does not require the SARS-coronavirus receptor and maintains broad replicative capability in mammalian cell lines. mBio 2012, 3: e00515-12. 10.1128/mBio.00515-12PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Raj VS, Mou H, Smits SL, Dekkers DH, Müller MA, Dijkman R, Muth D, Demmers JA, Zaki A, Fouchier RA, Thiel V, Drosten C, Rottier PJ, Osterhaus AD, Bosch BJ, Haagmans BL: Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 is a functional receptor for the emerging human coronavirus-EMC. Nature 2013, 495: 251-254. 10.1038/nature12005PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Demogines A, Farzan M, Sawyer SL: Evidence for ACE2-utilizing coronaviruses (CoVs) related to severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV in bats. J Virol 2012, 86: 6350-6353. 10.1128/JVI.00311-12PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Kindler E, Jónsdóttir HR, Muth D, Hamming OJ, Hartmann R, Rodriguez R, Geffers R, Fouchier RA, Drosten C, Müller MA, Dijkman R, Thiel V: Efficient replication of the novel human betacoronavirus EMC on primary human epithelium highlights its zoonotic potential. mBio 2013, 4: e00611-e00612.PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Birney E, Clamp M, Durbin R: GeneWise and Genomewise. Genome Res 2004, 14: 988-995. 10.1101/gr.1865504PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Edgar RC: MUSCLE: multiple sequence alignment with high accuracy and high throughput. Nucleic Acids Res 2004, 32: 1792-1797. 10.1093/nar/gkh340PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Yang Z: PAML 4: phylogenetic analysis by maximum likelihood. Mol Biol Evol 2007, 24: 1586-1591. 10.1093/molbev/msm088PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Murphy WJ, Pevzner PA, O'Brien SJ: Mammalian phylogenomics comes of age. Trends Genet 2004, 20: 631-639. 10.1016/j.tig.2004.09.005PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Teeling EC, Springer MS, Madsen O, Bates P, O'brien SJ, Murphy WJ: A molecular phylogeny for bats illuminates biogeography and the fossil record. Science 2005, 307: 580-584. 10.1126/science.1105113PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Perelman P, Johnson WE, Roos C, Seuánez HN, Horvath JE, Moreira MA, Kessing B, Pontius J, Roelke M, Rumpler Y, Schneider MP, Silva A, O'Brien SJ, Pecon-Slattery J: A molecular phylogeny of living primates. PLoS Genet 2011, 7: e1001342. 10.1371/journal.pgen.1001342PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Memish ZA, Mishra N, Olival KJ, Fagbo SF, Kapoor V, Epstein JH, AlHakeem R, Al Asmari M, Islam A, Kapoor A, Briese T, Daszak P, Al Rabeeah AA, Lipkin WI: Middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus in bats, Saudi Arabia. Emerg Infect Dis in pressGoogle Scholar
- Ithete NL, Stoffberg S, Corman VM, Cottontail VM, Richards LR, Schoeman MC, Drosten C, Drexler JF, Preiser W: Close relative of human middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in bat, South Africa. Emerg Infect Dis 2013, 19: 1697-1699. 10.3201/eid1910.130946PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Murrell B, Moola S, Mabona A, Weighill T, Sheward D, Kosakovsky Pond SL, Scheffler K: FUBAR: a fast, unconstrained bayesian approximation for inferring selection. Mol Biol Evol 2013, 30: 1196-1205. 10.1093/molbev/mst030PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Pond SL, Frost SD, Muse SV: HyPhy: hypothesis testing using phylogenies. Bioinformatics 2005, 21: 676-679. 10.1093/bioinformatics/bti079PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Wang N, Shi X, Jiang L, Zhang S, Wang D, Tong P, Guo D, Fu L, Cui Y, Liu X, Arledge KC, Chen YH, Zhang L, Wang X: Structure of MERS-CoV spike receptor-binding domain complexed with human receptor DPP4. Cell Res 2013, 23: 986-993. 10.1038/cr.2013.92PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Cui J, Han N, Streicker D, Li G, Tang X, Shi Z, Hu Z, Zhao G, Fontanet A, Guan Y, Wang L, Jones G, Field HE, Daszak P, Zhang S: Evolutionary relationships between bat coronaviruses and their hosts. Emerg Infect Dis 2007, 13: 1526-1532. 10.3201/eid1310.070448PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Reusken CB, Haagmans BL, Müller MA, Gutierrez C, Godeke GJ, Meyer B, Muth D, Raj VS, Vries LS, Corman VM, Drexler JF, Smits SL, El Tahir YE, De Sousa R, van Beek J, Nowotny N, van Maanen K, Hidalgo-Hermoso E, Bosch BJ, Rottier P, Osterhaus A, Gortázar-Schmidt C, Drosten C, Koopmans MP: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus neutralising serum antibodies in dromedary camels: a comparative serological study. Lancet Infect Dis 2013, 13: 859-866. 10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70164-6PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.