Project description:To orchestrate the genomic response to cellular stress signals, p53 recognizes and binds to DNA containing specific and well-characterized p53-responsive elements (REs). Differences in RE sequences can strongly affect the p53 transactivation capacity and occur even between closely related species. Therefore, the identification and characterization of a species-specific p53 Binding sistes (BS) consensus sequence and of the associated target genes may help to provide new insights into the evolution of the p53 regulatory networks across different species. Although p53 functions were studied in a wide range of species, little is known about the p53-mediated transcriptional signature in Danio rerio. Here, we designed and biochemically validated a computational approach to identify novel p53 target genes in Danio rerio genome. Screening all the Danio rerio genome by pattern-matching-based analysis, we found p53 RE-like patterns proximal to 979 annotated Danio rerio genes. Prioritization analysis identified a subset of 134 candidate pattern-related genes, 31 of which have been investigated in further biochemical assays. Our study identified runx1, axin1, traf4a, hspa8, col4a5, necab2, and dnajc9 genes as novel direct p53 targets and 12 additional p53-controlled genes in Danio rerio genome. The proposed combinatorial approach resulted to be highly sensitive and robust for identifying new p53 target genes also in additional animal species.
Project description:Zebrafish (Danio rerio) has emerged as a model organism to investigate vertebrate development and human genetic diseases. However, the zebrafish genome annotation is still ongoing and incomplete, and there are still new gene transcripts to be found. With the introduction of massive parallel sequencing, whole transcriptome studies became possible. In the present study, we aimed to discover novel transcribed regions (NTRs) using developmental transcriptome data from RNA sequencing. In order to achieve this, we developed an in-house bioinformatics pipeline for NTR discovery. Using the pipeline, we detected 152 putative NTRs that at the time of discovery were not annotated in Ensembl and NCBI gene database. Four randomly selected NTRs were successfully validated using RT-PCR, and expression profiles of 10 randomly selected NTRs were evaluated using qRT-PCR. The identification of these 152 NTRs provide new information for zebrafish genome annotation as well as new candidates for studies of zebrafish gene function.
Project description:Histidyl tRNA Synthetase (HARS) is a member of the aminoacyl tRNA synthetase (ARS) family of enzymes. This family of 20 enzymes is responsible for attaching specific amino acids to their cognate tRNA molecules, a critical step in protein synthesis. However, recent work highlighting a growing number of associations between ARS genes and diverse human diseases raises the possibility of new and unexpected functions in this ancient enzyme family. For example, mutations in HARS have been linked to two different neurological disorders, Usher Syndrome Type IIIB and Charcot Marie Tooth peripheral neuropathy. These connections raise the possibility of previously undiscovered roles for HARS in metazoan development, with alterations in these functions leading to complex diseases. In an attempt to establish Danio rerio as a model for studying HARS functions in human disease, we characterized the Danio rerio hars gene and compared it to that of human HARS. Using a combination of bioinformatics, molecular biology, and cellular approaches, we found that while the human genome encodes separate genes for cytoplasmic and mitochondrial HARS protein, the Danio rerio genome encodes a single hars gene which undergoes alternative splicing to produce the respective cytoplasmic and mitochondrial versions of Hars. Nevertheless, while the HARS genes of humans and Danio differ significantly at the genomic level, we found that they are still highly conserved at the amino acid level, underscoring the potential utility of Danio rerio as a model organism for investigating HARS function and its link to human diseases in vivo.
Project description:In the Danio species, interspecific hybridization has been conducted in several combinations. Among them, only the hybrid between a zebrafish (D. rerio) female and a spotted danio (D. nigrofasciatus) male was reported to be fertile. However, beyond these investigations, by means of reproductive biology, gametes of the hybrid have also not been investigated genetically. For this study, we induced a hybrid of the D. rerio female and D. nigrofasciatus male in order to study its developmental capacity, reproductive performance and gametic characteristics. Its hybrid nature was genetically verified by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis of the rhodopsin gene. Almost all the hybrids (36/37) were males, and only one was female. Developing oocytes were observed in the hybrid female, but ovulated eggs have not been obtained thus far. Microscopic observation revealed various head sizes of sperm in the hybrid males. Flow cytometry showed that the hybrid males generated aneuploid sperm with various ploidy levels up to diploidy. In backcrosses between D. rerio females and hybrid males, fertilization rates were significantly lower than the control D. rerio, and most resultant progeny with abnormal appearance exhibited various kinds of aneuploidies ranging from haploidy to triploidy, but only one viable progeny, which survived more than four months, was triploid. This suggested the contribution of fertile diploid sperm of the hybrid male to successful fertilization and development.
Project description:Here, we report the draft genome sequences of Edwardsiella ictaluri strains LADL11-100 and LADL11-194, two isolates from natural outbreaks of edwardsiellosis in the zebrafish Danio rerio, as well as the sequences of the plasmids carried by the zebrafish strain of E. ictaluri.
Project description:PURPOSE: Recently, a proof-of-concept study revealed the suitability of transcriptome analyses to obtain and assess changes in the abundance of transcripts in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos after exposure to organic sediment extracts. The present study investigated changes in the transcript abundance in zebrafish embryos exposed to whole sediment samples and corresponding organic extracts in order to identify the impact of different exposure pathways on sediment toxicity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Danio rerio embryos were exposed to sublethal concentrations of three sediment samples from the Danube River, Germany. The sediment samples were investigated both as freeze-dried samples and as organic extracts. Silica dust and a process control of the extraction procedure were used as references. After exposure, mRNA was isolated and changes in profiles of gene expression levels were examined by an oligonucleotide microarray. The microarray results were compared with bioassays, chemical analysis of the sediments and profiles of gene expression levels induced by several single substances. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The microarray approach elucidated significant changes in the abundance of transcripts in exposed zebrafish embryos compared to the references. Generally, results could be related to Ah-receptor-mediated effects as confirmed by bioassays and chemical analysis of dioxin-like contaminants, as well as to exposure to stress-inducing compounds. Furthermore, the results indicated that mixtures of chemicals, as present in sediment and extract samples, result in complex changes of gene expression level profiles difficult to compare with profiles induced by single chemical substances. Specifically, patterns of transcript abundances were less influenced by the chemical composition at the sampling site compared t the method of exposure (sediment/extract). This effect might be related to different bioavailability of chemicals. CONCLUSIONS: The apparent difference between the exposure scenarios is an important aspect that needs to be addressed when conducting analyses of alterations in the expression level of mRNA.
Project description:We used microarray and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analyses in adult female zebrafish (Danio rerio) to identify metabolic pathways regulated by starvation in the liver and brain. The transcriptome of whole zebrafish brain showed little response to 21 days of starvation. Only agouti-related protein 1 (agrp1) significantly responded, with increased expression in brains of starved fish. In contrast, a 21-day period of starvation significantly downregulated 466 and upregulated 108 transcripts in the liver, indicating an overall decrease in metabolic activity, reduced lipid metabolism, protein biosynthesis, proteolysis, and cellular respiration, and increased gluconeogenesis. Starvation also regulated expression of many components of the unfolded protein response, the first such report in a species other than yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and mice (Mus musculus). The response of the zebrafish hepatic transcriptome to starvation was strikingly similar to that of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and less similar to mouse, while the response of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) differed considerably from the other three species.
Project description:Regulators of biotransformation are of particular interest in pharmacology and toxicology, determining in part the metabolism, disposition, and toxicity of chemicals. The nuclear receptor NR1I2 (pregnane X receptor, PXR) is a prominent xenosensor that regulates the expression of biotransformation enzymes governing elimination of many exogenous as well as endogenous compounds. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) has only one gene locus for pxr, but different genetic variants have been identified in zebrafish. However, the prevalence and significance of these variants are unknown. We hypothesize that sequence variation occurring in the Pxr gene of zebrafish may affect the action and fate of many chemicals in this species, a key model organism in various fields of research, including environmental toxicology. Here, we examine variation in Pxr sequences from four different strains of zebrafish and assess the responses of each Pxr to clotrimazole and butyl-4-aminobenzoate. The Pxr variants differed in both their ability to bind these structurally different ligands and to regulate reporter gene expression in vitro. We infer that the observed sequence variations in zebrafish Pxrs likely affect the response to putative Pxr agonists in vivo and potentially cause strain-specific biotransformation of xenobiotics in zebrafish. Thus, the choice of zebrafish strain could affect the outcome of downstream toxicological studies.
Project description:In this study we have assessed the effects of increased cortisol levels during early embryonic development on immune function in zebrafish (Danio rerio) larvae. Fertilized eggs were exposed to either a cortisol-containing, a dexamethasone-containing (to stimulate the glucocorticoid receptor selectively) or a control medium for 6 h post-fertilization (0-6 hpf). First, we measured baseline expression of a number of immune-related genes (socs3a, mpeg1.1, mpeg1.2, and irg1l) 5 days post-fertilization (dpf) in larvae of the AB and TL strain to assess the effectiveness of our exposure procedure and potential strain differences. Cortisol and dexamethasone strongly up-regulated baseline expression of these genes independent of strain. The next series of experiments were therefore carried out in larvae of the AB strain only. We measured neutrophil/macrophage recruitment following tail fin amputation (performed at 3 dpf) and phenotypical changes as well as survival following LPS-induced sepsis (150 ?g/ml; 4-5 dpf). Dexamethasone, but not cortisol, exposure at 0-6 hpf enhanced neutrophil recruitment 4 h post tail fin amputation. Cortisol and dexamethasone exposure at 0-6 hpf led to a milder phenotype (e.g., less tail fin damage) and enhanced survival following LPS challenge compared to control exposure. Gene-expression analysis showed accompanying differences in transcript abundance of tlr4bb, cxcr4a, myd88, il1?, and il10. These data show that early-life exposure to cortisol, which may be considered to be a model or proxy of maternal stress, induces an adaptive response to immune challenges, which seems mediated via the glucocorticoid receptor.