Project description:In this study, to clarify the bioactive polypeptides included in the skins and secretions of Bufo, we screened the Japanese toad (Bufo japonicus formosus) skin cDNA liary by colony polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and obtained a transcript of 1 075 bp consisting of 1 37 bp 5' untranslated region (UTR), 515 bp 3' UTR and a 423 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding a polypeptide of 140 amino acid residues (GenBank accession number: KF359945). Homolog analysis showed a 70%-96% homology with sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP-2) present in other animals, which is implicated in lipid metabolism of other organisms. The gene SCP-2 of Chinese toad (B. gargarizans) was cloned from a first strand cDNA of Bufo skin (GenBank accession number: KF381341) via PCR, whose encoding polypeptide has only one amino acid difference from that of Japanese toad. Tissue distribution analysis showed that SCP-2 expressed in all organs tested, though in the liver and spleen it manifested lower expression than in other organs. These findings might indicate SCP-2 being one of the active ingredients in toad skin. These findings may in turn have implications for further drug development from traditional Chinese medicine sources.
Project description:Tyrosinase (EC.18.104.22.168.) is a widespread enzyme, in the phylogenetic scale, that produces melanin, from bacteria to man, by using as substrates monophenols, o-diphenols and molecular oxygen. In this work we have confirmed and demonstrated that during Bufo bufo development tyrosinase activity and gene expression first occur at developmental stages 17-18 (tail bud-muscular response) as detected by a spectrophotometric assay and qRT-PCR. As expected, also during B. bufo development tyrosinase gene is expressed after the late gastrula (stage 12), differently from Rana pipiens development when tyrosinase mRNA appears at the neural plate stage and enzyme activity at stage 20 (gill circulation). We have cloned and sequenced the B. bufo tyrosinase cDNA in order to prepare B. bufo tyrosinase cDNA specific primers (forward and reverse). Tyrosinase mRNA cloning has been performed by using degenerate primers prepared according to the anuran tyrosinase gene sequence coding for the copper binding sites. The expressions of tyrosinase gene and enzymatic activity during B. bufo development support that until the developmental stage 17, embryo melanin is of maternal origin and at this stage can start embryo melanin synthesis. A correlation exists between tyrosinase expression and O2 consumption during B. bufo development.
Project description:The Asiatic toad <i>Bufo gargarizans</i> belongs to Bufonidae. This species is known from the Russian Far East, central, northern and north-eastern China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Japan. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome of <i>B. gargarizans</i> was sequenced. The mitogenome was 17,407?bp in length, consisting of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes, two ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes, and a non-coding control region. As in other vertebrates, most mitochondrial genes are encoded on the heavy strand, except for ND6 and eight tRNA genes which are encoded on the light strand. The overall base composition of the <i>B. gargarizans</i> is 28.9% A, 28.2% T, 27.5% C, and 15.3% G. Phylogenetic analysis showed <i>B. gargarizans</i> was closely related to <i>B. bankorensis</i> and <i>B. tibetanus.</i> The complete mitogenome of <i>B. gargarizans</i> can provide an important data for the studies on phylogenetic relationship and population genetics to further explore the taxonomic status of this species.
Project description:Here we report the discovery and partial characterization of a novel herpesvirus tentatively named Bufonid herpesvirus 1 (BfHV1) from severe dermatitis in free ranging common toads (Bufo bufo) in Switzerland. The disease has been observed in toads every year since 2014, in spring, during the mating season, at different and distant locations. The virus is found in the skin and occasionally in the brain of infected toads. The genome of the virus is at least 158 Kb long and contains at least 152 open reading frames with a minimal length of 270 nt. The genome of BfHV1 contains all the signature genes that are present in alloherpesviruses. Phylogenetic analysis based on the amino acid sequence of the DNA polymerase and terminase proteins positions the novel virus among the members of the genus Batrachovirus, family Alloherpesviridae. This is the first herpesvirus ever characterized in common toads.
Project description:Genome-wide investigation of molecular mechanisms for high-altitude adaptation has attracted great attention in the last few years. In order to understand the contribution of gene expression level variations to high-altitude adaptation in Asiatic toads (Bufo gargarizans), we implemented a reciprocal transplant experiment between low- and high-altitude sites and sequenced 12 transcriptomes from brain, heart, and liver tissues.A large number of genes with expression differences (DEGs) between high- and low-altitude individuals (193 fixed and 844 plastic) were identified, and the majority of them were tissue specific. Heart displayed the largest number of DEGs, both plastic and fixed. Fixed DEGs were particularly concentrated in functions associated with muscle contraction, and the majority of them were down-regulated in high-altitude individuals. Plastic DEGs were highly concentrated in several energy metabolism related functional categories, and the majority of them were also down-regulated at high-altitude environments. In liver samples, genes associated with nutrient metabolism experienced a broad-scale expression down-regulation in high-altitude toads.These broadly suppressed expression patterns at high altitudes are in strong contrast to those of endothermic homeotherms, suggesting poikilothermic vertebrates may have adopted different strategies at high altitudes. Our results strongly support that both genotypic specialization and phenotypic plasticity play crucial role in adaptation to high altitude for Asiatic toads. Poikilothermic vertebrates are among the most hypoxia-tolerant animals known, and many molecular mechanisms remain elusive. We hope that our results will provide useful directions for future research.