Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • cDNA cloning and expression analysis of two distinct Sox8 genes in Paramisgurnus dabryanus (Cypriniformes)

      Xiaohua Xia Jie Zhao Qiyan Du Zhongjie Chang

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      The Sox9 gene attracts a lot of attention because of its connection with gonadal development and differentiation. However, Sox8, belonging to the same subgroup SoxE, has rarely been studied. To investigate the function as well as the evolutionary origin of SOXE subgroup, we amplified the genomic DNA of Paramisgurnus dabryanu using a pair of degenerate primers. Using rapid amplification of the cDNA ends (RACE), it was discovered that P. dabryanu has two duplicates: Sox8a and Sox8b. Each has an intron of different length in the conserved HMG-box region. The overall sequence similarity of the deduced amino acid of PdSox8a and PdSox8b was 46.26%, and only two amino acids changed in the HMG-box. This is the first evidence showing that there are two distinct duplications of Sox8 genes in Cypriniformes. Southern blot analysis showed only one hybrid band, with lengths 7.4 or 9.2 kb. Both semi-quantitative RT-PCR and real-time quantitative PCR assay displayed that both PdSox8a and PdSox8b are downregulated during early embryonic development. In adult tissues, the two Sox8 genes expressed ubiquitously, and expression levels are particularly high in the gonads and brain. In gonads, both PdSox8a and PdSox8b are expressed at a higher level in the tesis than in the ovary. PdSox8a and PdSox8b may have functional overlaps and are essential for the neuronal development and differentiation of gonads.

    • Identification of housekeeping genes as references for quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis in Misgurnus anguillicaudatus


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      Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) is a well-known method to quantify gene expression by comparing with the reference genes. Generally, housekeeping genes were set as references, as for their stable expression in varying conditions. Here, we try to evaluate few of such genes to identify suitable housekeeping genes as references for qRT-PCR analysis of gene expression in Misgurnus anguillicaudatus. This study evaluated the expression of four commonly used housekeeping genes, i.e. b-actin (ACTB), elongation factor 1 alpha (EF-1a), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (GAPDH) and 18S ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA), in gender difference, effects of tissue type, different developmental stages, chemical treatment of embryos/larvae with commonly used vehicles for administration and agents that represent known environmental toxicant. Rank ordering of expression stability was done using geNorm, NormFinder and BestKeeper algorithms. Results suggested that in the qRTPCR test, in all the experimental conditions, EF-1a could be selected as reference gene when analysing a target gene. For the study of different development stages, ACTB could be a candidate as reference gene. For the studies associated with different gender and tissue types, EF-1a would be better targeted as reference gene. Meanwhile, in toxicant treatment, expression of EF-1a seems to be more stable than others and could be considered as reference gene. This study could provide useful guidelines that can be expected to aid M. anguillicaudatus researchers in their initial choice of housekeeping genes for future studies and enable more accurate normalization of gene expression data.

    • Molecular cloning and mRNA expression pattern of Sox4 in Misgurnus anguillicaudatus


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      Sox4, a member of the SoxC subfamily which of the Sox family, plays important roles in the development of the vertebrate gonad and nervous system. We have cloned a Sox4 homologue from the brain of Misgurnus anguillicaudatus using homologous cloning and rapid amplification of cDNA ends. We named the cloned gene as MaSox4. The full-length cDNA was 2122 bp, containing a 718bp 5'-untranslated region and a 267 bp 3'-untranslated region. The open-reading frame of the cloned gene encoded 378 amino acids and contained a characteristic HMG-box DNA-binding domain with the specific motif (RPMNAFMVW). Phylogenetic analysis indicated that MaSox4 is highly homologous to Sox4 in different species. Protein sequence analysis showed that MaSox4 is anonsecretory hydrophilic protein. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization assay revealed that MaSox4 was ubiquitously expressed during embryogenesis and is present in various adult tissues, especially in the central nervous system. Our study suggests that MaSox4 is highly conserved among vertebrates’ evolution and might be involved in developmental processes such as embryogenesis, neurogenesis and gonad development.

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