Alternative transcripts of DMRT1 in the European sea bass: Expression during gonadal differentiation

TitleAlternative transcripts of DMRT1 in the European sea bass: Expression during gonadal differentiation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsDeloffre, LAM, Martins RST, Mylonas CC, Canario AVM
Pages89 - 99
KeywordsAlternative splicing, Dicentrarchus labrax, DMRT1, Gonadal development, Sex differentiation

DMRT1 is conserved from invertebrates to human and has been implicated in sex differentiation and testis function in many organisms. We report the cloning of two DMRT1 transcripts, DMRT1a and DMRT1b, encoded by a single gene in the European sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, a teleost fish with polygenic sex determination influenced by temperature. DMRT1a and DMRT1b are specific to the testis and are present as transcripts of 2.7 and 4.6 kb, as determined by Northern blot, although the cloned cDNAs are 1.2 and 1.9 kb. DMRT1a, encodes a protein of 306-amino acids, of similar size to what has been found in other teleosts, while the DMRT1b encodes a unique protein which differ from DMRT1a by having a 26 amino acids insertion which separates the S and Y domains. This insertion is the result of an extra exon (exon 4), present in the genomes of teleosts but not in other vertebrate genomes. Furthermore, unlike in the European sea bass, the putative product of DMRT1b in other teleost species is a truncated peptide. In European sea bass, the two transcripts are expressed at a similar level and have a similar expression profile in developing gonads. They are first detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction at 150 days post-hatch coinciding with the start of sex differentiation. After 200 days, expression increases in testis and decreases in ovary. Although it is not clear whether the two transcripts have differential roles it is suggested that both are required for testicular function. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


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