Posts By: Brigite Nunes Simoes Rodrigues
At last, having learnt the basics of WordPress, we're ready to start on our blogging adventure...we do hope you'll enjoy hearing of what's going on in the lab, and of work from colleagues that has caught our eye!
Recent paper published in Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. (Dec 2014) doi: 10.1111/pcmr.12335.
Ceinos RM, Guillot R, Kelsh RN, Cerdá-Reverter JM, Rotllant J
Dorso-ventral pigment pattern differences are the most widespread pigmentary adaptations in vertebrates. In mammals, this pattern is controlled by regulating melanin chemistry in melanocytes using a protein, agouti-signalling peptide (ASIP). In fish, studies of pigment patterning have focused on stripe formation, identifying a core striping mechanism dependent upon interactions between different pigment cell types. In contrast, mechanisms driving the dorso-ventral countershading pattern have been overlooked. Here, we demonstrate that, in fact, zebrafish utilize two distinct adult pigment patterning mechanisms - an ancient dorso-ventral patterning mechanism, and a more recent striping mechanism based on cell-cell interactions; remarkably, the dorso-ventral patterning mechanism also utilizes ASIP. These two mechanisms function largely independently, with resultant patterns superimposed to give the full pattern.
A very warm welcome to Karen, a new PhD student that has recently joined the group!
A very warm welcome to Nivedita Awasthi, a PhD student from Dr Tosso Leeb's Lab (University of Bern, Switzerland), who is visiting our group for two months.
A very warm welcome to Quirino Vassalli, a PhD student from Dr Margherita Branno's Lab (Stazione Anton Dohrn, Naples, Italy), who is visiting our group for few months!
A very warm welcome to Dr. Yusuke Nagao, from the Bioscience and Biotechnology Center (Nagoya University), who has recently joined the group!
Recent paper published in Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics (Jan 2015) doi: 10.1016/j.abb.2014.12.023.
B. Simões, N. Conceição, A.C. Matias, J. Bragança, R.N. Kelsh, M.L. Cancela
The CBFβ gene encodes a transcription factor that, in combination with CBFα (also called Runx, runt-related transcription factor) regulates expression of several target genes. CBFβ interacts with all Runx family members, such as RUNX2, a master-regulator of bone-related gene transcription that contains a conserved DNA-binding domain (Runt domain). CBFβ stimulates DNA binding of the Runt domain, and is essential for most of the known functions of RUNX2.
A comparative analysis of the zebrafish cbfβ gene and protein, and of its orthologous identified homologous proteins in different species indicates a highly conserved function. We cloned eleven transcripts of the zebrafish cbfβ gene, one resulting in the known Cbfβ protein (with 187 amino-acids (aa)), and three additional variants resulting from skipping exon 5a (resulting in a protein with 174 aa) or exon 5b resulting in a protein with 201 aa), both observed for the first time in zebrafish, and a completely novel isoform containing both exon 5a and 5b (and resulting in a protein with 188 aa). Functional analysis of these isoforms provides insight into their role in regulating gene transcription. From the other seven variants two correspond to premature early termination of Cbfβ forms, while the others show in-frame exon-skipping causing changes in the Cbfβ domain that may affect its function.