Analysis of 52 Rab GTPases from channel catfish and their involvement in immune responses after bacterial infections

Ruijia Wang, Yu Zhang, Shikai Liu, Chao Li, Luyang Sun, Lisui Bao, Jianbin Feng, Zhanjiang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Rab genes, encoding a large family of monomeric G-proteins, contain over 60 members in the human genome. They have been recognized as crucial regulators for membrane trafficking including cargo sorting, vesicle formation, budding, motility, docking, fusion, secretory and endocytic pathway of host immune responses. However, little is known of the Rab gene family in teleost fish species. The development of full-length transcripts and whole genome sequences allow the identification and annotation of Rab GTPase gene family in catfish. In this study, a total of 52 Rab genes were identified from catfish cDNA and genome databases. Phylogenetic analysis assigned them into eleven subfamilies. Most Rab GTPases are conserved among vertebrates, though some of which are absent in fish genomes. Analysis of multiple RNA-seq datasets, along with real time PCR analysis revealed up-regulation of 10 Rab genes after bacterial infection. These included Rab3a, Rab4a, Rab4b, Rab5a, Rab5c, Rab7a, Rab9a, Rab11a, Rab11b, and Rab33a. Their up-regulation are temporally and spatially regulated in various tissues, but mostly induced at early stages after infection and in the gill and liver tissues, with the exception of Rab5c that is mostly up-regulated in the head kidney and trunk kidney. The complex pattern of their induced expression suggested both specific and cooperative actions of a these Rab genes in the acute immune responses to bacterial infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-34
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute phase, infection
  • Catfish
  • Disease
  • Fish
  • Innate immunity
  • Rab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Developmental Biology


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