DExD/H-box RNA helicase genes are differentially expressed between males and females during the critical period of male sex differentiation in channel catfish

Changxu Tian, Suxu Tan, Lisui Bao, Qifan Zeng, Shikai Liu, Yujia Yang, Xiaoxiao Zhong, Zhanjiang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

DExD/H-box RNA helicases are motor proteins participating in nearly all aspects of cellular processes, especially in RNA metabolism. In this study, a total of 54 DExD/H-box RNA helicase genes including 37 DDX (DEAD-box) and 17 DHX (DEAH-box) genes were characterized in channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), and annotated through phylogenetic and syntenic analyses. All the catfish RNA helicases contained conserved helicase signature motifs, demonstrating that the RNA helicase gene family was highly conserved. Analysis of the relative rates of synonymous (dS) and nonsynonymous (dN) substitutions revealed that the RNA helicase genes were subjected to strong negative (purifying) selection. Meta-analysis was conducted to determine expression of the RNA helicase genes during the critical period (90–110 days post-fertilization, dpf) of male gonad differentiation. At 90 dpf, 24 RNA helicase genes were highly differentially expressed in the gonad tissues between the males and females; similarly, 24 and 18 RNA helicase genes were found highly differentially expressed in the gonad tissues between the males and females at 100 and 110 dpf, respectively (p < 0.01). In general, the vast majority of the RNA helicase genes (31) were expressed at higher levels in females than in males. In the male gonad, a set of 8 RNA helicases were expressed at a significantly higher level at 110 dpf than at 90 dpf. These findings suggested that RNA helicases may play important roles in sex development and differentiation in teleosts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part D: Genomics and Proteomics
Volume22
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Keywords

  • Fish
  • Gonad development
  • RNA helicases
  • RNA-Seq
  • Sex differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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