Bcl-2 proteins are of vital importance in regulation of apoptosis, and are involved in a number of biological processes such as carcinogenesis and immune responses. Bcl-2 genes have been well studied in mammals, while they are not well investigated in teleost fish including channel catfish, the major aquaculture species in the United States. In this study, we identified 34 bcl-2 genes from the channel catfish genome, and verified their identities by conducting phylogenetic and syntenic analyses. The expression profiles of the bcl-2 genes in response to bacterial infections (Edwardsiella ictaluri and Flavobacterium columnare) and hypoxia stress were determined by performing meta-analysis using the existing RNA-Seq datasets. Differential expressions of bcl-2 genes were observed after bacterial infections and hypoxia treatment, including 22 bcl-2 genes after E. ictaluri infection, 22 bcl-2 genes after F. columnare infection, and 19 bcl-2 genes after hypoxia stress. Overall, the expression of the pro-apoptotic bcl-2 genes were repressed after bacterial infection and hypoxia stress, indicating that bcl-2 genes are potentially involved in the stress response by reducing cell apoptosis. Some bcl-2 genes, such as bcl2b, mcl1a, bmf1, and bnip3, showed different expression pattern during the E. ictaluri and F. columnare infection, suggesting the difference in the pathogenicity of diseases. This work presented the first systematic identification and annotation of bcl-2 genes in catfish, providing essential genomic resources for further immune and physiological studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology