Feminization of channel catfish with 17β-oestradiol involves methylation and expression of a specific set of genes independent of the sex determination region

Wenwen Wang, Suxu Tan, Yujia Yang, Tao Zhou, De Xing, Baofeng Su, Jinhai Wang, Shangjia Li, Mei Shang, Dongya Gao, Rex Dunham, Zhanjiang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exogenous oestrogen 17β-oestradiol (E2) has been shown to effectively induce feminization in teleosts. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the process remain unclear. Here, we determined global DNA methylation and gene expression profiles of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) during early sex differentiation after E2 treatment. Overall, the levels of global DNA methylation after E2 treatment were not significantly different from those of controls. However, a specific set of genes were differentially methylated, which included many sex differentiation-related pathways, such as MARK signalling, adrenergic signalling, Wnt signalling, GnRH signalling, ErbB signalling, and ECM–receptor interactions. Many genes involved in these pathways were also differentially expressed after E2 treatment. Specifically, E2 treatments resulted in upregulation of female-related genes and downregulation of male-related genes in genetic males during sex reversal. However, E2-induced sex reversal did not cause sex-specific changes in methylation profiles or gene expression within the sex determination region (SDR) on chromosome 4, suggesting that E2-induced sex reversal was a downstream process independent of the sex determination process that was regulated by sex-specific methylation within the SDR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEpigenetics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Sex reversal
  • methylation
  • oestrogen
  • sex differentiation
  • teleost
  • transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research

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