The CC and CXC chemokine receptors in channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and their involvement in disease and hypoxia responses

Qiang Fu, Yujia Yang, Chao Li, Qifan Zeng, Tao Zhou, Ning Li, Yang Liu, Shikai Liu, Zhanjiang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Chemokines are vital regulators of cell mobilization for immune surveillance, inflammation, and development. Chemokines signal through binding to their receptors that are a superfamily of seven-transmembrane domain G-coupled receptors. Recently, a complete repertoire of both CC and CXC chemokines have been identified in channel catfish, but nothing is known about their receptors. In this study, a set of 29 CC chemokine receptor (CCR) genes and 8 CXC chemokine receptor (CXCR) genes were identified and annotated from the channel catfish genome. Extensive phylogenetic and comparative genomic analyses were conducted to annotate these genes, revealing fish-specific CC chemokine receptors, and lineage-specific tandem duplications of chemokine receptors in the teleost genomes. With 29 genes, the channel catfish genome harbors the largest numbers of CC chemokine receptors among all the genomes characterized. Analysis of gene expression after bacterial infections indicated that the chemokine receptors were regulated in a gene-specific manner. Most differentially expressed chemokine receptors were up-regulated after Edwardsiella ictaluri and Flavobacterium columnare infection. Among which, CXCR3 and CXCR4 were observed to participate in immune responses to both bacterial infections, indicating their potential roles in catfish immune activities. In addition, CXCR3.2 was significantly up-regulated in ESC-susceptible fish, and CXCR4b was mildly induced in ESC-resistant fish, further supporting the significant roles of CXCR3 and CXCR4 in catfish immune responses. CXCR4b and CCR9a were both up-regulated not only after bacterial infection, but also after hypoxia stress, providing the linkage between bacterial infection and low oxygen stresses. These results should be valuable for comparative immunological studies and provide insights into their roles in disease and stress responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-251
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Chemokine receptor
  • Disease resistance
  • Fish
  • Genome
  • Hypoxia
  • Innate immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Developmental Biology


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