Expression pattern of dmrt4 from olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) in adult gonads and during embryogenesis.

Abstract:

The dmrt (doublesex and mab-3 related transcription factor) gene family comprises several transcription factors that share a conserved DM domain. Dmrt1 is considered to be involved in sexual development, but the precise function of other family members is unclear. In this study, we isolated genomic DNA and cDNA sequences of dmrt4, a member of the dmrt gene family, from olive flounder, Paralichthys olivaceus, through genome walking and real-time reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR. Sequence analysis indicated that its genomic DNA contains two exons and one intron. A transcriptional factor binding sites prediction program identified a sexual development-related protein, Sox9 (Sry-like HMG box containing 9) in its 5' promoter. Protein alignment and phylogenetic analysis suggested that flounder Dmrt4 is closely related to tilapia Dmo (DM domain gene in ovary). The expression of dmrt4 in adult flounder was sexually dimorphic, as shown by real-time RT-PCR analysis, with strong expression in the testis but very weak expression in the ovary. Its expression was also strong in the brain and gill, but there was only weak or no expression at all in some of the other tissues tested of both sexes. During embryogenesis, its expression was detected in most developmental stages, although the level of expression was distinctive of the various stages. Whole mount in situ hybridization revealed that the dmrt4 was expressed in the otic placodes, forebrain, telencephalon and olfactory placodes of embryos at different developmental stages. These results will improve our understanding of the possible role of flounder dmrt4 in the development of the gonads, nervous system and sense organs.

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