Zebrafish mRNA sequencing deciphers novelties in transcriptome dynamics during maternal to zygotic transition.
ABSTRACT Maternally deposited mRNAs direct early development before the initiation of zygotic transcription during mid-blastula transition (MBT). To study mechanisms regulating this developmental event in zebrafish, we applied mRNA deep sequencing technology and generated comprehensive information and valuable resources on transcriptome dynamics during early embryonic (egg to early gastrulation) stages. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis documented at least 8000 maternal genes and identified the earliest cohort of zygotic transcripts. We determined expression levels of maternal and zygotic transcripts with the highest resolution possible using mRNA-seq and clustered them based on their expression pattern. We unravel delayed polyadenylation in a large cohort of maternal transcripts prior to the MBT for the first time in zebrafish. Blocking polyadenylation of these transcripts confirms their role in regulating development from the MBT onward. Our study also identified a large number of novel transcribed regions in annotated and unannotated regions of the genome, which will facilitate reannotation of the zebrafish genome. We also identified splice variants with an estimated frequency of 50%-60%. Taken together, our data constitute a useful genomic information and valuable transcriptome resource for gene discovery and for understanding the mechanisms of early embryogenesis in zebrafish.
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ABSTRACT: Zygotic transcription in fish embryos initiates around the time of gastrulation, and all prior development is initiated and controlled by maternally derived messenger RNAs. Atlantic cod egg and embryo viability is variable, and it is hypothesized that the early development depends upon the feature of these maternal RNAs. Both the length and the presence of specific motifs in the 3'UTR of maternal RNAs are believed to regulate expression and stability of the maternal transcripts. Therefore, the aim of this study was to characterize the overall composition and 3'UTR structure of the most common maternal RNAs found in cod eggs and pre-zygotic embryos. 22229 Sanger-sequences were obtained from 3'-end sequenced cDNA libraries prepared from oocyte, 1-2 cell, blastula and gastrula stages. Quantitative PCR revealed that EST copy number below 9 did not reflect the gene expression profile. Consequently genes represented by less than 9 ESTs were excluded from downstream analyses, in addition to sequences with low-quality gene hits. This provided 12764 EST sequences, encoding 257 unique genes, for further analysis. Mitochondrial transcripts accounted for 45.9-50.6% of the transcripts isolated from the maternal stages, but only 12.2% of those present at the onset of zygotic transcription. 3'UTR length was predicted in nuclear sequences with poly-A tail, which identified 191 3'UTRs. Their characteristics indicated a more complex regulation of transcripts that are abundant prior to the onset of zygotic transcription. Maternal and stable transcripts had longer 3'UTR (mean 187.1 and 208.8 bp) and more 3'UTR isoforms (45.7 and 34.6%) compared to zygotic transcripts, where 15.4% had 3'UTR isoforms and the mean 3'UTR length was 76 bp. Also, diversity and the amount of putative polyadenylation motifs were higher in both maternal and stable transcripts. We report on the most pronounced processes in the maternally transferred cod transcriptome. Maternal stages are characterized by a rich abundance of mitochondrial transcripts. Maternal and stable transcripts display longer 3'UTRs with more variation of both polyadenylation motifs and 3'UTR isoforms. These data suggest that cod eggs possess a complex array of maternal RNAs which likely act to tightly regulate early developmental processes in the newly fertilized egg.BMC Genomics 09/2012; 13:443. · 4.07 Impact Factor
Article: Maternal topoisomerase II alpha, not topoisomerase II beta, enables embryonic development of zebrafish top2a-/- mutants.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Genetic alterations in human topoisomerase II alpha (TOP2A) are linked to cancer susceptibility. TOP2A decatenates chromosomes and thus is necessary for multiple aspects of cell division including DNA replication, chromosome condensation and segregation. Topoisomerase II alpha is also required for embryonic development in mammals, as mouse Top2a knockouts result in embryonic lethality as early as the 4-8 cell stage. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the extended developmental capability of zebrafish top2a mutants arises from maternal expression of top2a or compensation from its top2b paralogue. Here, we describe bloody minded (blm), a novel mutant of zebrafish top2a. In contrast to mouse Top2a nulls, zebrafish top2a mutants survive to larval stages (4-5 day post fertilization). Developmental analyses demonstrate abundant expression of maternal top2a but not top2b. Inhibition or poisoning of maternal topoisomerase II delays embryonic development by extending the cell cycle M-phase. Zygotic top2a and top2b are co-expressed in the zebrafish CNS, but endogenous or ectopic top2b RNA appear unable to prevent the blm phenotype. We conclude that maternal top2a enables zebrafish development before the mid-zygotic transition (MZT) and that zebrafish top2a and top2b are not functionally redundant during development after activation of the zygotic genome.BMC Developmental Biology 11/2011; 11:71. · 2.79 Impact Factor