Evolution of tissue-specific keratins as deduced from novel cDNA sequences of the lungfish

Institut für Zoologie, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mallerweg 6, D-55099 Mainz, Germany.
European Journal of Cell Biology (Impact Factor: 3.83). 04/2005; 84(2-3):363-77. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejcb.2004.12.006
Source: PubMed


Lungfishes are possibly the closest extant relatives of the land vertebrates (tetrapods). We report here the cDNA and predicted amino acid sequences of 13 different keratins (ten type I and three type II) of the lungfish Protopterus aethiopicus. These keratins include the orthologs of human K8 and K18. The lungfish keratins were also identified in tissue extracts using two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, keratin blot binding assays and immunoblotting. The identified keratin spots were analyzed by peptide mass fingerprinting which assigned seven sequences (inclusively Protopterus K8 and K18) to their respective protein spot. The peptide mass fingerprints also revealed the fact that the major epidermal type I and type II keratins of this lungfish have not yet been sequenced. Nevertheless, phylogenetic trees constructed from multiple sequence alignments of keratins from lungfish and distantly related vertebrates such as lamprey, shark, trout, frog, and human reveal new insights into the evolution of K8 and K18, and unravel a variety of independent keratin radiation events.

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    • "Type I keratins are acidic (pI = 4–6), and their molecular masses range from 40 to 64 kDa, whereas type II keratins are neutral to basic (pI = 6–8) and tend to be larger (52 to 68 kDa). Nevertheless, this designation of type I keratins as acidic or type II as basic is not supported in fish (see for example [12-14]). Unlike other IF proteins, keratins form obligatory heteropolymeric filaments consisting of equal numbers of type I and type II keratins [1,15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Keratins make up the largest subgroup of intermediate filaments, and, in chordates, represent the most abundant proteins in epithelial cells. They have been associated with a wide range of functions in the cell, but little information is still available about their expression profile and regulation during flatfish metamorphosis. Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis) is a commercially important flatfish in which no keratin gene has been described yet. The development of large-scale genomics of Senegalese sole has facilitated the identification of two different type I keratin genes referred to as sseKer1 and sseKer2. Main characteristics and sequence identities with other fish and mammal keratins are described. Phylogenetic analyses grouped sseKer1 and sseKer2 in a significant clade with other teleost epidermal type I keratins, and have allowed for the identification of sseKer2 as a novel keratin. The expression profile of both genes was studied during larval development and in tissues using a real-time approach. sseKer1 and sseKer2 mRNA levels were significantly higher in skin than in other tissues examined. During metamorphosis, sseKer1 transcripts increased significantly at first stages, and reduced thereafter. In contrast, sseKer2 mRNA levels did not change during early metamorphosis although a significant drop at metamorphosis climax and late metamorphosis was also detected. To study the possible regulation of sseKer gene expressions by thyroid hormones (THs), larvae were exposed to the goitrogen thiourea (TU). TU-treated larvae exhibited higher sseKer1 and sseKer2 mRNA levels than untreated control at both 11 and 15 days after treatment. Moreover, addition of exogenous T4 hormone to TU-treated larvae restored or even reduced the steady-state levels with respect to the untreated control, demonstrating that expression of both genes is negatively regulated by THs. We have identified two keratin genes, referred to as sseKer1 and sseKer2, in Senegalese sole. Phylogenetic analyses revealed sseKer2 as a novel keratin. Although they exhibit different expression patterns during larval development, both of them are negatively regulated by THs. The co-regulation by THs could explain the reduction of both keratin transcripts after the metamorphosis climax, suggesting their role in the tissue remodelling processes that occur during metamorphosis.
    BMC Developmental Biology 02/2007; 7(1):118. DOI:10.1186/1471-213X-7-118 · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    • "For immunoblotting we used 10% milk powder as the blocking reagent and the antibody incubations were performed overnight at 8°C. Peptide mass fingerprinting (PMF) using matrix-assisted laserdesorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) was performed as described in [16,18]. The mass tolerance for matching fragments was set to ≤ 100 ppm. "
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    ABSTRACT: 1. Vertebrate epithelial cells typically express a specific set of keratins. In teleosts, keratins are also present in a variety of mesenchymal cells, which usually express vimentin. Significantly, our previous studies revealed that virtually all known teleost keratins evolved independently from those present in terrestrial vertebrates. To further elucidate the evolutionary scenario that led to the large variety of keratins and their complex expression patterns in present day teleosts, we have investigated their presence in bichir, sturgeon and gar. 2. We have discovered a novel group of type I keratins with members in all three of these ancient ray-finned fish, but apparently no counterparts are present in any other vertebrate class so far investigated, including the modern teleost fish. From sturgeon and gar we sequenced one and from bichir two members of this novel keratin group. By complementary keratin blot-binding assays and peptide mass fingerprinting using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, in sturgeon we were able to assign the sequence to a prominent protein spot, present exclusively in a two-dimensionally separated cytoskeletal preparation of skin, thus identifying it as an epidermally expressed type I keratin. In contrast to the other keratins we have so far sequenced from bichir, sturgeon and gar, these new sequences occupy a rather basal position within the phylogenetic tree of type I keratins, in a close vicinity to the keratins we previously cloned from river lamprey. 3. Thus, this new K14 group seem to belong to a very ancient keratin branch, whose functional role has still to be further elucidated. Furthermore, the exclusive presence of this keratin group in bichir, sturgeon and gar points to the close phylogenetic relationship of these ray- finned fish, an issue still under debate among taxonomists.
    Frontiers in Zoology 02/2007; 4(1):16. DOI:10.1186/1742-9994-4-16 · 3.05 Impact Factor
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