Differential expression and evolution of three tandem, interleukin-1 receptor-like 1 genes in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

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Interleukin-1 receptor-like 1 (Il1rl1 or ST2), a member of the interleukin-1 receptor family, has pleiotropic roles including tissue homeostasis, inflammation, immune polarization, and disease resistance in mammals. A single orthologue was previously described in salmonid fish; however, a recently improved genome assembly of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) revealed three adjacent, tandem il1rl1 orthologues on chromosome Omy 03. Here, we report the genomic organization and evolution of the three il1rl1 genes (il1rl1α, il1rl1β, il1rl1γ), and use both RNA-seq and gene-specific qPCR methods to quantify expression patterns. Nucleotide sequence homology between the three genes is >95% and each predicted protein contains three IG/IG-like domains, a transmembrane region and a TIR domain. The amino acid sequence homology of the rainbow trout il1rl1 genes are highly related to two functional copies in Atlantic and Coho salmon (˜94%) but relatively low (22–26%) with avian and mammalian species. Transcript abundance measured by RNA-seq in 15 tissues of healthy adult rainbow trout indicate constitutive expression of each gene. In whole body lysates, il1rl1α was shown to have >20 fold mRNA expression compared to il1rl1β and il1rl1γ as measured by qPCR assays specific to il1rl1α or il1rl1γ, as well as a multi-gene qPCR assay (il1rl1α,β,γ). Unrooted phylogenetic trees grouped the rainbow trout il1rl1 genes apart from other interleukin-1 receptor family genes and genomic comparisons identify preserved synteny between mammals, birds and salmonids albeit a pseudogene is present in both Atlantic salmon and Coho salmon. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that the three genes arose by tandem duplication but are inconclusive whether these events occurred prior-to or after salmonid speciation. These findings further the understanding of interleukin receptor family evolution and their contribution to teleost immune function.

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