Molecular characterization and expression analysis of a novelr-spondinmember (rspo2l) in Chinese tongue sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis)

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Numerous studies suggest R-spondins (Rspos) plays a role in mammalian sex development and differentiation by activating WNT signaling pathways. However, Rspos are frequently less reported in teleosts. In this study, a molecular characterization and expression analysis was conducted with a new rspondin member in the Chinese tongue sole, rspondin2-like (rspo2l). The length of rspo2l cDNA is 1251 bp with 732 bp of coding sequence. A qRT-PCR analysis revealed that the transcription of rspo2l was distributed in various tissues, with high transcription levels in the liver, skin, and gills which might indicate a possible role in immunity. We next examined a time-course of transcription levels in four immune tissues (gill, liver, spleen, and kidney) after Vibrio harveyi challenge. It was found that rspo2l was up-regulated in the gills, spleen, and kidney and down-regulated in the liver, and the greatest responses occurred at 24 and 48 h after bacterial challenge. An assessment of β-catenin, the key regulator of the canonical WNT signaling pathway, at different time points in four immune organs revealed that its transcription profile was similar to that of rspo2l after bacterial challenge. The results suggest that tongue sole rspo2l might play a role in immune responses after bacterial challenge, while the potential link with the WNT signaling pathway still requires further investigation. This is the first report about the involvement of rspondins in fish immune responses.

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