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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 685; doi:10.3390/ijms18040685

Divergent Expression Patterns and Function Implications of Four nanos Genes in a Hermaphroditic Fish, Epinephelus coioides

1
State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, Guangdong Province Key Laboratory for Aquatic Economic Animals, The Institute of Aquatic Economic Animals, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Li Lin
Received: 13 February 2017 / Revised: 12 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 23 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Abstract

Multiple nanos genes have been characterized in several fishes, but the functional implications of their various expression patterns remain unclear. In this study, we identified and characterized four nanos genes from a hermaphroditic fish orange-spotted grouper, Epinephelus coioides. Ecnanos1a and Ecnanos1b show divergent expression patterns, and the dynamic expression change of Ecnanos1a in pituitaries during sex change is associated with testis differentiation and spermatogenesis. Ecnanos2 and Ecnanos3 might be germline stem cells (GSCs) and primordial germ cells (PGCs)-specific markers, respectively. Significantly, Ecnanos3 3′-untranslated region (UTR) is necessary for PGC specific expression, where a non-canonical “GCACGTTT” sequence is required for miR-430-mediated repression of Ecnanos3 RNA. Furthermore, grouper Dead end (Dnd) can relieve miR-430 repression in PGCs by associating with a 23 bp U-rich region (URR) in Ecnanos3 3′-UTR. The current study revealed the functional association of multiple nanos genes with PGC formation and germ cell development in orange-spotted grouper, and opened up new possibilities for developing biotechnologies through utilizing the associations between Ecnanos3 and PGCs or between Ecnanos2 and GSCs in the hermaphroditic fish. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanos; germ-line cells; primordial germ cells (PGCs); germline stem cells (GSCs); protogynous hermaphrodite; orange-spotted grouper; sex change nanos; germ-line cells; primordial germ cells (PGCs); germline stem cells (GSCs); protogynous hermaphrodite; orange-spotted grouper; sex change
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sun, Z.-H.; Wang, Y.; Lu, W.-J.; Li, Z.; Liu, X.-C.; Li, S.-S.; Zhou, L.; Gui, J.-F. Divergent Expression Patterns and Function Implications of Four nanos Genes in a Hermaphroditic Fish, Epinephelus coioides. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 685.

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