Diversification of the duplicated Rab1a genes in a hypoxia-tolerant fish, common carp (Cyprinus carpio).

Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & molecular biology

PubMedID: 26129846

Zhao ZX, Cao DC, Xu J, Xu R, Li JT, Zhang Y, Xu P, Sun XW. Diversification of the duplicated Rab1a genes in a hypoxia-tolerant fish, common carp (Cyprinus carpio). Comp Biochem Physiol B, Biochem Mol Biol. 2015;18854-62.
Common carp is a widely cultivated fish with longer than 2,000 years domestication history, due to its strong environmental adaptabilities, especially hypoxia tolerance. The common carp genome has experienced a very recent whole genome duplication (WGD) event. Among a large number of highly similar duplicated genes, a pair of Ras-associated binding-GTPase 1a (Rab1a) genes were found fast diverging. Four analogous Rab1a genes were identified in the common carp genome. Comparisons of gene structures and sequences indicated Rab1a-1 and Rab1a-2 was a pair of fast diverging duplicates, while Rab1a-3 and Rab1a-4 was a pair of less diverged duplicates. All putative Rab1a proteins shared conserved GTPase domain, which enabled the proteins serve as molecular switches for vesicular trafficking. Rab1a-1 and Rab1a-2 proteins varied in their C-terminal sequences, which were generally considered to encode the membrane localization signals. Differential expression patterns were observed between Rab1a-1 and Rab1a-2 genes. In blood, muscle, spleen, and heart, the mRNA level of Rab1a-1 was higher than that of Rab1a-2. In liver and intestine, the mRNA level of Rab1a-2 was higher. Expression of Rab1a-1 and Rab1a-2 showed distinct hypoxia responses. Under severe hypoxia, Rab1a-1 expression was down-regulated in blood, while Rab1a-2 expression was up-regulated in liver. Compared with the less diverged Rab1a-3/4 gene pair, common carp Rab1a-1/2 gene pair exhibited strong characteristics of sub-functionalization, which might contribute to a sophisticated and efficient Ras-dependent regulating network for the hypoxia-tolerant fish.