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Molecular cloning, characterization and expression analysis of TGF-β and receptor genes in the woodchuck model

Wang, Lu, Wang, Junzhong, Liu, Yana, Wang, Baoju, Yang, Shangqing, Yu, Qing, Roggendorf, Michael, Lu, Mengji, Liu, Jia, Yang, Dongliang
Gene 2016 v.595 no.1 pp. 1-8
Hepatitis B virus, Marmota monax, Woodchuck hepatitis virus, amino acids, animal models, antibodies, cardiovascular diseases, complementary DNA, cross reaction, cytokines, energy balance, flow cytometry, gene expression, genes, genetic relationships, immune system, liver, metabolic diseases, molecular cloning, molecular weight, neoplasms, nucleotide sequences, obesity, obesity-related diseases, phylogeny, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, sequence analysis, tissues, transcription (genetics), transforming growth factor beta 1, transforming growth factor beta 2, viral hepatitis
Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) is an important cytokine with pleiotropic regulatory functions in the immune system and in the responses against viral infections. TGF-β acts on a variety of immune cells through the cell surface TGF-β receptor (University of Duisburg-EssenTGFBR). The woodchuck has been used as a biomedical model for studies of obesity and energy balance, endocrine and metabolic function, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and neoplastic disease. Woodchucks infected with woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV) represent an informative animal model to study hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. In this study, the cDNA sequences of woodchuck TGF-β1, TGF-β2, TGFBR1 and TGFBR2 were cloned, sequenced and characterized. The full-length TGFBR1 cDNA sequence consisted of 1305bp coding sequence (CDS) that encoded 434 amino acids with a molecular weight of 48.9kDa. The phylogenetic tree analysis revealed that the woodchuck TGF-β family genes had a closer genetic relationship with Ictidomys tridecemlineatus. One antibody with cross-reactivity to woodchuck TGFBR1 was identified by flow cytometry. Moreover, the expression of these genes were analyzed at the transcriptional level. The quantitative PCR analysis showed that the TGF-β family transcripts were constitutively expressed in many tissues tested. Altered expression levels of the TGF-β family transcripts in the liver of WHV infected woodchucks were observed. These results serve as a foundation for further insight into the role of the TGF-β family in viral hepatitis in woodchuck model. Our work also possesses the potential value for characterizing the TGF-β family in other related diseases, such as obesity-related diseases, metabolic disorder, cardiovascular disease and cancer.