U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


Main content area

Characterization of two kcnk3 genes in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus): Molecular cloning, tissue distribution, and transcriptional changes in various salinity of seawater

Wen, Zheng-Yong, Bian, Chao, You, Xinxin, Zhang, Xinhui, Li, Jia, Zhan, Qiuyao, Peng, Yuxiang, Li, Yuan-You, Shi, Qiong
Genomics 2019
DNA fragmentation, Oreochromis niloticus, amino acids, euryhaline species, fish, genes, genomics, heart, heat production, homeostasis, hypertension, laboratory experimentation, mammals, membrane potential, models, molecular cloning, osmoregulation, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction, potassium channels, prediction, salinity, seawater, sequence alignment, surveys, tissue distribution, tissues, transcription (genetics), transcription factors
As one important member of the two-pore-domain potassium channel (K₂P) family, potassium channel subfamily K member 3 (KCNK3) has been reported for thermogenesis regulation, energy homeostasis, membrane potential conduction, and pulmonary hypertension in mammals. However, its roles in fishes are far less examined and published. In the present study, we identified two kcnk3 genes (kcnk3a and kcnk3b) in an euryhaline fish, Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), by molecular cloning, genomic survey and laboratory experiments to investigate their potential roles for osmoregulation. We obtained full-length coding sequences of the kcnk3a and kcnk3b genes (1209 and 1173 bp), which encode 402 and 390 amino acids, respectively. Subsequent multiple sequence alignments, putative 3D-structure model prediction, genomic survey and phylogenetic analysis confirmed that two kcnk3 paralogs are widely presented in fish genomes. Interestingly, a DNA fragment inversion of a kcnk3a cluster was found in Cypriniforme in comparison with other fishes. Quantitative real-time PCRs demonstrated that both the tilapia kcnk3 genes were detected in all the examined tissues with a similar distribution pattern, and the highest transcriptions were observed in the heart. Meanwhile, both kcnk3 genes in the gill were proved to have a similar transcriptional change pattern in response to various salinity of seawater, implying that they might be involved in osmoregulation. Furthermore, three predicted transcription factors (arid3a, arid3b, and arid5a) of both kcnk3 genes also showed a similar pattern as their target genes in response to the various salinity, suggesting their potential positive regulatory roles. In summary, we for the first time characterized the two kcnk3 genes in Nile tilapia, and demonstrated their potential involvement in osmoregulation for this economically important fish.