Hypersensitive assessment of aryl hydrocarbon receptor transcriptional activity using a novel truncated cyp1a promoter in zebrafish

Luo, J.J., Su, D.S., Xie, S.L., Liu, Y., Liu, P., Yang, X.J., Pei, D.S.
FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology   32(5): 2814-2826 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Liu, Yi, Luo, Juanjuan, Pei, Desheng
T-cyp1a, TCDD, biomarker, tumorigenesis
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1/biosynthesis*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1/genetics
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental/drug effects
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Luminescent Proteins/biosynthesis
  • Luminescent Proteins/genetics
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins/pharmacology*
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon/genetics
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon/metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic/drug effects*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical/pharmacology*
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism*
29298861 Full text @ FASEB J.
2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is a persistent organic pollutant (POP), an unintentional byproduct of various industrial processes, and a human carcinogen. The expression of the cytochrome P450 1A (cyp1a) gene is upregulated in the presence of TCDD through activating the aryl hydrocarbon receptor pathway in a dose-dependent manner. Several essential response elements, including the 8 potential xenobiotic response elements in the cyp1a promoter region, have been identified to be the main functional parts for the response to TCDD. Thus, we aimed to develop a convenient and sensitive biomonitoring tool to examine the level of POPs in the environment and evaluate its potential human health risks by TCDD. Here, we established a transgenic zebrafish model with a red fluorescent reporter gene (mCherry) using the truncated cyp1a promoter. Under exposure to TCDD, the expression pattern of mCherry in the reporter zebrafish mirrored that of endogenous cyp1a mRNA, and the primary target tissues for TCDD were the brain vessels, liver, gut, cloaca, and skin. Our results indicated that exposure of the embryos to TCDD at concentrations as low as 0.005 nM for 48 h, which did not elicit morphologic abnormalities in the embryos, markedly increased mCherry expression. In addition, the reporter embryos responded to other POPs, and primary liver cell culture of zebrafish revealed that Cyp1a protein was mainly expressed in the cytoplasm of liver cells. Furthermore, our transgenic fish embryos demonstrated that TCDD exposure can regulate the expression levels of several tumor-related factors, including epidermal growth factor, TNF-α, C-myc, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, TGF-β, serine/threonine kinase (Akt), and phosphorylated Akt, suggesting that our transgenic fish can be used as a sensitive model to evaluate the carcinogenicity induced by TCDD exposure.-Luo, J.-J., Su, D.-S., Xie, S.-L., Liu, Y., Liu, P., Yang, X.-J., Pei D.-S. Hypersensitive assessment of aryl hydrocarbon receptor transcriptional activity using a novel truncated cyp1a promoter in zebrafish.
Genes / Markers
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Mutations / Transgenics
Human Disease / Model
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes