Pearson, D.S., Kulyk, W.M., Kelly, G.M., and Krone, P.H. (1996) Cloning and characterization of a cDNA encoding the collagen-binding stress protein hsp47 in zebrafish. DNA and cell biology. 15:263-272.
Hsp47 is a major stress-inducible protein that is localized to the endoplasmic reticulum of avian and mammalian cells and is thought to act as a molecular chaperone specific for the processing of procollagen. Although hsp47 is coordinately expressed together with several collagen types, and vertebrate embryos are known to express collagen genes in complex spatial and temporal patterns, limited information is available regarding the function or regulation of hsp47 during early embryonic development. We have initiated an examination of hsp47 in the zebrafish, Danio rerio, which offers a number of features that make it attractive as a model developmental system with which to examine the expression and function of hsp47. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based cloning strategy was used to isolate a hsp47 cDNA from an embryonic zebrafish cDNA library. The deduced translation product of the cDNA is a 404-amino-acid polypeptide that is 72% identical to chicken, 64% identical to mouse and rat, and 69% identical to human hsp47. The protein contains a typical hydrophobic signal sequence, an RDEL endoplasmic reticulum retention signal, and a serine protease inhibitor signature sequence, all of which are characteristic of hsp47 in higher vertebrates. Thus, it is likely that hsp47 in zebrafish is also localized to the endoplasmic reticulum and may play a similar role to its counterpart in higher vertebrates. Northern blot analysis revealed that the hsp47 gene is expressed at relatively low levels in embryos during normal development but is strongly induced following exposure to heat shock at the gastrula, midsomitogenesis, 2-day, and 3- day larval stages. The level of induction was much higher than has previously been reported in chicken and mouse cells.