Genetic disruption of 21-hydroxylase in zebrafish causes interrenal hyperplasia

Eachus, H., Zaucker, A., Oakes, J.A., Griffin, A., Weger, M., Güran, T., Taylor, A., Harris, A., Greenfield, A., Quanson, J.L., Storbeck, K.H., Cunliffe, V.T., Müller, F., Krone, N.
Endocrinology   158(12): 4165-4173 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Cunliffe, Vincent, Müller, Ferenc, Weger, Meltem, Zaucker, Andreas
MeSH Terms
  • Adrenal Hyperplasia, Congenital/embryology
  • Adrenal Hyperplasia, Congenital/enzymology
  • Adrenal Hyperplasia, Congenital/genetics*
  • Animals
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/embryology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/enzymology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/metabolism
  • Fish Diseases/embryology
  • Fish Diseases/enzymology
  • Fish Diseases/genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Glucocorticoids/biosynthesis
  • Hyperplasia/enzymology
  • Hyperplasia/genetics
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Interrenal Gland/embryology
  • Interrenal Gland/metabolism*
  • Interrenal Gland/pathology
  • Larva/enzymology
  • Larva/genetics
  • Larva/metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Steroid 21-Hydroxylase/genetics*
  • Steroid 21-Hydroxylase/metabolism
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism
28938470 Full text @ Endocrinology
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is a group of common inherited disorders leading to glucocorticoid deficiency. Most cases are caused by 21-hydroxylase deficiency (21OHD). The systemic consequences of imbalanced steroid hormone biosynthesis due to severe 21OHD remains poorly understood. Therefore, we have developed a zebrafish model for 21OHD, which focuses on the impairment of glucocorticoid biosynthesis. A single 21-hydroxylase gene (cyp21a2) is annotated in the zebrafish genome based on sequence homology. Our in silico analysis of the Cyp21a2 protein sequence suggests a sufficient degree of similarity for the usage of zebrafish cyp21a2 to model aspects of human 21OHD in vivo. We determined the spatio-temporal expression patterns of cyp21a2 by whole mount in situ hybridisation and RT-PCR throughout early development. Early cyp21a2 expression is restricted to the interrenal gland (zebrafish adrenal counterpart) and the brain. To further explore the in vivo consequences of 21-hydroxylase deficiency we created several cyp21a2 null-allele zebrafish lines employing a transcription activator-like effector nuclease genomic engineering strategy. Homozygous mutant zebrafish larvae showed an upregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-interrrenal axis and interrenal hyperplasia. Furthermore, Cyp21A2-deficient larvae had a typical steroid profile with reduced concentrations of cortisol and increased concentrations of 17-hydroxyprogesterone and 21-deoxycortisol. Affected larvae showed an upregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-interrrenal axis and interrenal hyperplasia. Downregulation of the glucocorticoid-responsive genes pck1 and fkbp5 indicated systemic glucocorticoid deficiency. Our work demonstrates the crucial role of Cyp21a2 in glucocorticoid biosynthesis in zebrafish larvae and establishes a novel in vivo model allowing for studies of systemic consequences of altered steroid hormone synthesis.
Genes / Markers
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Mutations / Transgenics
Human Disease / Model
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes