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Gene. 2012 Sep 15;506(2):317-24. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2012.06.092. Epub 2012 Jul 7.

ABC transporters, CYP1A and GSTα gene transcription patterns in developing stages of the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus).

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CIIMAR/CIMAR-Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology, University of Porto, Rua dos Bragas, 289, 4050-123 Porto, Portugal.


In fish, some ABC transporters are implicated in a multixenobiotic resistance (MXR) mechanism to deal with the presence of xenobiotics, by effluxing them, or their metabolites, from inside the cells. These efflux transporters have been considered an integral part of cellular detoxification pathways, acting in coordination with phase I and II detoxification enzymes. However, the full characterization of this detoxification system is still incomplete, especially during the developmental stages of aquatic organisms, which are particularly sensitive periods to the presence of anthropogenic contamination. The goal of this study was to evaluate the mRNA expression dynamics of putatively important MXR proteins (ABCB1b, ABCB11, ABCC1, ABCC2 and ABCG2a) and phase I (CYP1A) and II (GSTα) biotransformation enzymes, during the embryonic and larval developments of the specie Oreochromis niloticus (Nile tilapia). Our results showed that ABCB1b, ABCC1, CYP1A and GSTα transcripts are maternally transmitted. Transcripts for ABCB11, ABCC2 and ABCG2a were only detected after the pharyngula period, which precedes a highly sensitive stage in the embryonic development, the hatching. This study has shown, for the first time, very distinct expression patterns of genes encoding for proteins involved in protection mechanisms against pollutants during the development of Nile tilapia. Moreover, the temporal pattern of gene expression suggests that increased intrinsic protection levels are required at specific developmental stages.

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