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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2018 May 1;260:107-114. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2018.01.006. Epub 2018 Jan 12.

A novel stress hormone response gene in tadpoles of Xenopus tropicalis.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati, 312 Clifton Ct, Cincinnati, OH 45221, United States.
UMR 7221 CNRS, Muséum National d'histoire Naturelle, Dépt. Régulation, Développement et Diversité Moléculaire, Sorbonne Universités, Paris, France.
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati, 312 Clifton Ct, Cincinnati, OH 45221, United States. Electronic address:


Previous work identified a transcribed locus, Str. 34945, induced by the frog stress hormone corticosterone (CORT) in Xenopus tropicalis tails. Because thyroid hormone had no influence on its expression, Str. 34945 was dubbed the first "CORT-only" gene known from tadpoles. Here, we examine the genomic annotation for this transcript, hormone specificity, time course of induction, tissue distribution, and developmental expression profile. The location of Str. 34945 on the X. tropicalis genome lies between the genes ush1g (Usher syndrome 1G) and fads6 (fatty acid desaturase 6). A blast search showed that it maps to the same region on the X. laevis genome, but no hits were found in the human genome. Using RNA-seq data and conventional reverse transcriptase PCR and sequencing, we show that Str. 34945 is part of the 3' untranslated region of ush1g. We find that CORT but not aldosterone or thyroid hormone treatment induces Str. 34945 in tadpole tails and that expression of Str. 34945 achieves maximal expression within 12-24 h of CORT treatment. Among tissues, Str. 34945 is induced to the highest degree in tail, with lesser induction in lungs, liver, and heart, and no induction in the brain or kidney. During natural metamorphosis, Str. 34945 expression in tails peaks at metamorphic climax. The role of ush1g in metamorphosis is not understood, but the specificity of its hormone response and its expression in tail make ush1g valuable as a marker of CORT-response gene induction independent of thyroid hormone.


Corticosterone; Frog metamorphosis; Gene expression; Usher’s syndrome type 1G

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