Gene regulatory mechanisms in infected fish

Publication: Research - peer-reviewConference abstract in proceedings – Annual report year: 2011


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This talk will highlight the regulatory mechanisms of gene expression especially the programmed form of mRNA decay which is known as RNA interference (RNAi) and how this and other mechanisms contribute to the regulation of genes involved in immunity. In the RNAi mechanism small double stranded RNA molecules produced by the eukaryotic cell is used to program the RNA Induced Silencing Complex (RISC) for cleavage of specific mRNA transcripts and/or translational repression in the cytoplasm or even chromatin methylation in the nucleus. All processes leading to silencing of the target gene. MicroRNAs (or miRNAs) are one class of such small RNAs which are expressed from the genome. The RISC system allows for non-perfect base pairing of miRNAs to their target genes why one small RNA can in theory silence large groups of genes at the same time. It is therefore anticipated that they are able to depress whole pathways for the fine-tuning of physiological states like immunological reaction. But miRNAs are themselves under control of regulatory sequences for their timed expression. We will give an example of the finding of two rainbow trout microRNAs, which are up-regulated in the liver during infection with viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV), and a genomic upstream sequence which we believe contains their promoter. Particular transcription factor binding motifs inside this potential promoter area point to its use in dsRNA induced antiviral defence. Other sites point to a role in leukocyte differentiation. Thus the expression of these miRNAs might be steered by different mechanisms in different cell types and have different roles in terms of the genes they target in different cell types. Thus gene regulation and function is better looked upon as a web of interactions. Data from zebrafish studies seem to show that these microRNAs are only expressed above a certain stage in the development of the fish.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDAFINET Workshop : Book of Abstract
Number of pages13
Publication date2011
StatePublished - 2011
EventDAFINET Workshop - Svaneke, Denmark


WorkshopDAFINET Workshop
LocationSiemsens Gaard
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