Molecular cloning, expression, structural and functional analysis of several immune relevant genes in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss
Fish diseases endanger the aquaculture industry worldwide. Approaches to combat fish diseases are hampered by the relative poor knowledge of immune relevant genes in fish. This thesis describes the cloning and expression of several immune relevant genes in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). The full-length cDNA and genomic DNA of the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) gene have been cloned and sequenced. The gene structure was the first to be determined outwith the mammals. The expression of the iNOS gene is induced by virus (VHSV) infection, but its detection by RT-PCR might be impaired by the secondary structure formed in the iNOS mRNA. Screening of a genomic library resulted in the isolation of a second allele of IL-1b1 gene with a large intron III. This allele appears to have resulted from a recent retroposition of a HpaI SINE into intron III. Two other retroposition events have also been recognised in the same intron. The survival mechanism of this SINE is discussed and a model of trout IL-1b gene formation proposed. Both alleles of the IL-1b1 gene are constitutively expressed and induced by LPS and recombinant trout IL-1b1 in heterozygous RTS-11 cells. The promoter of the IL-1b1 allele S gene was isolated and the transcription start site was determined. A series of promoter-reportor gene constructs were transfected into RTG cells to study their activities under different conditions. The first intron is an important part of the promoter of IL-1b1 allele S and NFkB is a transcription factor required for IL-1b1 expression. The cytokine receptor common gamma chain (gC) was also isolated from rainbow trout, the first outwith mammals. Its expression can be detected in blood, gill, kidney, brain and liver, and in macrophage cultures. The expression of gC in macrophage cell cultures is upregulated by recombinant IL-1b1 and LPS stimulation. The expression of gC is also detectable in RTG-2 cells with an increased transcript level after stimulation with recombinant IL-1b1.