Structural Conservation and Food Habit-related Liver Expression of Uncoupling Protein 2 Gene in Five Major Chinese Carps

  • Liao, Wan-Qin (College of Life Science and Technology, Jinan University) ;
  • Liang, Xu-Fang (College of Life Science and Technology, Jinan University) ;
  • Wang, Lin (College of Life Science and Technology, Jinan University) ;
  • Fang, Ling (College of Life Science and Technology, Jinan University) ;
  • Lin, Xiaotao (College of Life Science and Technology, Jinan University) ;
  • Bai, Junjie (Pearl River Fisheries Research Institute, Ministry of Agriculture) ;
  • Jian, Qing (Pearl River Fisheries Research Institute, Ministry of Agriculture)
  • Received : 2005.10.30
  • Accepted : 2005.12.20
  • Published : 2006.07.31


The full-length cDNA of grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) was obtained from liver. The grass carp UCP2 cDNA was determined to be 1152 bp in length with an open reading frame that encodes 310 amino acids. Five introns (Intron 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7) in the translated region, and partial sequence of Intron 2 in the untranslated region of grass carp UCP2 gene were also obtained. Gene structure comparison between grass carp and mammalian (human and mouse) UCP2 gene shows that, the UCP2 gene structure of grass carp is much similar to that of human and mouse. Partial UCP2 cDNA sequences of bighead carp (Aristichthys nobilis) and mud carp (Cirrhinus molitorella), were further determined. Together with the common carp (Cyprinus carpio) UCP2 sequence from GenBank (AJ243486), multiple alignment result shows that the nucleotide and amino acid sequences of the UCP2 gene, were highly conserved among the five major Chinese carps that belong to four subfamilies. Using beta-actin as control, the ratio UCP2/beta-actin mRNA (%) was determined to be $149.4{\pm}15.6$ (common carp), $127.4{\pm}22.1$ (mud carp), $96.7{\pm}12.7$ (silver carp), $94.1{\pm}26.8$ (bighead carp) and $63.7{\pm}16.2$ (grass carp). The relative liver UCP2 expression of the five major Chinese carps, shows a close relationship with their food habit: benthos and detrituseating fish (common carp and mud carp) > planktivorious fish (silver carp and bighead carp) > herbivorious fish (grass carp). We suggest that liver UCP2 might be important for Chinese carps to detoxify cyanotoxins and bacteria in debris and plankton food.


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