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Content archived on 2024-04-16

A study of fish genes and the regulation of their expression

Objective

The scientific aim is the isolation and characterization of fish genes and their promoters, which will contribute to the understanding of the regulation of fish gene expression.
The research project is centred on fish genes and the nature of the elements controlling their expression. Although a single fish carries in each cell the same battery of genes, the expression of these genes is highly specific. For example the hormone prolactin is produced in the pituitary gland. Vertebrate and biomedical research has depended on mammalian models such as mice for molecular biological research. This project proves that fish are scientifically comparable and economically more reasonable models to study. Applications of this research have already appeared in the field of cancer research and mid term applications are expected in the fields of disease control and section.

Highlights include the first proof of a phenotypic effect of the Xmrk oncogene in fish; the potential conservation through evolution of a 'Pit-1-like' protein and binding site of the prolactin gene; the evolutionary significance of several fish genes studied; the tissue specific expression of a murine immunoglobulin promoter/enhancer in fish; a reliable method for the spawning, fertilisation and sex manipulation of seabass; the steady convergence of fish gene research towards one principal model fish.
A large amount of information is available on the regulation of gene expression in mammals.However in fish few studies have tackled gene cloning and analysis and none, to our knowledge, has considered transcriptional regulation. our project which is dealing with a newly developing field, aims at the study of the molecular elements involved in fish gene promotor activity (i.e. involved in tissue specific expression and induction by different factors). We will successively clone and characterise several promotors, link each of them to a reporter gene, introduce these hybrid genes into fish cell lines grown in-vitro and assay the reporter gene transient expression as a measure of the linked promotor strength. Finally, we will select the necessary regulatory elements for similar assays in sterile freshwater and saltwater fish as a test of their activity. Knowledge of the structure of some fish gene promotors will contribute to the understanding of the tissue specific and inducible expression of genes.

Topic(s)

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Call for proposal

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Coordinator

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
EU contribution
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Address
59,De Beriotstraat 32 (Gelijkvloers)
3000 Leuven
Belgium

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Total cost
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Participants (10)