Vitellogenin gene expression in marine mussels exposed to ethinylestradiol: no induction at the transcriptional level
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/2644
EDITED VERSION: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0141113621000714
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
Vitellogenin (Vtg), a large multidomain protein precursor of egg-yolk proteins, is used as an endocrine disruption biomarker in fish, and in the last decades, its use has been extended to invertebrates like mollusks. However, it remains unclear whether invertebrate endocrine system produces Vtg in response to estrogens, like it occurs in oviparous vertebrates. In a previous study, no evidence of induction of Vtg expression at protein level was found in gonads of the marine mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis after exposure to the estrogenic chemical 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2). In the present follow-up study, it was investigated whether there is any effect of EE2 on Vtg abundance at transcriptional level in M. galloprovincialis gonads. To this aim, RT-qPCR analysis targeting three different domains of Vtg transcript was performed on gonads of mussels that were exposed either 4 or 24 days to 100 ng/L EE2. In addition, several reference genes were analysed and a selection of these for potential use in further RT-qPCR analyses on mussel male and female gonads is provided. Results showed higher expression in females than in males for the three analysed Vtg domains, and no evidence of Vtg mRNA induction due to EE2 either in females or males. The present results, together with those obtained from previous analysis at protein level, support that Vtg is not an adequate biomarker for xenoestrogenicity in marine mussels. Additionally, nucleotide sequences of Vtg transcripts of three closely-related species from Mytilus edulis complex (M. galloprovincialis, M. edulis and M. trossulus) are provided and compared with Vtg sequences from other mollusk species to assess the level of conservation and evolutionary relationships among species.
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