, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 654-662
Date: 15 Sep 2006

Heavy Metal-Induced Differential Gene Expression of Metallothionein in Javanese Medaka, Oryzias javanicus

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Abstract

A metallothionein (MT) gene was isolated for the first time from Javanese medaka, Oryzias javanicus, which shows high adaptability from freshwater to seawater. The full-length cDNA of MT from O. javanicus (OjaMT) comprises 349 bp, excluding the poly(A)+ stretch, and codes for a total of 60 amino acids. The positions of cysteine residues are highly conserved. The pattern of OjaMT expression induced by six heavy metals was analyzed via real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The level of hepatic OjaMT mRNA was increased in a dose-dependent manner by Ag, Cd, Cu, and Zn after 24 h of exposure. However, after Cr and Ni exposure, a significant decrease in OjaMT levels was observed. Cadmium-induced OjaMT expression was detectable in fishes as young as 3 months. After Cd exposure, OjaMT induction was prominent in intestine and liver and moderate in muscle and gill. OjaMT mRNA levels could represent a good biomarker for monitoring heavy metals in seawater.