Genes & Genomics

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 113–123 | Cite as

Characterization of transcriptional responses mediated by benzo[a]pyrene stress in a new marine fish model of goby, Mugilogobius chulae

  • Lei Cai
  • Jianjun Li
  • Lujun Yu
  • Yuanzheng Wei
  • Zongyu Miao
  • Meili Chen
  • Ren HuangEmail author
Research Article


Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) is one of the most studied targets among polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Because of the complexity of the toxicity mechanism in BaP, little is known about the molecular mechanism at the level of transcription of BaP in marine fishes. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the molecular basis of the effects of BaP on marine fish, using Mugilogobius chulae (Smith 1932) as the model. A closed colony of M. chulae was used for the BaP toxicity test. Two fish liver samples per replicate from each group were excised and blended into one sample by pooling an equal amount of liver tissue. Total RNA of all samples was extracted separately. Equal quantities of total RNA from the three replicates of the two groups were pooled for sequencing. The sequencing cDNA libraries were sequenced using Illumina HiSeq 2000 system. Differentially expressed genes were detected with the DEGSeq R package. In total, 52,364,032 and 53,771,748 clean nucleotide reads were obtained in the control and BaP-exposed libraries, respectively, with N50 lengths of 1277 and 1288 bp, respectively. Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analyses revealed a significant enrichment of genes related to detoxification, transportation, and lipid metabolism. We also identified, for the first time, an association between endoplasmic reticulum dysfunction and lipid metabolism resulting from BaP exposure. Using quantitative real-time PCR, some effective molecular biomarkers for monitoring of BaP-polluted seawater were identified. The results demonstrate that BaP enhanced the expression of genes involved in detoxification in M. chulae and inhibited that of genes related to lipid metabolism, possibly by suppressing the expression of numerous ER-related genes involved in fat digestion and absorption.


Transcriptome sequencing Mugilogobius chulae Benzo[a]pyrene Xenobiotic metabolism Lipid metabolism Endoplasmic reticulum 



This work was supported by the National Key Technologies R & D Program of China (Grant No. 2015BAI09B05).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors would like to declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Genetics Society of Korea and Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Guangdong Laboratory AnimalsGuangdong Laboratory Animals Monitoring InstituteGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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