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Stress granules are non-membranous cytoplasmic foci, composed of non-translating messenger ribonucleoproteins, translational initiation factors and other additional proteins. They represent a primary mechanism to rapidly modulate gene expression when cells are subjected to adverse environmental conditions. Very few works have been devoted to study the presence of the molecular components of stress granules in invertebrates. In this work, we characterized the transcript sequences for two important protein components of stress granules, TIA-1-related nucleolysin (TIAR) and tristetraprolin (TTP), in the solitary ascidian Ciona robusta, an invertebrate chordate, and carried out the first studies on their gene expression under stress conditions induced by metals (Cu, Zn and Cd). Data on mRNA expression levels, provided by qRT-PCR analyses, show a generalized decrease at the second day of metal-exposure for both tiar and ttp, suggesting that metal accumulation induces acute stress and the inhibition of the transcription for the two studied proteins. In-situ hybridization analyses demonstrate that TIAR and TTP antisense riboprobes recognize circulating granular amoebocytes in the hemolymph, in both blood lacunae and tunic. The results obtained in this work increase our knowledge on the evolution of anti-stress proteins in metazoans and emphasize the importance of the transcription of tiar and ttp, which represents an efficient physiological response allowing organisms to survive in the environment under stress conditions. Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.


Drago Laura, Peronato Anna, Franchi Nicola, Ballarin Loriano, Bakiu Rigers, Santovito Gianfranco. Stress granules in Ciona robusta: First evidences of TIA-1-related nucleolysin and tristetraprolin gene expression under metal exposure. Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Toxicology & pharmacology : CBP. 2021 May;243:108977

PMID: 33465518

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