Feng, C.Y.; Rise, M.L. (2011). Identification and molecular cloning of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) transcript and its induction in spleen following intraperitoneal polyriboinosinic polyribocytidylic acid injection. Fish & Shellfish Immunology. 31 (3) 475-481.
Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) participates in cellular processes to adapt to various extra- and intra-cellular changes including the modulation of immunity to prevent uncontrolled immune responses to pathogens. In teleost fishes, the involvement of ATF3 in immune response has not been documented. In this study, the putative Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) ATF3 transcript was identified by performing rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) based on unknown expressed sequence tags (ESTs) that are potentially inducible by polyriboinosinic polyribocytidylic acid (pIC, a synthetic double-stranded RNA viral mimic) in Atlantic cod. ATF3-like ESTs were the most abundant unknown transcript (i.e. lacking significant BLAST hits) generated from a previously constructed cDNA library enriched for pIC inducible transcripts in Atlantic cod spleen. The full-length cDNA of cod ATF3 consists of 2329 nucleotides with an open reading frame (ORF) of 735 bp encoding 244 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence of Atlantic cod ATF3 shares over 45% identity with its putative orthologs from other vertebrates. In addition, the presence of a conserved basic region leucine zipper (bZIP) domain in the deduced Atlantic cod ATF3-like protein further supports its identity as an ATF3 homolog. In the spleen of Atlantic cod challenged with intraperitoneal (IP) injections of pIC, the time-course transcript expression of ATF3 was studied using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (QPCR). At 6 h following the pIC injection, the relative expression level of ATF3 mRNA was significantly up-regulated in comparison to a pre-injected control (61.9-fold) and its time-matched saline-injected control (97.3-fold). At 24 h following the pIC injection, the mRNA expression level of cod ATF3 had subsided and was no longer significantly different from its pre-injected control, but significantly higher (1.88-fold) than its time-matched saline-injected control. Collectively, these results suggest that ATF3 may be involved in the modulation of innate anti-viral response in Atlantic cod. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.