Transcriptome Analysis Reveals the Complex Regulatory Pathway of Background Color in Juvenile <em>Plectropomus leopardus</em> Skin Color Variation

pubmed: wnt1 2023-01-25

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Sep 23;23(19):11186. doi: 10.3390/ijms231911186.


Fish skin color is often strongly affected by background color. We hypothesized that the regulatory mechanism of variations in skin color in P. leopardus is linked to the background color. In this study, we conducted transcriptome analysis of Plectropomus leopardus cultured under different background colors to compare gene expression levels and the important signaling pathways. The RNA-seq analysis yielded 26,675 known mRNAs, 3278 novel mRNAs, and 3179 differentially expressed genes (DEGs). The DEGs related to melanin synthesis were screened out. Some key melanin-related genes were identified, specifically tyr, slc7a11, mc1r, ednrb, dct, tat, and wnt1. These DEGs were mainly involved in melanogenesis, including tyrosine metabolism, the Wnt signaling pathway, and the cAMP signaling pathway. The expression levels of some key genes were upregulated when background color deepened, such as α-msh, wnt, and gf. The α-MSH/cAMP-dependent, Wnt/β-catenin, and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways were activated, resulting in the accumulation of intracellular mitf. mitf promoted melanin production by binding to the tyr/tyrp1/dct promoter region. In the present study, we explored the molecular mechanism underlying the darkened skin color pattern of P. leopardus, providing a theoretical basis for the molecular mechanism underlying pigmentation in P. leopardus.

PMID:36232493 | PMC:PMC9569894 | DOI:10.3390/ijms231911186