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1.  Mucins as Diagnostic and Prognostic Biomarkers in a Fish-Parasite Model: Transcriptional and Functional Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65457.
Mucins are O-glycosylated glycoproteins present on the apex of all wet-surfaced epithelia with a well-defined expression pattern, which is disrupted in response to a wide range of injuries or challenges. The aim of this study was to identify mucin gene sequences of gilthead sea bream (GSB), to determine its pattern of distribution in fish tissues and to analyse their transcriptional regulation by dietary and pathogenic factors. Exhaustive search of fish mucins was done in GSB after de novo assembly of next-generation sequencing data hosted in the IATS transcriptome database (www.nutrigroup-iats.org/seabreamdb). Six sequences, three categorized as putative membrane-bound mucins and three putative secreted-gel forming mucins, were identified. The transcriptional tissue screening revealed that Muc18 was the predominant mucin in skin, gills and stomach of GSB. In contrast, Muc19 was mostly found in the oesophagus and Muc13 was along the entire intestinal tract, although the posterior intestine exhibited a differential pattern with a high expression of an isoform that does not share a clear orthologous in mammals. This mucin was annotated as intestinal mucin (I-Muc). Its RNA expression was highly regulated by the nutritional background, whereas the other mucins, including Muc2 and Muc2-like, were expressed more constitutively and did not respond to high replacement of fish oil (FO) by vegetable oils (VO) in plant protein-based diets. After challenge with the intestinal parasite Enteromyxum leei, the expression of a number of mucins was decreased mainly in the posterior intestine of infected fish. But, interestingly, the highest down-regulation was observed for the I-Muc. Overall, the magnitude of the changes reflected the intensity and progression of the infection, making mucins and I-Muc, in particular, reliable markers of prognostic and diagnostic value of fish intestinal health.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065457
PMCID: PMC3680472  PMID: 23776483
2.  Deep sequencing for de novo construction of a marine fish (Sparus aurata) transcriptome database with a large coverage of protein-coding transcripts 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:178.
Background
The gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) is the main fish species cultured in the Mediterranean area and constitutes an interesting model of research. Nevertheless, transcriptomic and genomic data are still scarce for this highly valuable species. A transcriptome database was constructed by de novo assembly of gilthead sea bream sequences derived from public repositories of mRNA and collections of expressed sequence tags together with new high-quality reads from five cDNA 454 normalized libraries of skeletal muscle (1), intestine (1), head kidney (2) and blood (1).
Results
Sequencing of the new 454 normalized libraries produced 2,945,914 high-quality reads and the de novo global assembly yielded 125,263 unique sequences with an average length of 727 nt. Blast analysis directed to protein and nucleotide databases annotated 63,880 sequences encoding for 21,384 gene descriptions, that were curated for redundancies and frameshifting at the homopolymer regions of open reading frames, and hosted at http://www.nutrigroup-iats.org/seabreamdb. Among the annotated gene descriptions, 16,177 were mapped in the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) database, and 10,899 were eligible for functional analysis with a representation in 341 out of 372 IPA canonical pathways. The high representation of randomly selected stickleback transcripts by Blast search in the nucleotide gilthead sea bream database evidenced its high coverage of protein-coding transcripts.
Conclusions
The newly assembled gilthead sea bream transcriptome represents a progress in genomic resources for this species, as it probably contains more than 75% of actively transcribed genes, constituting a valuable tool to assist studies on functional genomics and future genome projects.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-178
PMCID: PMC3606596  PMID: 23497320
Sparus aurata; Next-generation sequencing; De novo assembly; Transcriptome; Database
3.  Dietary vegetable oils do not alter the intestine transcriptome of gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata), but modulate the transcriptomic response to infection with Enteromyxum leei 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:470.
Background
Studies conducted with gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata L.) have determined the maximum dietary replacement of fish meal and oil without compromising growth or product quality. The present study aimed to analyze the effect of the nutritional background on fish health and fish fed plant protein-based diets with fish oil (FO diet) or a blend of vegetable oils (66VO diet) were exposed for 102 days to the intestinal myxosporean parasite Enteromyxum leei, and the intestine transcriptome was analyzed with a customized oligo-microarray of 7,500 annotated genes.
Results
Infection prevalence was high and similar in the two diet groups, but the outcome of the disease was more pronounced in fish fed the 66VO diet. No differences were found in the transcriptome of both diet control groups, whereas the number of differentially expressed genes in infected groups was considerable. K-means clustering of these differentially expressed genes identified four expression patterns that reflected the progression of the disease with the magnitude of the fold-change being higher in infected 66VO fish. A positive correlation was found between the time of infection and the magnitude of the transcriptional change within the 66VO group, being higher in early infected animals. Within this diet group, a strong up-regulation of many components of the immune specific response was evidenced, whereas other genes related to complement response and xenobiotic metabolism were down-regulated.
Conclusions
The high replacement of fish oil by vegetable oils in practical fish feeds did not modify the intestine transcriptome of gilthead sea bream, but important changes were apparent when fish were exposed to the myxosporean E. leei. The detected changes were mostly a consequence rather than a cause of the different disease progression in the two diet groups. Hence, the developed microarray constitutes an excellent diagnostic tool to address changes associated with the action of intestinal pathogens, but lacks a prognostic value to predict in advance the different susceptibility of growing fish to the current pathogen.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-470
PMCID: PMC3444936  PMID: 22967181
Teleost; Parasite; Myxozoa; Intestine; Transcriptome; Nutrigenomics
4.  Use of microarray technology to assess the time course of liver stress response after confinement exposure in gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata L.) 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:193.
Background
Selection programs for growth and stress traits in cultured fish are fundamental to the improvement of aquaculture production. The gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) is the main aquacultured species in the Mediterranean area and there is considerable interest in the genetic improvement of this species. With the aim of increasing the genomic resources in gilthead sea bream and identifying genes and mechanisms underlying the physiology of the stress response, we developed a cDNA microarray for gilthead sea bream that is enriched by suppression substractive hybridization with stress and immunorelevant genes. This microarray is used to analyze the dynamics of gilthead sea bream liver expression profile after confinement exposure.
Results
Groups of confined and control juvenile fish were sampled at 6, 24, 72 and 120 h post exposure. GeneSpring analyses identified 202 annotated genes that appeared differentially expressed at least at one sampling time (P < 0.05). Gene expression results were validated by quantitative PCR of 10 target genes, and K-means clustering of differently expressed genes identified four major temporal gene expression profiles. Set 1 encompassed a rapid metabolic readjustment with enhanced uptake and intracellular transport of fatty acids as metabolic fuels. Set 2 was associated with a wide variety of tissue repair and remodeling processes that were mostly mediated by the stress response of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Sets 3 and 4 encompassed the re-establishment of cellular homeostasis with increased intracellular trafficking and scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS), accompanied by a bidirectional regulation of the immune system and a general decline of ROS production.
Conclusions
Collectively, these findings show the complex nature of the adaptive stress response with a clear indication that the ER is an important control point for homeostatic adjustments. The study also identifies metabolic pathways which could be analyzed in greater detail to provide new insights regarding the transcriptional regulation of the stress response in fish.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-193
PMCID: PMC2860363  PMID: 20307314

Results 1-4 (4)