Zebrafish ribonucleases are bactericidal

Implications for the origin of the vertebrate RNase a superfamily

Soochin Cho, Jianzhi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding the evolutionary origin of the ribonuclease (RNase) A superfamily is of great interest because the superfamily is the sole vertebrate-specific enzyme family known to date. Although mammalian RNases have a diverse array of biochemical and physiological functions, the original function of the superfamily at its birth is enigmatic. Such information may be obtained by studying basal lineages of the vertebrate phylogeny and is necessary for discerning how and why this superfamily originated. Here, we clone and characterize 3 RNase genes from the zebrafish, the most basal vertebrate examined for RNases. We report 1) that all the 3 zebrafish RNases are ribonucleolytically active, with one of them having an RNase activity comparable to that of bovine RNase A, the prototype of the superfamily; 2) that 2 zebrafish RNases have prominent expressions in adult liver and gut, whereas the 3rd is expressed in adult eye and heart; and 3) that all 3 RNases have antibacterial activities in vitro. These results, together with the presence of antibacterial and/or antiviral activities in multiple distantly related mammalian RNases, strongly suggest that the superfamily started as a host-defense mechanism in vertebrate evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1259-1268
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes

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ribonucleases
Zebrafish
Ribonucleases
Danio rerio
Vertebrates
vertebrate
vertebrates
Eosinophil Cationic Protein
Pancreatic Ribonuclease
defense mechanism
defense mechanisms
prototypes
clone
Phylogeny
phylogeny
digestive system
eyes
heart
Antiviral Agents
clones

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

Zebrafish ribonucleases are bactericidal : Implications for the origin of the vertebrate RNase a superfamily. / Cho, Soochin; Zhang, Jianzhi.

In: Molecular Biology and Evolution, Vol. 24, No. 5, 05.2007, p. 1259-1268.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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