dmrtb1 performs critical functions in sex determination/differentiation and gonadal development in many organisms, but its role in teleost is rarely studied. Through gene cloning, in situ hybridization, and RNA interference technology, the function of dmrtb1 in testicular development of large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea) was studied; our study will be helpful in understanding further the molecular regulation mechanism of Lcdmrtb1/Lcdmrt6 in testicular development in L. crocea, and our results enrich the theory of fish dmrts involved in reproductive regulation and provide a new idea for sex control breeding of L. crocea by manipulating reproductive pathway.
Doublesex- and mab-3-related transcription factor B1 (dmrtb1/dmrt6) belongs to one of the members of DMRT family, which performs critical functions in sex determination and differentiation, gonadal development, and functional maintenance. However, knowledge of its exact mechanism remains unclear in teleost. Very little is known about the role of dmrtb1 in the gonad development of Larimichthys crocea. In this study, a dmrtb1 homolog in L. crocea named as Lcdmrtb1 with the full-length cDNA was isolated and characterized. Except for the conserved DM domain, the other regions had low homology. Of the tissues sampled, Lcdmrtb1 was only found to be highly expressed in the testis. In situ hybridization of testis revealed Lcdmrtb1 in both spermatogonia and spermatocytes. After Lcdmrtb1 interference in the testis cells (LYCT) of L. crocea, the expression levels of Lcdmrtb1 and Lcdmrt1 were significantly decreased; subsequently, testicular cell morphology changed from fibrous to round and their growth rate slowed. Similarly, the expression levels of Lcdmrtb1, Lcdmrt1, sox9a/b, and amh were significantly decreased after RNAi in the testis. Furthermore, it was discovered that the spermatogonia had disappeared, and the Sertoli cells had been reduced. The results of immunohistochemistry showed that the expression of Sox9 protein in the testis was not detected after dmrtb1 was knocked down. These results indicated that the absence of Lcdmrtb1 not only greatly inhibited cell growth and destroyed the morphology of testis cells but also down-regulated Lcdmrt1 expression in the testis. This study will be helpful in understanding further the molecular regulation mechanism of Lcdmrtb1/Lcdmrt6 in testicular development in L. crocea.
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