The expression of two novel orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides) TNF genes in peripheral blood leukocytes, various organs, and fish larvae

Freda Wai San Lam, Szu Yin Wu, Shih Jie Lin, Chin Chou Lin, Yi Ming Chen, Han Ching Wang, Tzong Yueh Chen, Han Tso Lin, John Han You Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


The tumour necrosis factor (TNF) super-family is a group of important cytokines involved in inflammation, apoptosis, cell proliferation, and the general stimulation of the immune system. The TNF gene has been cloned in some bony fish; however, its counterparts are still unidentified in the majority of fish species. In this study, we cloned gTNF-1 and gTNF-2 from the orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides), an economically important farmed fish. Both genes include 4 exons and 3 introns and encoded 253 and 241 amino acid proteins with a molecular weight of approximately 27 and 26 kDa, respectively. The identity of the putative amino acid sequences between gTNF-1 and gTNF-2 was only 38%. The positions of cysteine residues, a protease cleavage site, and a transmembrane domain sequence derived from gTNF-1 and gTNF-2 were similar to those in other fish and mammalian TNF-α. The mRNA expression levels of the 2 gTNF molecules were evaluated in unstimulated/stimulated peripheral blood leukocytes, various organs, and fish larvae. Following lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment, gTNF-2 was expressed at higher levels, was up-regulated more quickly, and was more sensitive to the immune response than gTNF-1. gTNF-1 was constitutively expressed in the thymus, brain, and spleen, but it was also expressed in the heart, head kidney, and trunk kidney after LPS stimulation. gTNF-2 was constitutively expressed in the thymus, head kidney, trunk kidney, spleen, and intestine; further, gTNF-2 was highly expressed in all organs post-LPS stimulation. Finally, the gTNF expression levels were evaluated at various developmental stages in grouper larvae. A higher variation of gTNF expression levels was observed in fish larvae from a contaminated hatchery. This study revealed the different expression patterns of gTNF-1 and gTNF-2. In addition, gTNF-2 was more sensitive to pathogens than gTNF-1; therefore, it may be an appropriate marker for pathogen invasion and the evaluation of the larval rearing environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-629
Number of pages12
JournalFish and Shellfish Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Microbiology (miscellaneous)
  • Aquatic Science
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Immunology


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