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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Characterization, phylogeny, alternative splicing and expression of Sox30 gene

Fei Han, Zhijian Wang, Fengrui Wu, Zhihao Liu, Baofeng Huang and Deshou Wang*

Author Affiliations

Key Laboratory of Freshwater Fish Reproduction and Development (Ministry of Education), Key Laboratory of Aquatic Science of Chongqing, School of Life Science, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, PR China

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BMC Molecular Biology 2010, 11:98  doi:10.1186/1471-2199-11-98

Published: 11 December 2010

Abstract

Background

Members of the Sox gene family isolated from both vertebrates and invertebrates have been proved to participate in a wide variety of developmental processes, including sex determination and differentiation. Among these members, Sox30 had been considered to exist only in mammals since its discovery, and its exact function remains unclear.

Results

Sox30 cDNA was cloned from the Nile tilapia by RT-PCR and RACE. Screening of available genome and EST databases and phylogenetic analysis showed that Sox30 also exists in non-mammalian vertebrates and invertebrates, which was further supported by synteny analyses. Tissue expression in human, mouse and tilapia suggested that Sox30 was probably a gonad-specific gene, which was also supported by the fact that Sox30 EST sequences were obtained from gonads of the animal species. In addition, four alternatively spliced isoforms were isolated from tilapia gonad. Their temporal and spatial expression patterns during normal and sex reversed gonadal development were investigated by RT-PCR and in situ hybridization. Our data suggest that expressions of Sox30 isoforms are related to stage and phenotypic-sex, observed in the germ cells of male gonad and in somatic cells of the female gonad.

Conclusions

Sox30 is not a gene only existed in mammals, but exists widely throughout the animal kingdom as supported by our bioinformatic, phylogenetic and syntenic analyses. It is very likely that Sox30 is expressed exclusively in gonads. Expression analyses revealed that Sox30 may be involved in female and male gonadal development at different stages by alternative splicing.