Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Characterization of Stra8 in Southern catfish (Silurus meridionalis): evidence for its role in meiotic initiation

Ranran Dong, Shijie Yang, Jing Jiao, Tingru Wang, Hongjuan Shi, Linyan Zhou, Yaoguang Zhang 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, China

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BMC Molecular Biology 2013, 14:11  doi:10.1186/1471-2199-14-11

Published: 22 May 2013



RA (retinoic acid) signal pathway has been proved to be required for germ cell meiotic initiation in mammals, aves and amphibians. Stra8 (Stimulated by retinoic acid gene 8) is an important factor in RA signal pathway. However, the role of RA and Stra8 in germ cell meiotic initiation in teleosts is poorly characterized.


In this study, the full length cDNA of Stra8 was cloned from Southern catfish (Silurus meridionalis), and its spatio-temporal expression profiles were analyzed. The Stra8 cDNA (1606 bp) includes 163 bp 5’-UTR (untranslated region), 456 bp 3’-UTR, and an ORF (open reading frame) of 987 bp, encoding a polypeptide of 328 aa. Phylogenetic analysis revealed its existence in some primitive teleosts, such as Siluriformes and Salmoniformes. Tissue distribution analysis by RT-PCR showed that Stra8 is specifically expressed in gonads. By real-time PCR, in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, the highest expression level of Stra8/Stra8 was detected in 50 and 130 dah (day after hatching), the premeiotic stage of germ cells in XX and XY gonads, respectively.


Our results suggest that Stra8 might be involved in germ cell meiotic initiation in S. meridionalis as it did in tetrapods.

Stra8; mRNA and protein; Expression profile; Meiotic initiation; Silurus meridionalis