ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-201209-2
Bioinformatic analysis and functional predictions of selected regeneration-associated transcripts expressed by zebrafish microglia
Issaka Salia, O., Mitchell, D.M.
Date: 2020
Source: BMC Genomics   21: 870 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Mitchell, Diana
Keywords: Bioinformatic analysis, Functional predictions, Microglia, RNAseq, Regeneration, Retina, Transcripts, Zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Computational Biology
  • Mice
  • Microglia*
  • Retina
  • Zebrafish*/genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins
PubMed: 33287696 Full text @ BMC Genomics
Unlike mammals, zebrafish have a remarkable capacity to regenerate a variety of tissues, including central nervous system tissue. The function of macrophages in tissue regeneration is of great interest, as macrophages respond and participate in the landscape of events that occur following tissue injury in all vertebrate species examined. Understanding macrophage populations in regenerating tissue (such as in zebrafish) may inform strategies that aim to regenerate tissue in humans. We recently published an RNA-seq experiment that identified genes enriched in microglia/macrophages in regenerating zebrafish retinas. Interestingly, a small number of transcripts differentially expressed by retinal microglia/macrophages during retinal regeneration did not have predicted orthologs in human or mouse. We reasoned that at least some of these genes could be functionally important for tissue regeneration, but most of these genes have not been studied experimentally and their functions are largely unknown. To reveal their possible functions, we performed a variety of bioinformatic analyses aimed at identifying the presence of functional protein domains as well as orthologous relationships to other species.
Our analyses identified putative functional domains in predicted proteins for a number of selected genes. For example, we confidently predict kinase function for one gene, cytokine/chemokine function for another, and carbohydrate enzymatic function for a third. Predicted orthologs were identified for some, but not all, genes in species with described regenerative capacity, and functional domains were consistent with identified orthologs. Comparison to other published gene expression datasets suggest that at least some of these genes could be important in regenerative responses in zebrafish and not necessarily in response to microbial infection.
This work reveals previously undescribed putative function of several genes implicated in regulating tissue regeneration. This will inform future work to experimentally determine the function of these genes in vivo, and how these genes may be involved in microglia/macrophage roles in tissue regeneration.