Natural feeding influences protein expression in the dogfish shark rectal gland: A proteomic analysis

W. Wesley Dowd, Chris M. Wood, Makiko Kajimura, Patrick J. Walsh, Dietmar Kültz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The rectal gland is the principal salt-secreting organ in elasmobranchs, yet its functional response to normal physiological variation (e.g., due to feeding, stress) has only recently been examined. To complement studies on acid-base, digestive, and osmoregulatory physiology in response to natural feeding, we investigated protein-level responses in the rectal gland of spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) 6 h, 20 h, and 5 days (reference control) after a meal. Our objective was to identify proteins involved in regulation of osmoregulatory and metabolic processes in response to feeding. Proteins were separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and protein spots that were significantly up- or down-regulated > 2 fold (i.e., abundance increased more than 100% or decreased more than 50%) were detected using gel image analysis software. Of 684 proteins analyzed on 2D gels, 16 proteins changed significantly 6 h after feeding vs. 5 day controls (5 decreased; 11 increased), and 12 proteins changed > 2 fold 20 h after feeding vs. 5 day controls (2 decreased; 10 increased). Thirteen of these proteins were identified using mass spectrometry and classified into functional pathways using the PANTHER bioinformatics database. Rectal gland proteins that were regulated following feeding fell into three main categories: cytoskeletal/muscular (e.g., tropomyosin alpha chain, transgelin), energy metabolism (e.g., malate dehydrogenase, ATP synthase), and nucleotide metabolism (nucleoside diphosphate kinase). The data also revealed that previously documented increases in the activity of isocitrate dehydrogenase after feeding are at least partially due to increased abundance of a cytosolic, NADP-dependent isoform of this enzyme. One of the primary components of the rectal gland's response to feeding appears to be maintenance of the cellular supply of energy, which would be necessary to fuel increased activities of enzymes involved in salt secretion and oxidative metabolism in the rectal gland following a meal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-127
Number of pages10
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part D: Genomics and Proteomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Dogfish shark
  • Feeding
  • Isocitrate dehydrogenase;Voltage-dependent anion channel
  • MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry
  • Proteomics
  • Rectal gland
  • Squalus acanthias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology


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