Novel cDNA sequences of aryl hydrocarbon receptors and gene expression in turtles (Chrysemys picta and Pseudemys scripta) exposed to different environments

Emily C. Marquez, Nikki Traylor-Knowles, Apolonia Novillo-Villajos, Ian P. Callard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Reproductive changes have been observed in painted turtles from a site with known contamination located on Cape Cod, MA, USA. We hypothesize that these changes are caused by exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds and that genes involved in reproduction are affected. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is an orphan receptor that is activated by environmental contaminants. AHR mRNA was measured in turtles exposed to soil collected from a contaminated site. Adult turtles were trapped from the study site (Moody Pond, MP) or a reference site and exposed to laboratory environments containing soil from either site. The red-eared slider was used to assess neonatal exposure to soil and water from the sites. The environmental exposures occurred over a 13-month period. Juveniles showed an age-dependent increase in brain AHR1. Juvenile turtles exposed to the MP environment had elevated gonadal AHR1. Adult turtles exposed to the MP environment showed significantly decreased brain AHR2. The painted turtle AHR is the first complete reptile AHR cDNA sequence. Phylogenetic analysis of the painted turtle AHR showed that it clusters with other AHR2s. Partial AHR1 and partial AHR2 cDNA sequences were cloned from the red-eared slider. MEME analysis identified 18 motifs in the turtle AHRs, showing high conservation between motifs that overlapped functional regions in both AHR isoforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-317
Number of pages13
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology
Volume154
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • AHR1
  • AHR2
  • Aryl hydrocarbon receptor
  • Reptiles
  • Turtles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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