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PIAS Factors from Rainbow Trout Control NF-κB- and STAT-Dependent Gene Expression

Four ‘protein inhibitors of activated STAT’ (PIAS) control STAT-dependent and NF-κB-dependent immune signalling in humans. The genome of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) contains eight pias genes, which encode at least 14 different pias transcripts that are differentially expressed in a tissue- and cell-specific manner. Pias1a2 was the most strongly expressed variant among the analysed pias genes in most tissues, while pias4a2 was commonly low or absent. Since the knock-out of Pias factors in salmonid CHSE cells using CRISPR/Cas9 technology failed, three structurally different Pias protein variants were selected for overexpression studies in CHSE-214 cells. All three factors quenched the basal activity of an NF-κB promoter in a dose-dependent fashion, while the activity of an Mx promoter remained unaffected. Nevertheless, all three overexpressed Pias variants from trout strongly reduced the transcript level of the antiviral Stat-dependent mx gene in ifnγ-expressing CHSE-214 cells. Unlike mx, the overexpressed Pias factors modulated the transcript levels of NF-κB-dependent immune genes (mainly il6, il10, ifna3, and stat4) in ifnγ-expressing CHSE-214 cells in different ways. This dissimilar modulation of expression may result from the physical cooperation of the Pias proteins from trout with differential sets of interacting factors bound to distinct nuclear structures, as reflected by the differential nuclear localisation of trout Pias factors. In conclusion, this study provides evidence for the multiplication of pias genes and their sub-functionalisation during salmonid evolution.


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