Transcriptome analysis of the key role of GAT2 gene in the hyper-accumulation of copper in the oyster Crassostrea angulata

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Bo Shi
  • Zekun Huang
  • Xu Xiang
  • Miaoqin Huang
  • Caihuan Ke


Original languageEnglish
Article number17751
Journal / PublicationScientific Reports
Online published9 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes



One paradigm of oysters as the hyper-accumulators of many toxic metals is the inter-individual variation of metals, but the molecular mechanisms remain very elusive. A comprehensive analysis of the transcriptome of Crassostrea angulata was conducted to reveal the relationship between gene expression and differential Cu body burden in oysters. Gene ontology analysis for the differentially expressed genes showed that the neurotransmitter transporter might affect the oyster behavior, which in turn led to difference in Cu accumulation. The ATP-binding cassette transporters superfamily played an important role in the maintenance of cell Cu homeostasis, vitellogenin and apolipophorin transport, and elimination of excess Cu. Gill and mantle Cu concentrations were significantly reduced after silencing the GABA transporter 2 (GAT2) gene, but increased after the injection of GABA receptor antagonists, suggesting that the function of GABA transporter 2 gene was strongly related to Cu accumulation. These findings demonstrated that GABA transporter can control the action of transmitter GABA in the nervous system, thereby affecting the Cu accumulation in the gills and mantles.

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