Posttranscriptional silencing of cytochrome P4501A1 (CYP1A1) during zebrafish (Danio rerio) development

Carolyn J. Mattingly, William A. Toscano

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Induction patterns of cytochrome P4501A1 (CYP1A1), an early biochemical marker of exposure to the environmental toxicant 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD, or dioxin) were investigated during zebrafish (Danio rerio) development. A zebrafish CYP1A1 cDNA fragment was cloned and used to detect CYP1A1 mRNA in embryos exposed to TCDD (1 or 10 nM). Induction of CYP1A1 activity was dependent on age and state of hatch. CYP1A1 mRNA was observed by 15 hr postfertilization. CYP1A1 protein and monooxygenase activity were not detected until 3 days postfertilization and after hatch, as determined by Western immunoblot analysis and ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity, respectively. In contrast to embryos, concomitant induction of mRNA and activity was detected in juvenile zebrafish (3 days posthatch) after 6 hr of TCDD exposure. Asynchronous induction of CYP1A1 mRNA and activity during development may be a general regulatory mechanism, as similar ontogenetic expression of this gene was demonstrated in mouse embryos. To our knowledge, this is the first report of CYP1A1 posttranscriptional silencing during embryogenesis. Our data suggest that TCDD-mediated induction of CYP1A1 activity is regulated differentially in developing and mature systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-654
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Ah receptor
  • Cytochrome P450
  • Dioxin
  • Monooxygenase
  • Zebrafish


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