Genomic organization of the rDNA cistron of the teleost fish Cyprinus carpio
The seasonal adaptation of the teleost Cyprinus carpio to the cyclical changes of its habitat demands physiological compensatory responses. The process involves profound nucleolar adjustments and remarkable changes in rRNA synthesis, which affects ribosomal biosynthesis. In this context, we have demonstrated that the synthesis of several proteins involved in ribosomal biogenesis as protein kinase CK2, ribosomal protein L41 and nucleolin, as well as U3 snoRNP, are differentially regulated in summer-acclimatized carp compared to the cold-season adapted fish. To understand the mechanisms involved in the seasonal regulation of rRNA gene transcription, we have been studying the carp rDNA cistron structure. Because the cis-elements that regulate the expression of the tandem organized ribosomal genes are located in the non-transcribed intergenic spacer (IGS), we analyzed the primary structure of the carp rDNA gene IGS. The gene organization is similar to that described from other vertebrate species, including numerous repetitive sequences, the transcription start site, and some potential cis-elements such as ribosomal enhancers, proximal terminator and transcriptional terminators. Ribosomal DNA is a remarkable case of gene duplication and has been used as a model to test the concerted evolution theory. We performed sequence comparison analyses of 18S rRNA coding sequences from carp with different species, data with which an unrooted phylogram was constructed.