Int. J. Dev. Biol. 59: 229 - 234 (2015)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.140197LV
© UPV/EHU Press

Expression patterns of CREB binding protein (CREBBP) and its methylated species during zebrafish development

Julie Batut1,2, Carine Duboé1,2 and Laurence Vandel*,1,2

1Université de Toulouse, UPS, CBD (Centre de Biologie du Développement) and 2CNRS, CBD UMR 5547, Toulouse, France

ABSTRACT Proper embryonic development requires a fine-tuned control of gene expression, which is achieved in part through the activity of transcription coactivators or corepressors. The nuclear coactivator cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) binding protein (CREBBP or CBP) interacts with numerous transcription factors and thereby plays a key role in various signaling pathways. Interestingly, in cell-based studies CREBBP activity is modulated by post-translational modifications such as methylation on arginine residues which is catalyzed by coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1). However, whether and where CREBBP, and in particular its methylated forms, are expressed during development in vertebrates has not been addressed so far. Here, we analyzed the expression of the two crebbp genes (crebbpa & crebbpb) during zebrafish development using both RT-qPCR and in situ hybridization. We found that while crebbpa expression is higher in posterior, caudal nascent somites during somitogenesis, crebbpb accumulates in anterior, rostral, and more mature somites. In addition, crebbpa mRNA is enriched in the central myotome at 24 hpf indicating that its expression is spatially and temporally controlled. We next characterized the expression of CREBBP protein from blastula to gastrula stages by immunohistochemistry. We found that while CREBBP is clearly cytoplasmic in the early blastula, it becomes both cytoplasmic and nuclear at 30% epiboly before turning mainly nuclear during gastrulation. Of interest, CREBBP methylated species appear to be mainly nuclear from 30% epiboly to 6-somite stage. This suggests that methylation may regulate CREBBP import to the nucleus during zebrafish development and could therefore participate in the control of early developmental processes.

Keywords:

CREB binding protein, arginine methylation, expression, embryo, zebrafish

*Corresponding author e-mail: laurence.vandel@univ-tlse3.fr