Marine Biology

, Volume 162, Issue 8, pp 1673–1683 | Cite as

Expression of intercellular lipid transport and cholesterol metabolism genes in eggs and early larvae stages of turbot, Scophthalmus maximus, a marine aquaculture species

  • I. CunhaEmail author
  • S. Galante-Oliveira
  • E. Rocha
  • R. Urbatzka
  • L. F. C. Castro
Original Paper


Growth and energy transfer are critically dependent on effective transport of lipid molecules between tissues and cellular compartments. This process is specific in egg and eleutheroembryos, when energetic and structural lipids, located at the yolk sac, need to be mobilized in order to be incorporated in the new forming embryo, or to produce energy. Here, we describe the transcriptional profile of 11 genes that codify for proteins involved in intercellular lipid transport and cholesterol metabolism during the early development of a marine teleost fish (Scophthalmus maximus), from notochord formation to the period beyond mouth opening. The mRNA expression pattern of genes (apoA1, apoB100, apoE, cetp, mtp, pltp, lipC, lpl, hmgcr1, soat1, lcat) is described and related to previously published lipid levels in larvae and PPARs—peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors—mRNA levels from the same experiment (Cunha et al. in Mar Genomics 10:17–25, 2013). Our findings show that the transcription of genes responsible for apolipoproteins production starts soon before hatching and that activities decline along the development. In contrast, genes responsible for cholesterol synthesis have a low transcription level early in the development and their activity increases later. Apolipoproteins and other genes related to reverse cholesterol transport are possibly under the control of Pparα2, while the expression of extracellular lipid transfer proteins and enzymes involved in cholesterol synthesis is possibly under the simultaneous control of Pparα1 and Pparγ. Generally, the observed transcription of genes involved in lipid transport is in accordance with the lipid composition of the larvae and transcription of master regulators of lipid metabolism such as the nuclear receptors—PPARs.


Mouth Opening Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein Cholesterol Metabolism Reverse Cholesterol Transport Lipid Transfer Protein 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was developed under the research project PTDC/MAR/68885/2006, funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), the “Programa Operacional Ciência e Inovação 2010” (POCI 2010), co-financed by the FEDER European Community fund, and the project PEst-C/MAR/LA0015/2013. We would like thank Insuiña—Pescanova S.A. for kindly supply the embryos used for the experiments described in this paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that they do not have any conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

227_2015_2706_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (359 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 358 kb)
227_2015_2706_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (256 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 255 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Cunha
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. Galante-Oliveira
    • 1
    • 4
  • E. Rocha
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Urbatzka
    • 1
  • L. F. C. Castro
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Centre for Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR/CIMAR)University of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar (ICBAS)University of PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.Department of BiologyFaculty of Sciences (FCUP) – University of PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.Department of Biology and CESAMUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal

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