The ichthyotoxic alga Chattonella marina induces Na+, K+-ATPase, and CFTR proteins expression in fish gill chloride cells in vivo

Janet Y.M. Tang, Chris K C WONG, Doris W.T. Au*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Our previous studies demonstrated that the ichthyotoxic Chattonella marina stimulated proliferation of branchial chloride cell (CC) and induced osmotic distress akin to hyperactive elimination of ions in fish (Rhabdosargus sarba). To ascertain the in vivo effects of C. marina on key CC ion transporters, the localization and expression of Na+, K+-ATPase (NKA) and cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) proteins in response to C. marina exposure were investigated, using a quantitative immunocytochemical approach. The polarized distributions of NKA (α subunit) and CFTR proteins in branchial CCs of R. sarba remained unchanged under C. marina exposure. However, significant inductions of these two ion-transporters were detected in CCs of fish after 6 h exposure. By real-time PCR, no significant changes in gill NKA and CFTR mRNA expressions were detected, suggesting a post-transcriptional pathway is likely involved in regulating the ion transporters abundance. This study is the first to demonstrate the in vivo effects of harmful algal toxin on NKA and CFTR protein expressions in gill transepithelial cells. Taken together, an augmentation of branchial CCs together with hyper-stimulation of NKA and CFTR in CCs attribute to the rapid development of osmotic distress in C. marina susceptible fish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-103
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2007

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR)
  • Gill chloride cells
  • Harmful algal bloom (HAB)
  • In vivo
  • Marine fish
  • Na, K-ATPase
  • Osmoregulation


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