First study on interferon regulatory factor in sturgeon: expression pattern of interferon regulatory factor in Dabry's sturgeon Acipenser dabryanus.
Interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) are crucial regulators in initiating the host innate immune response against pathogen invasions. Dabry's sturgeon (Acipenser dabryanus) is particularly a valuable fish species found in the Yangtze River, China for which there is scarce immunological data. In the present study, we investigated the expression profile of sturgeon IRF genes. All adIRFs were composed of 8 exons and 7 introns, except adIRF1, which possessed 9 exons interrupted by 8 introns. Moreover, the predicted protein sequence has a DNA-binding domain (DBD) sharing high identity with spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus). Regarding the expression patterns, 5 adIRF genes were found to be constitutively expressed in all tissues examined, and were significantly higher in lymphoid organs (eg, blood, kidney, intestine, and spleen). Following Aeromonas hydrophila infection, the expression of adIRF1 and adIRF3 were upregulated in the spleen and caudal kidney, while both the adIRF5 and adIRF8 genes were downregulated in caudal kidney. In addition, adIRF4 was significantly upregulated at 3 h postinfection by A. hydrophila in the spleen and caudal kidney. These results suggest that adIRFs are related to the immune response to bacterial infection, which will help clarify the function of these IRFs and provide a fundamental basis for protecting the Dabry's sturgeon.