The cleidoic eggs of oviparous reptiles are protected from the external environment by membranes and a parchment shell permeable to water and dissolved molecules. As a consequence, not only physical but also chemical insults can reach the developing embryos, interfering with gene expression. This review provides information on the impact of the exposure to cadmium contamination or thermal stress on gene expression during the development of Italian wall lizards of the genus Podarcis. The results obtained by transcriptomic analysis, although not exhaustive, allowed to identify some stress-reactive genes and, consequently, the molecular pathways in which these genes are involved. Cadmium-responsive genes encode proteins involved in cellular protection, metabolism and proliferation, membrane trafficking, protein interactions, neuronal transmission and plasticity, immune response, and transcription regulatory factors. Cold stress changes the expression of genes involved in transcriptional/translational regulation and chromatin remodeling and inhibits the transcription of a histone methyltransferase with the probable consequence of modifying the epigenetic control of DNA. These findings provide transcriptome-level evidence of how terrestrial vertebrate embryos cope with stress, giving a key to use in population survival and environmental change studies. A better understanding of the genes contributing to stress tolerance in vertebrates would facilitate methodologies and applications aimed at improving resistance to unfavourable environments.

Impact of environmental stressors on gene expression in the embryo of the italian wall lizard

Simoniello P.
2021

Abstract

The cleidoic eggs of oviparous reptiles are protected from the external environment by membranes and a parchment shell permeable to water and dissolved molecules. As a consequence, not only physical but also chemical insults can reach the developing embryos, interfering with gene expression. This review provides information on the impact of the exposure to cadmium contamination or thermal stress on gene expression during the development of Italian wall lizards of the genus Podarcis. The results obtained by transcriptomic analysis, although not exhaustive, allowed to identify some stress-reactive genes and, consequently, the molecular pathways in which these genes are involved. Cadmium-responsive genes encode proteins involved in cellular protection, metabolism and proliferation, membrane trafficking, protein interactions, neuronal transmission and plasticity, immune response, and transcription regulatory factors. Cold stress changes the expression of genes involved in transcriptional/translational regulation and chromatin remodeling and inhibits the transcription of a histone methyltransferase with the probable consequence of modifying the epigenetic control of DNA. These findings provide transcriptome-level evidence of how terrestrial vertebrate embryos cope with stress, giving a key to use in population survival and environmental change studies. A better understanding of the genes contributing to stress tolerance in vertebrates would facilitate methodologies and applications aimed at improving resistance to unfavourable environments.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/95510
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