Notophthalmus viridescens (Red-spotted Newt) possess amazing capabilities to regenerate their organs and other tissues. Previously, using a de novo assembly of the newt transcriptome combined with proteomic validation, our group identified a novel family of five protein members expressed in adult tissues during regeneration in Notophthalmus viridescens. The presence of a putative signal peptide suggests that all these proteins are secretory in nature. Here we employed iterative threading assembly refinement (I-TASSER) server to generate three-dimensional structure of these novel Newt proteins and predicted their function. Our data suggests that these proteins could act as ion transporters, and be involved in redox reaction(s). Due to absence of transgenic approaches in N. viridescens, and conservation of genetic machinery across species, we generated transgenic Drosophila melanogaster to misexpress these genes. Expression of 2775 transcripts were compared between these five newly identified Newt genes. We found that genes involved in the developmental process, cell cycle, apoptosis, and immune response are among those that are highly enriched. To validate the RNA Seq. data, expression of six highly regulated genes were verified using real time Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR). These graded gene expression patterns provide insight into the function of novel protein family identified in Newt, and layout a map for future studies in the field.
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Mehta AS, Luz-Madrigal A, Li J-L, Tsonis PA, Singh A (2019) Comparative transcriptomic analysis and structure prediction of novel Newt proteins. PLoS ONE 14(8): e0220416. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0220416