Author(s): William S. Baldwin1,2, W. Tyler Boswell1, Gautam Ginjupalli2, and Elizabeth J. Litoff1
The nuclear receptors (NRs) are ligand-dependent transcription factors that respond to various internal as well as external cues such as nutrients, pheromones, and steroid hormones that play crucial roles in regulation and maintenance of homeostasis and orchestrating the physiological and stress responses of an organism. We annotated the Fundulus heteroclitus (mummichog; Atlantic killifish) nuclear receptors. Mummichog are a non-migratory, estuarine fish with a limited home range often used in environmental research as a field model for studying ecological and evolutionary responses to variable environmental conditions such as salinity, oxygen, temperature, pH, and toxic compounds because of their hardiness. F. heteroclitus have at least 74 NRs spanning all seven gene subfamilies. F. heteroclitus is unique in that no RXRα member was found within the genome. Interestingly, some of the NRs are highly conserved between species, while others show a higher degree of divergence such as PXR, SF1, and ARα. Fundulus like other fish species show expansion of the RAR (NR1B), Rev-erb (NR1D), ROR (NR1F), COUPTF (NR2F), ERR (NR3B), RXR (NR2B), and to a lesser extent the NGF (NR4A), and NR3C steroid receptors (GR/AR). Of particular interest is the co-expansion of opposing NRs, Reverb-ROR, and RAR/RXR-COUPTF.