The cytosolic carboxypeptidases (CCPs) are a subfamily of metalloenzymes within the larger M14 family of carboxypeptidases that have been implicated in the post-translational modification of tubulin. It has been suggested that at least four of the six mammalian CCPs function as tubulin deglutamylases. However, it is not yet clear whether these enzymes play redundant or unique roles within the cell. To address this question, genes encoding CCPs were identified in the zebrafish genome. Analysis by quantitative polymerase chain reaction indicated that CCP1, CCP2, CCP5, and CCP6 mRNAs were detectable between 2 h and 8 days postfertilization with highest levels 5-8 days postfertilization. CCP1, CCP2, and CCP5 mRNAs were predominantly expressed in tissues such as the brain, olfactory placodes, and pronephric ducts. Morpholino oligonucleotide-mediated knockdown of CCP1 and CCP5 mRNA resulted in a common phenotype including ventral body curvature and hydrocephalus. Confocal microscopy of morphant zebrafish revealed olfactory placodes with defective morphology as well as pronephric ducts with increased polyglutamylation. These data suggest that CCP1 and CCP5 play important roles in developmental processes, particularly the development and functioning of cilia. The robust and similar defects upon knockdown suggest that each CCP may have a function in microtubule modification and ciliary function and that other CCPs are not able to compensate for the loss of one.
Keywords: Carboxypeptidase; Metalloenzymes; Peptidases; Tubulin; Zebrafish.