Qualitative de novo analysis of full length cDNA and quantitative analysis of gene expression for common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) transcriptomes using parallel long-read technology and short-read sequencing

PLoS One. 2014 Jun 30;9(6):e100936. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100936. eCollection 2014.


The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) is a non-human primate that could prove useful as human pharmacokinetic and biomedical research models. The cytochromes P450 (P450s) are a superfamily of enzymes that have critical roles in drug metabolism and disposition via monooxygenation of a broad range of xenobiotics; however, information on some marmoset P450s is currently limited. Therefore, identification and quantitative analysis of tissue-specific mRNA transcripts, including those of P450s and flavin-containing monooxygenases (FMO, another monooxygenase family), need to be carried out in detail before the marmoset can be used as an animal model in drug development. De novo assembly and expression analysis of marmoset transcripts were conducted with pooled liver, intestine, kidney, and brain samples from three male and three female marmosets. After unique sequences were automatically aligned by assembling software, the mean contig length was 718 bp (with a standard deviation of 457 bp) among a total of 47,883 transcripts. Approximately 30% of the total transcripts were matched to known marmoset sequences. Gene expression in 18 marmoset P450- and 4 FMO-like genes displayed some tissue-specific patterns. Of these, the three most highly expressed in marmoset liver were P450 2D-, 2E-, and 3A-like genes. In extrahepatic tissues, including brain, gene expressions of these monooxygenases were lower than those in liver, although P450 3A4 (previously P450 3A21) in intestine and P450 4A11- and FMO1-like genes in kidney were relatively highly expressed. By means of massive parallel long-read sequencing and short-read technology applied to marmoset liver, intestine, kidney, and brain, the combined next-generation sequencing analyses reported here were able to identify novel marmoset drug-metabolizing P450 transcripts that have until now been little reported. These results provide a foundation for mechanistic studies and pave the way for the use of marmosets as model animals for drug development in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Callithrix / genetics*
  • Contig Mapping
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics*
  • DNA, Complementary / analysis*
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation
  • Transcriptome*


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System

Grants and funding

This work was supported in part by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research and Strategic Research Program for Brain Science of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.