Functional characterization of zebrafish (Danio rerio) Bcl10

PLoS One. 2015 Apr 7;10(4):e0122365. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122365. eCollection 2015.


The complexes formed by BCL10, MALT1 and specific members of the family of CARMA proteins (CBM complex), have recently focused much attention because they represent a central hub regulating activation of the transcription factor NF-κB following various cellular stimulations. In this manuscript, we report the functional characterization of a Danio rerio 241 amino acids polypeptide ortholog of the Caspase recruiting domain (CARD)-containing protein BCL10. Biochemical studies show that zebrafish Bcl10 (zBcl10) dimerizes and binds to components of the CBM complex. Fluorescence microscopy observations demonstrate that zBcl10 forms cytoplasmic filaments similar to that formed by human BCL10 (hBCL10). Functionally, in human cells zBcl10 is more effective in activating NF-κB compared to hBCL10, possibly due to the lack of carboxy-terminal inhibitory serine residues present in the human protein. Also, depletion experiments carried out through expression of short hairpin RNAs targeting hBCL10 indicate that zBcl10 can functionally replace the human protein. Finally, we show that the zebrafish cell line PAC2 is suitable to carry out reporter assays for monitoring the activation state of NF- kB transcription factor. In conclusion, this work shows that zebrafish may excellently serve as a model organism to study complex and intricate signal transduction pathways, such as those that control NF-κB activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / chemistry*
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • B-Cell CLL-Lymphoma 10 Protein
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Zebrafish / genetics*
  • Zebrafish Proteins / chemistry*
  • Zebrafish Proteins / genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins / metabolism*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • B-Cell CLL-Lymphoma 10 Protein
  • Bcl10 protein, zebrafish
  • NF-kappa B
  • Zebrafish Proteins

Grant support

Part of this work was made possible by the NPRP grant NPRP 7-466-3-119 from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of Qatar Foundation). The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the authors. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.