Expression patterns of heat shock protein genes in Rita rita from natural riverine habitat as biomarker response against environmental pollution.

PMID 30092534


River pollution is one of the principal environmental concerns and biomonitoring tools can play an important role in pollution assessment in the riverine environment. Heat shock proteins (Hsps) have been found to be suitable tools for monitoring stress response. In the present study, expression analyses of hsp genes (hsp27, hsp47, hsp60, hsp70, hsc70, and hsp90) and selected hsp-regulatory genes (hsf1, hyou1, ask1, jnk) were carried out by RT-qPCR in catfish Rita rita collected from selected stretches of river Ganga to investigate changes in their expression patterns as biomarker response. Water quality characteristics were measured in terms of physico-chemical characteristics (DO, BOD, COD, pH, conductivity), element profile (arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead, chromium, zinc, copper) and persistent organic pollutants (POPs; HCH, DDT, aldrin, endosulphan, heptachlor). Water quality index was calculated and sampling sites were categorized as good/medium/bad. Multivariate analysis was carried out taking the water quality parameters and the fold changes in hsp gene expression as variables, which showed that hsp47 and hsp70b correlated well with BOD, an indicator of organic pollution. To identify the organic pollutant(s) which could be influencing the expression of hsps, again multivariate analysis was employed taking concentration of POPs and fold changes of hsps, which showed up-regulation of hsp47 and hsp70b (HSP72i) correlated well with concentrations of aldrin and HCH. Synergistic effects of these POPs could be responsible for the up-regulation of said hsps, although individually present in low concentration; thus, indicating synergistic effect of the POPs on hsp47 and hsp70b up-regulation as biomarker response.