Freeze tolerance is a critical winter survival strategy for the wood frog, Rana sylvatica. In response to freezing, a number of genes are upregulated to facilitate the survival response. This includes fr10, a novel freeze-responsive gene first identified in R. sylvatica. This study analyzes the transcriptional expression of fr10 in seven tissues in response to freezing, anoxia, and dehydration stress, and throughout the Gosner stages of tadpole development. Transcription of fr10 increased overall in response to 24 h of freezing, with significant increases in expression detected in testes, heart, brain, and lung when compared to control tissues. When exposed to anoxia; heart, lung, and kidney tissues experienced a significant increase, while the transcription of fr10 in response to 40 % dehydration was found to significantly increase in both heart and brain tissues. An analysis of the transcription of fr10 throughout the development of the wood frog showed a relatively constant expression; with slightly lower transcription levels observed in two of the seven Gosner stages. Based on these results, it is predicted that fr10 has multiple roles depending on the needs and stresses experienced by the wood frog. It has conclusively been shown to act as a cryoprotectant, with possible additional roles in anoxia, dehydration, and development. In the future, it is hoped that further knowledge of the mechanism of action of FR10 will allow for increased stress tolerance in human cells and tissues.

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Keywords Anti-freeze protein, Cryobiology, Frog, Protein structure
Persistent URL
Journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Sullivan, K.J., Biggar, K.K, & Storey, K. (2015). Transcript expression of the freeze responsive gene fr10 in Rana sylvatica during freezing, anoxia, dehydration, and development. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, 399(1-2), 17–25. doi:10.1007/s11010-014-2226-9