Dynamic changes of peptide-protein composition in aquatic animals underlying adaptation to environmental challenges

(OTKA PD 109099, 2013 - 2016, running project)
Coordinator or leader of the project: 
Zsolt PIRGER
Coordinator or leader institution of the project: 
Balaton Limnological Institute
Responsible person at MTA ÖK: 
Short description: 

The aim of the project is to mapping the alteration of peptide-protein profile during adaptation to environmental challenges both in vertebrate (fish) and invertebrate (molluscs) model animals of a shallow lake ecosystem using biochemical, molecular biological, histological and electrophysiological methods. In observations, the effect of various environmental challenges will be investigated, such as permanently low temperature, or effect of endogen hormones of human origin and agent of oral contraceptives. The researcher will be focused to biomarkers, including stress-resistance factors, such as heat shock proteins, apoptosis markers (bcl2, bad, caspase-3 and caspase-9 [Pirger et al., 2008; 2009]), different identified neuropeptides (PACAP, VIP, as well as FMRFa, GSPYFVa, FRTFQOH, GSGASGSMPATTS, QLSMLRLa, PMSMLRLa, PIDSIGSSFYOH [Kiss and Pirger, 2006; Pirger et al., 2010a; 2010b]), IGF-1, IL-1, IL-6, TNF, citokrom-P450 and acetylcholinesterase in his investigation, when he maps the peptide and protein profile which are important in behavioural responses given to hibernation and aestivation as well as hormone load. Results about the differences of peptide-protein profile in hibernated (inactive) and active states as well as relative hormone-free and hormone load states will be uploaded into database. The planned eco-physiological researches for peptide-protein mapping would be absolutely novel strategy in Centre for Ecological Research, Hungaryan Academy of Sciences (MTA ÖK).

Aims: 

The qualitative and quantitative determination of peptide and protein compositions of nervous system are of vital significance in understanding the biochemical and molecular background of behavioural responses given to various environmental challenges, such as permanently low temperature, or different chemical contaminations of human origin.
1) The fellow’s main research aim is to investigate alterations of peptides and proteins during dynamic adaptive responses to abiotic physical and chemical environmental factors using novel, biochemical and molecular biological research methods both in vertebrate and invertebrate species.
2) Further goal is to create a peptide-protein, biomarker database for the diagnosis and prognosis of the molecular background of adaptation to different environmental challenges in the feature.
The researcher’s key questions are:
(i) What peptides and proteins are altered during hibernation and aestivation?
(ii) What peptides and proteins are altered during chemical contamination, such as sex hormones?
(iii) What are the expression level of identified peptides and proteins?
(iv) What kind of morphological, electrophysiological and biochemical changes can be detected during adaptation to environmental challenges in the nervous system of invertebrate and vertebrate animals?