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Genome-wide identification and transcript profile of the whole cathepsin superfamily in the intertidal copepod Tigriopus japonicus

Jeong, Chang-Bum, Kim, Bo-Mi, Choi, Hyeon-Jeong, Baek, Inseon, Souissi, Sami, Park, Heum Gi, Lee, Jae-Seong, Rhee, Jae-Sung
Developmental and comparative immunology 2015 v.53 no.1 pp. 1-12
Tigriopus japonicus, Vibrio, aspartic proteinases, cathepsins, crabs, cysteine proteinases, genes, immune response, innate immunity, lipopolysaccharides, littoral zone, lobsters, messenger RNA, molluscs, molting, nauplii, serine proteinases, shrimp, transcription (genetics)
Modulation of expression of cathepsins in innate immune response has previously been reported in mollusks and large crustaceans including crabs, lobsters, and shrimps in response to immune challenges. However, similar responses in copepods and the related cathepsin members remain under-investigated. To understand molecular and innate immune responses in the intertidal copepod Tigriopus japonicus, we identified the full spectra of cathepsin members (2 aspartyl proteases, 18 cysteine proteases, and 4 serine proteases) and also analyzed transcriptional expression of cathepsin (Tj-cathepsin) genes in developmental stages, lipopolysaccharide (LPS)- and two Vibrio species-exposed T. japonicus. The transcriptional levels of most Tj-cathepsin genes were highly increased during the molting transition from the nauplius to the copepodid stages. LPS treatment induced innate immune response via significant transcriptional increase of serine cathepsin (e.g., cathepsin As) members with induction of several cysteine cathepsin genes. However, Tj-aspartyl cathepsin E-like and a novel cysteine cathepsin were slightly reduced in response to LPS exposure. Interestingly, Vibrio species showed very low transcriptional sensitivity in the expression of entire cathepsins, while LPS induced several cathepsin gene-involved primitive immune responses in T. japonicus. In this paper, we discuss how whole cathepsin expression profiling can be linked to host defense mechanism to better understand and uncover the underlying mechanism of copepods' innate immunity.