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Gastric cathepsin D: Exception or the rule in decapods crustaceans?

Martínez-Alarcón, Diana, Saborowski, Reinhard, Rojo-Arreola, Liliana, García-Carreño, Fernando
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part B 2017
Decapoda, amino acid sequences, cathepsin D, digestive enzymes, gastric juice, gills, lobsters, messenger RNA, midgut, muscle tissues, muscles, secretion, vacuoles
Cathepsin D is an aspartic endopetidase with typical characteristics of lysosomal enzymes. Cathepsin D activity has been reported in the gastric fluid of clawed lobsters where it acts as an extracellular digestive enzyme. Here we investigate whether cathepsin D is unique in clawed lobsters or, instead, common in decapod crustaceans. Eleven species of decapods belonging to six infraorders were tested for cathepsin D activity in the midgut gland, the muscle tissue, the gills, and when technically possible, in the gastric fluid. Cathepsin D activity was present in the midgut gland of all 11 species and in the gastric fluid from the seven species from which samples could be taken. All sampled species showed higher activities in the midgut glands than in non-digestive organs and the activity was highest in the clawed lobster. Cathepsin D mRNA was obtained from tissue samples of midgut gland, muscle, and gills. Analyses of deduced amino acid sequence confirmed molecular features of lysosomal cathepsin D and revealed high similarity between the enzymes from Astacidea and Caridea on one side, and the enzymes from Penaeoidea, Anomura, and Brachyura on the other side. Our results support the presence of cathepsin D activity in the midgut glands and in the gastric fluids of several decapod species suggesting an extracellular function of this lysosomal enzyme. We discuss whether cathepsin D may derive from the lysosomal-like vacuoles of the midgut gland B-cells and is released into the gastric lumen upon secretion by these cells.