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Insights into the multifunctional role of natural killer enhancing factor-A (NKEF-A/Prx1) in big-belly seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis): DNA protection, insulin reduction, H2O2 scavenging, and immune modulation activity

Godahewa, G.I., Perera, N.C.N., Lee, Jehee
Gene 2018 v.642 pp. 324-334
Edwardsiella tarda, Hippocampus abdominalis, Streptococcus iniae, amino acid sequences, antioxidant activity, catalytic activity, complementary DNA, cysteine, disulfide bonds, fish, gene expression, genes, hydrogen peroxide, immune response, immunomodulation, in vitro studies, innate immunity, insulin, liver, messenger RNA, oxidation, peroxiredoxin, phylogeny, polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, recombinant proteins, sequence analysis, supercoiled DNA
Natural killer enhancing factor A (NKEF-A), also known as peroxiredoxin 1 (Prx1), is a well-known antioxidant involved in innate immunity. Although NKEF-A/Prx1 has been studied in different fish species, the present study broadens the knowledge of NKEF-A gene in terms of molecular structure, function, and immune responses in fish species. Hippocampus abdominalis NKEF-A (HaNKEF-A) cDNA encoded a putative protein of 198 amino acids containing a thioredoxin_2 domain, VCP motifs, and three conserved cysteine residues including peroxidatic and resolving cysteines. Amino acid sequence comparison and phylogenetic breakdown showed the higher sequence identity and closer evolutionary position of HaNKEF-A to those of other fish counterparts. A recombinant protein of HaNKEF-A was shown to i) protect supercoiled DNA against mixed catalyzed oxidation, ii) reduce insulin disulfide bonds, and iii) scavenge extracellular H2O2. Results of in vitro assays demonstrated the concentration dependent antioxidant function of recombinant HaNKEF-A. In addition, qPCR assessments revealed that the HaNKEF-A transcripts were constitutively expressed in fourteen tissues with the highest expression in liver. As an innate immune response, HaNKEF-A transcripts were up-regulated in liver post injection of LPS, Edwardsiella tarda, Streptococcus iniae, and polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid. Thus, HaNKEF-A can safeguards big-belly seahorse from oxidative damage and pathogenic infections. This study provides insight into the functions of NKEF-A/Prx1 in fish species.