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Characterization and gene expression analysis of pacu (Piaractus mesopotamicus) inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) following Aeromonas dhakensis infection

Carriero, Mateus M., Henrique-Silva, Flávio, Caetano, Alexandre Rodrigues, Lobo, Francisco Pereira, Alves, Anderson Luis, Varela, Eduardo Sousa, del Collado, Maite, Moreira, Gabriel S.A., Maia, Antonio A.M.
Fish & shellfish immunology 2018 v.74 pp. 94-100
Aeromonas, Piaractus mesopotamicus, amino acid sequences, amino acids, bacteria, binding sites, fish, gene expression, genes, humans, immune response, inducible nitric oxide synthase, kidneys, liver, messenger RNA, nitric oxide, parasites, pathogens, phylogeny, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, shellfish, spleen, viruses, South America
Nitric oxide (NO) is an important effector molecule which is involved in a myriad of biological processes, including immune responses against pathogens such as parasites, virus and bacteria. During the inflammatory processes in vertebrates, NO is produced by the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) enzyme in practically all nucleated cells to suppress or kill intracellular pathogens. The aim of the present study was to characterize the full coding region of the iNOS gene of pacu (Piaractus mesopotamicus), an economically and ecologically important South American fish species, and to analyze mRNA expression levels following intraperitoneal infection with the pathogenic bacterium Aeromonas dhakensis by means of quantitative real time PCR (qPCR). The results showed that the pacu iNOS transcript is 3237 bp in length, encoding a putative protein composed of 1078 amino acid residues. The amino acid sequence showed similarities ranging from 69.03% to 94.34% with other teleost fish and 57.70% with the human iNOS, with all characteristic domains and cofactor binding sites of the enzyme detected. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the iNOS from the red-bellied piranha, another South American characiform, was the closest related sequence to the pacu iNOS. iNOS transcripts were constitutively detected in the liver, spleen and head kidney, and there was a significant upregulation in the liver and spleen at 12, 24 and 48 h after infection with A. dhakensis. No significant variations were observed in the head kidney during the periods analyzed. These results show that iNOS expression was induced by A. dhakensis infection and suggest that this enzyme may be involved in the response to this bacterium in pacu.