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Identification of the two new, functional actinoporins, CJTOX I and CJTOX II, from the deep-sea anemone Cribrinopsis japonica

Tsutsui, Kenta, Sato, Tomomi
Toxicon 2018 v.148 pp. 40-49
Actiniidae, RNA, data collection, databases, erythrocytes, gene expression, genes, hemolysis, heterologous gene expression, horses, plasmids, proteins, sequence analysis, sphingomyelins, temperature
Actinoporins are pore-forming proteins found in sea anemones. Although we now have a large collection of data on actinoporins, our knowledge is based heavily on those identified in shallow-water anemones. Because the deep sea differs considerably from shallow waters in hydrostatic pressures, temperatures, and the prey composition, the deep-sea actinoporin may have evolved in unique ways. This study, therefore, aimed to obtain new actinoporins in the deep-sea anemone Cribrinopis japonica (Actiniaria, Actiniidae). An actinoporin-like sequence was identified from the previously established C. japonica RNA-Seq database, and the complete length (663 bp) of the deep-sea actinoporin gene, Cjtox I, was obtained. In addition, a similar gene, Cjtox II (666 bp), was also identified from RNA of actinopharynx. CJTOX I and CJTOX II were similar in their primary structures, but CJTOX I lacked one residue in the middle of the protein. There was also a difference in the gene expression in live animals, where only Cjtox I was expressed in tentacles of C. japonica. In the heterologous expression where BL21 (DE3) strain was retransformed with the plasmid containing either Cjtox I or Cjtox II gene, the supernatants of both cell lysates showed hemolytic activity on the equine erythrocytes. Preincubation of the supernatants with sphingomyelin caused reduced activity, implying that the CJTOX I and II would target sphingomyelin as with other actinoporins. Because of the structures similarity to the known actinoporins and the sphingomyelin-inhibitable hemolytic activity, both CJTOX I and II were concluded to be new actinoporins, which were identified for the first time from a deep-sea anemone.