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Divergent immune roles of two fucolectin isoforms in Apostichopus japonicus

Shao, Yina, Che, Zhongjie, Xing, Ronglian, Wang, Zhengdong, Zhang, Weiwei, Zhao, Xuelin, Jin, Chunhua, Li, Chenghua
Developmental and comparative immunology 2018 v.89 pp. 1-6
Apostichopus japonicus, Vibrio splendidus, amino acids, bacterial infections, cations, complement, complementary DNA, fucose, gain-of-function mutation, gene expression regulation, genes, innate immunity, lectins, lipopolysaccharides, messenger RNA, protein domains, protein secretion, rapid amplification of cDNA ends, recombinant proteins, sequence alignment, signal peptide, small interfering RNA, tissues
The F-type lectin (fucolectin) family represents a new group with innate immunity. In this study, two fucolectin isoforms (designated as AjFTL-1 and AjFTL-2) were identified in sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus) through rapid amplification of cDNA ends. Full-length cDNAs of AjFTL-1 and AjFTL-2 measured 2134 and 1286 bp, encoding two secreted proteins comprising 317 and 181 amino acid residues, respectively. The signal peptide, l-fucose binding motif (“HX(26)RXDX(4)R/K”) and cation binding sequence motif (“h2DGx”) were conserved in AjFTL-1 and AjFTL-2. However, AjFTL-1 contains an additional complement control protein domain. Multiple sequence alignments supported that AjFTL-1 and AjFTL-2 are new members of the F-type lectin family. Tissues distribution analysis indicated that both AjFTL-1 and AjFTL-2 were widely expressed in all tested tissues, featuring differential expression patterns. Vibrio splendidus infection in vivo can significantly upregulate the mRNA transcripts of the two genes, with a larger magnitude observed in AjFTL-1. By contrast, lipopolysaccharide stimulation in vitro can markedly induce the expression level of AjFTL-2 but not that of AjFTL-1. Silencing AjFTL-2 by siRNA can suppress the AjNOS transcript, whereas injection of the recombinant protein of AjFTL-2 can significantly induce AjNOS expression. By contrast, the loss- and gain-of-function of AjFTL-1 caused no effect on the expression of AjNOS. Our present study provides evidence supporting that AjFTL-1 and AjFTL-2 play diverse roles in the innate immune defense of sea cucumbers toward bacterial infection.