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Bursicon homodimers induce innate immune by activating the expression of anti-microbial peptide genes in the shrimp Neocaridina heteropoda

Li, Ran, Weng, Jieyang, Wang, Xin, Meng, Qinghao, Wang, Yongyong, Sun, Jinsheng
Fish & shellfish immunology 2019 v.84 pp. 906-911
Callinectes sapidus, RNA interference, abdominal ganglia, adults, antibacterial properties, antimicrobial peptides, bacterial infections, crabs, cystine, fish, gene expression, genes, hemocytes, immunology, insects, shellfish, shrimp
Bursicon is a neurohormone belonging to the cystine knot protein family. It consists of two subunits (burs α and burs β) and plays a pivotal role in cuticle tanning and wing expansion in insects. Recent studies show that homologous crustacean bursicon stimulates cuticle thickening and granulation of hemocytes in the crab Callinectes sapidus. Here we investigate whether bursicon homodimers function in immunoprotective defense systems of shrimp. We found that abdominal ganglion was the main neurohemal release site of bursicon in Neocaridina heteropoda. Bacterial infections induced overexpression of burs α (bursicon α) and burs β (bursicon β). RNAi of burs α, burs β or both inhibited the expression of anti-microbial peptide (AMP) genes. Treating shrimp adults with r-bursicon (recombinant bursicon) homodimers led to up-regulation of three AMP genes. Besides, through the induced AMPs, r-bursicon homodimers enhanced the bacteriostasis of shrimp in vivo and in vitro. These findings demonstrate a novel function of bursicon in crustacean that it induces innate immune via up-regulating the expression of genes encoding AMPs.