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Characterization, evolution, and expression analysis of TLR7 gene subfamily members in Mastacembelus armatus (Synbranchiformes: Mastacembelidae)

Han, Chong, Li, Qiang, Liu, Jinmei, Hao, Zhiqiang, Huang, Jianrong, Zhang, Yong
Developmental and comparative immunology 2019
Aeromonas veronii, Mastacembelus armatus, Monopterus albus, Seriola lalandi, Toll-like receptor 7, Toll-like receptor 8, Toll-like receptor 9, amino acid sequences, coevolution, eel, genes, kidneys, pathogen-associated molecular patterns, pathogens, phylogeny, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, spleen, statistical analysis, tissues
TLR7 subfamily members are important pattern recognition receptors participating in the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns. In this study, we successfully identified 3 members of TLR7 subfamily from the spiny eel Mastacembelus armatus (MaTLR7, MaTLR8 and MaTLR9). The amino acid sequence identities of MaTLR7 and MaTLR8 with Monopterus albus TLR7 were 87.2% and 76.5%, respectively and the identity of MaTLR9 with Seriola lalandi TLR9 was 74.7%. The phylogenetic analysis revealed MaTLRs showed close relationship to other species in Synbranchiformes or Perciformes. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that they were expressed in all tested tissues and higher expression was found in spleen or gill. After infection with Aeromonas veronii, expression of MaTLR7, MaTLR8 and MaTLR9 were all significantly downregulated in spleen and kidney. Evolutionary analysis suggested that the ancestral lineages of teleost TLR8 and TLR9 had been subject to positive selection pressures and multiple Maximum likelihood methods recovered 3 positively selected sites in teleost TLR7, 4 in TLR8 and 8 in TLR9. Domain distribution revealed most positively selected sites were located in leucine-rich repeat domain. Our results will contribute to better understanding the antibacterial mechanism of TLRs and their co-evolution with pathogens.