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In silico prediction of the secretome from the invasive neurotoxic marine dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella

Chetouhi, Cherif, Laabir, Mohammed, Masseret, Estelle, Jean, Natacha
Environmental microbiology reports 2019 v.11 no.4 pp. 571-580
Alexandrium catenella, algal blooms, amino acids, bioinformatics, coastal ecosystems, environmental factors, marine environment, metabolism, neurotoxicity, peptidases, prediction, protein secretion, proteins, proteolysis, seawater, stress response, transcriptome
Alexandrium catenella, a marine dinoflagellate responsible for harmful algal blooms (HABs), proliferates with greater frequency, distribution and intensity, in disturbed marine coastal ecosystems. The proteins secreted into seawater may play a crucial role in maintaining this dinoflagellate in these ecosystems, but this possibility has never been investigated before. In this study, the A. catenella secretome was predicted from its transcriptome by combining several bioinformatics tools. Our results predict a secretome of 2 779 proteins, among which 79% contain less than 500 amino acids, suggesting that most secreted proteins are short in length. The predicted secretome includes 963 proteins (35%) with Pfam domains: 773 proteins with one Pfam domain and 190 proteins with two or more Pfam domains. Their functional annotation showed that they are mainly involved in (i) proteolysis, (ii) stress responses and (iii) primary metabolism. In addition, 47% of the secreted proteins appear to be enzymes, primarily peptidases, known to be biologically active in the extracellular medium during stress responses. Finally, this study provides a wealth of candidates of proteins secreted by A. catenella, which may interact with the marine environment and help this dinoflagellate develop in various environmental conditions.