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IKKε-like plays an important role in the innate immune signaling of the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas)

Huang, Baoyu, Tang, Xueying, Zhang, Linlin, Li, Li, Wang, Wei, Liu, Mingkun, Zhang, Guofan
Fish & shellfish immunology 2019 v.93 pp. 551-558
Crassostrea gigas, amino acids, complementary DNA, enzymes, gene activation, gene expression, hemocytes, human cell lines, immune system, interferons, messenger RNA, mutants, open reading frames, oysters, phosphorylation, polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reporter genes, shellfish, signal transduction, transcription factor NF-kappa B, transfection
IκB-related kinase ε (IKKε) plays a crucial role in the activation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) by phosphorylating inhibitor of NF-κB (IκB) and in the regulation of interferon (IFN) gene expression by phosphorylating IFN regulatory factors (IRFs). In this study, we cloned an IKKε homologue cDNA (designated as CgIKKε-like) from the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas. The full 2896-bp cDNA sequence comprised a 2163-bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding 720 amino acids. CgIKKε-like is ubiquitously expressed, and its mRNA levels in hemocytes after poly I:C, V. alginolyticus, or OsHV-1 μVar challenge were analyzed by real-time PCR. Compared to that in the control, CgIKKε-like mRNA expression levels were significantly increased at 3 h and peaked at 6 h after OsHV-1 μVar challenge; no obvious changes were observed in expression levels until 24 h after either V. alginolyticus or poly I:C challenge, reaching a maximum at 24 h (p < 0.01) and then rapidly decreasing. CgIKKε-like transfection into human cell lines induced NF-κB and ISRE activation, while transfection with CgIKKε-like deletion mutants abolished NF-κB and ISRE reporter gene activation. Additionally, CgIKKε-like could interact with CgTBK1 and could form homodimers strongly, which may be critical for the immune signaling transduction. Last but not least, we found that CgIKKε-like may increase CgIκBs phosphorylation and could interact with CgIRF8. Together, these results suggest that CgIKKε-like could respond to pathogenic infection, participate in the immune signal transduction and activate NF-κB and ISRE reporter genes. Thus, CgIKKε-like could play an important role in the oyster immune system.