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The proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) is a potential proliferative marker in oyster Crassostrea gigas

Simiao Yu, Xue Qiao, Xiaorui Song, Ying Yang, Dan Zhang, Wending Sun, Lingling Wang, Linsheng Song
Fish & shellfish immunology 2022 v.122 pp. 306-315
Crassostrea gigas, DNA replication, Vibrio splendidus, amino acid sequences, cytoplasm, fish, granulocytes, hematopoiesis, hemocytes, lipopolysaccharides, neonates, oysters, phylogeny, protein content, recombinant proteins, shellfish
Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) is a crucial eukaryotic replication accessory factor in the regulation of DNA synthesis, which is always used as a proliferation marker for haematopoiesis in vertebrates. In the present study, a homologue of PCNA (named as CgPCNA) with a conserved N-terminal PCNA domain and a C-terminal PCNA domain was identified from oyster Crassostrea gigas. The deduced amino acid sequence of CgPCNA shared 85.4% and 86.6% similarities with the PCNAs identified in Mus musculus and Homo sapiens, respectively. CgPCNA was firstly clustered with PCNAs from molluscs, and then with PCNAs from arthropods to form a group falling into the invertebrate clade in the phylogenic tree. The mRNA transcripts of CgPCNA were detected in all tested tissues with higher expression level in gonad, gills and haemolymph. They were also detected in granulocytes, semi-granulocytes and agranulocytes with no significant differences, but the protein level of CgPCNA in agranulocytes was significantly higher (3.67-fold, p < 0.05) than that in granulocytes. In the haemocytes, CgPCNA was mainly distributed in the nucleus and less in the cytoplasm of haemocytes. CgPCNA protein was observed at the tubule lumen regions of gills vessels, and especially colocalized with the EdU signals. After lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Vibrio splendidus stimulation, the expression level of CgPCNA mRNA in haemocytes was significantly (p < 0.05) up-regulated at 6 h and 12 h, which was 13.87-fold and 3.89-fold of that in control, respectively. In the oysters treated with the recombinant protein CgAstakine (rCgAstakine), the protein abundance of CgPCNA was enhanced in agranulocytes and gills, while no significant change was observed in semi-granulocytes and granulocytes. These results collectively indicated that CgPCNA was highly expressed in the newborn agranulocytes and the potential haematopoietic sites, and it might be applied as a marker for haemocytes proliferation in oysters.