Establishment of lysozyme gene RNA interference systemand its involvement in salinity tolerance in sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus)

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The lysozyme gene was silenced using RNA interference (RNAi) to analyze the function of lysozyme in sea cucumber under salt stress. The interfering efficiency of four lysozyme RNAi oligos ranged from 0.55 to 0.70. From the four oligos, p-miR-L245 was used for further interfering experiments because it had the best silencing efficiency. Peristomial film injection of p-miR-L245 (10 μg) was used for further interfering experiments. The lowest gene expression, determined by RT-PCR assay, in muscle, coelomic fluid, and parapodium occurred 48 h after p-miR-L245 injection, while that of body wall and tube foot was 96 h and 24 h, respectively. Lysozyme activity in muscle and body wall was significantly lower than the controls. The lowest lysozyme activity in muscle, body wall and parapodium, was found at 48, 72, and 48 h, respectively, which was consistent with the transcription expression of lysozyme. The lowest point of lysozyme activity was at 96 h in coelomic fluid and tube foot, which was laid behind lysozyme expression in transcription level. The expression profile of the lysozyme transcription level and lysozyme activity in the body wall and tube foot increased at 12 h after p-miR-L245 injection before the interference effect appeared. NKA gene expression was expressed at a high level in the positive control (PC) and negative control (NC) groups at 12, 24, and 48 h, while NKA was expressed at low levels in the lysozyme RNAi injection group at 12 and 24 h. The level of NKA gene expression recovered to the level of the PC and NC group at 48, 72, and 96 h after the lysozyme RNAi injection. NKCC1 gene expression was high in the PC and NC groups at 96 h, while the NKCC1 was expressed at a low level 96 h after lysozyme RNAi injection. The results suggest that lysozyme decay involves NKA and NKCC1 gene expression under salinity 18 psμ. The K+ and Cl concentration after lysozyme RNAi injection was lower than in the PC and NC group.HighlightsmiRNA is a faster and simpler method to knock down genes for gene function of sea cucumbers. Lysozyme gene silencing efficiency was dependent on the applied concentration of the gene-specific miRNA.The lysozyme miRNA shocks between repression and activation in transcription level and lysozyme activities may be related to miRNA role in response to organizational structure or cells.The lysozyme decay effected NKA and NKCC1 gene expression, which indicated lysozyme involved in the salinity stress of sea cucumbers.

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