Molecular cloning, characterization and expression analysis of (B-cell lymphoma-2 associated X protein) Bax in the orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides) after theVibrio alginolyticuschallenge

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Abstract

Bax is a pro-apoptotic member of Bcl-2 like superfamily, playing an important role in regulating the apoptosis. In this study, the full-length Bax (EcBax) was obtained, containing a 5′UTR of 64 bp, an ORF of 579 bp and a 3′UTR of 1021 bp. The EcBax gene encoded a polypeptide of 192 amino acids with an estimated molecular mass of 21.55 KDa and a predicted isoelectric point (pI) of 6.75. The deduced amino acid sequence analysis showed that EcBax comprised the conserved residues and the characteristic domains known to the critical function of Bax. qRT-PCR analysis revealed that EcBax mRNA was broadly expressed in all of the examined tissues, while the highest expression level was observed in blood, followed by the expression in liver, gill, spleen, kidney, heart, muscle and intestine. A sharp increase of EcBax expression was observed in the vibrio challenge group by comparing with those in the control. Subcellular localization analysis revealed that EcBax was predominantly localized in the cytoplasm. EcBax exerted a regulatory role in modulating the mitochondrial membrane potential, promoting the cytochrome c release, and then activating the downstream caspase signaling. Moreover, the overexpression of EcBax can decrease the cell viability and antagonize NF-kB, AP-1, Stat3 promoter activity in Hela cells. These results indicate that EcBax containing the conserved domain of pro-apoptotic member of Bcl-2 family may disrupt the mammalian signaling and play a regulative role in the apoptotic process.

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