Dorsal transcription factor is involved in regulating expression of crustin genes during white spot syndrome virus infection

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Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) pathways play important roles in innate immune responses. In this study, we identified a dorsal homolog (MrDorsal) from freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii. The full-length cDNA of MrDorsal comprised 2533 bp with an open reading frame of 1986 bp, which encoded a peptide of 661 amino acid residues. Amino acid sequence analysis showed that MrDorsal contains a Rel homolog domain and an IPT/TIG (i.e., Ig-like, plexin, and transcription factors) domain. The signature sequence of dorsal protein FRYMCEG existed in the deduced amino acid sequence. Sequence analysis showed that MrDorsal shared high similarities with Dorsal from invertebrate species. MrDorsal was abundant in the hemocytes and gills of healthy prawns but minute levels were detected in other tissues. The expression of MrDorsal was significantly upregulated 48 h after the white spot syndrome virus (WSSV-) challenge. Knockdown of MrDorsal using double-stranded RNA could suppress the transcription of crustin genes (MrCrustin2 and MrCrustin4) in gills of prawns after 48 h of the WSSV challenge. Results indicated that MrDorsal was involved to regulate the expression of crustin genes and it might play potential important roles during WSSV infection.

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