Molecular characterization and function of the Prohibitin2 gene inLitopenaeus vannameiresponses toVibrio alginolyticus

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Prohibitin2 (PHB2), a potential tumor suppressor protein, plays important roles in inhibition of cell cycle progression, transcriptional regulation, apoptosis and the mitochondrial respiratory chain. To explore its potential roles in crustaceans' immune responses we have identified and characterized LvPHB2, a 891 bp gene encoding a 297 amino acids protein in the shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei. Expression analyses showed that LvPHB2 is expressed in all examined tissues, and largely present in cytoplasm, correlating with its known anti-oxidation function in mitochondria. Luciferase reporter assays showed that over-expression of LvPHB2 could activate the p53 pathway, indicating that it might participate in apoptosis regulation. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed that infection with Vibrio alginolyticus induces its up-regulation in hepatopancreas. Moreover, RNAi knock-down of LvPHB2 in vivo raises mortality rates of L. vannamei infected by V. alginolyticus, and affects expression of STAT3, Caspase3 and p53 genes. We found significantly higher reactive oxygen species production, DNA damage and apoptosis rates in LvPHB2-silenced shrimp challenged with V. alginolyticus than in controls injected with a Green Fluorescent Protein-silencing construct. Our results suggest that LvPHB2 plays a vital role in shrimp responses to V. alginolyticus infection through its participation in regulation of oxidants and apoptosis.

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