Expression and functional characterization of interferon regulatory factors 4, 8, and 9 in large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea)

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Interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-4, 8, and 9 are essential in host defense against pathogens. Here, the full-length coding sequence (CDS), protein structure, and immune response of IRF4/8/9 (lc IRF4/8/9) were characterized in large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea). The open reading frame of lcIRF4, lcIRF8 and lcIRF9 encoded putative proteins of 463,422 and 406 amino acids, respectively. These IRFs share high sequence homology with other vertebrate IRFs and were constitutively expressed in all examined tissues. IRFs were upregulated following stimulation with Vibrio anguillarum in the liver, spleen, and kidney. These results suggest that IRF4/8/9 are vital in the defense of L. crocea against bacterial infection and further increase our understanding of IRFs function in innate immunity in teleosts.

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