Post-translational protein deimination in cod (Gadus morhua L.) ontogeny novel roles in tissue remodelling and mucosal immune defences?

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Peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs) are calcium dependent enzymes with physiological and pathophysiological roles conserved throughout phylogeny. PADs promote post-translational deimination of protein arginine to citrulline, altering the structure and function of target proteins. Deiminated proteins were detected in the early developmental stages of cod from 11 days post fertilisation to 70 days post hatching. Deiminated proteins were present in mucosal surfaces and in liver, pancreas, spleen, gut, muscle, brain and eye during early cod larval development. Deiminated protein targets identified in skin mucosa included nuclear histones; cytoskeletal proteins such as tubulin and beta-actin; metabolic and immune related proteins such as galectin, mannan-binding lectin, toll-like receptor, kininogen, Beta2-microglobulin, aldehyde dehydrogenase, bloodthirsty and preproapolipoprotein A-I. Deiminated histone H3, a marker for anti-pathogenic neutrophil extracellular traps, was particularly elevated in mucosal tissues in immunostimulated cod larvae. PAD-mediated protein deimination may facilitate protein moonlighting, allowing the same protein to exhibit a range of biological functions, in tissue remodelling and mucosal immune defences in teleost ontogeny.

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