Two catalase homologs are involved in host protection against bacterial infection and oxidative stress inCrassostrea hongkongensis

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Catalase is one of the key antioxidant enzymes and it appears to be involved in protection against immune infection and oxidative stress. Here, two catalase cDNAs (ChCat-1 and ChCat-2) were isolated from hemocytes of Crassostrea hongkongensis using SSH and RACE. The full-length cDNAs of ChCat-1 and ChCat-2 are 1913 and 2466 bp in length, encoding proteins of 515 and 511 amino acids, respectively. Multiple alignments of amino acid sequences revealed that both ChCat-1 and ChCat-2 possess several characteristic features of the catalase family of enzymes, including one proximal active site signature, one heme-ligand signature, and three catalytic amino acid residues (His72, Asn145 and Tyr355). Phylogenetic analysis indicates that these two catalases may share a common ancestral gene and result from a gene duplication event following the divergence of bivalves and gastropods. Constitutive expression of ChCat-1 and ChCat-2 was observed in all tissues studied, with highest levels of expression in gill and muscle, respectively. The expression of both genes was inducible by bacterial infection, and reached the maximum at 8 h (9.0-fold) and 12 h (2.3-fold) post-infection, respectively. Furthermore, both the purified ChCat-1 and ChCat-2 protein displayed a strong catalase activity, and S2 cells carrying ChCat-1 or ChCat-2 showed a higher degree of resistance to H2O2 than that of control cells. In a word, this is the first report of the presence of two catalase genes in a single marine bivalve, and our results highlight the involvement of both ChCat-1 and ChCat-2 in host protection against pathogen infection and oxidative stress in C. hongkongensis.

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