Identification and expression analysis of a novel stylicin antimicrobial peptide from Kuruma shrimp (Marsupenaeus japonicus)

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Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are important components of the innate immune system and function as the first line of defense against invading pathogens. In current study we identified, cloned and characterized a novel stylicin AMP from Kuruma shrimp Marsupenaeus japonicus (Mj-sty). The full-length cDNA of Mj-sty was 428 bp with an open reading frame of 315 bp that encoded 104 amino acids. The theoretical molecular mass of mature Mj-sty was 8.693 kDa with an isoelectric point (pI) of 4.79. A proline-rich N-terminal region and a C-terminal region contained 13 cysteine residues were identified. Genomic sequence analysis with respect to its cDNA showed that Mj-sty was organized into two exons interrupted by one intron. Tissue-specific expression revealed that Mj-sty was mainly transcribed in gills and hemocytes. Expression of Mj-sty in early developmental stages demonstrated that Mj-sty mRNA were present from fertilized eggs to post-larvae of 17 days (PL17), and the expression levels showed a significant variation in different developmental stages. After challenge of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV), the time-dependent expression pattern of Mj-sty in both gills and hepatopancrease showed down-regulation at the early hours of infection, subsequently up-regulation and down-regulation, and then up-regulation at the end hours to almost the half of the controls. The results indicate that Mj-sty is potentially involved in the ontogenesis and immune responses against WSSV.

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