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

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Abstract

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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