A hemocyte-expressed fibrinogen-related protein gene (LvFrep) from the shrimpLitopenaeus vannamei: Expression analysis after microbial infection and during larval development

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Fibrinogen-related proteins (FREPs) comprise a large family of microbial recognition proteins involved in many biological functions in both vertebrate and invertebrate animals. By taking advantage of publicly accessible databases, we have identified a FREP-like homolog in the most cultivated penaeid shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei (LvFrep). The obtained sequence showed a conserved fibrinogen-related domain (FReD) and displayed significant similarities to FREP-like proteins from other invertebrates and to ficolins from crustaceans. The expression of LvFrep appeared to be limited to circulating hemocytes. Interestingly, LvFrep gene expression was induced in shrimp hemocytes only in response to a Vibrio infection but not to the White spot syndrome virus (WSSV). Moreover, LvFrep transcript levels were detected early in fertilized eggs, suggesting the participation of this immune-related gene in the antimicrobial defenses during shrimp development.

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