Three novel C1q domain containing proteins from the disk abaloneHaliotis discus discus: Genomic organization and analysis of the transcriptional changes in response to bacterial pathogens

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The globular C1q (gC1q) domain containing proteins, commonly referred as C1q domain containing (C1qDC) proteins, are an essential family of proteins involved in various innate immune responses. In this study, three novel C1qDC proteins were identified from the disk abalone (Haliotis discus discus) transcriptome database and designated as AbC1qDC1, AbC1qDC2, and AbC1qDC3. The cDNA sequences of AbC1qDC1, AbC1qDC2, and AbC1qDC3 consisted of 807, 1305, and 660 bp open reading frames (ORFs) encoding 269, 435, and 220 amino acids (aa), respectively. Putative signal peptides and the N-terminal gC1q domain were identified in all three AbC1qDC proteins. An additional predicted motif region, known as the coiled coil region (CCR), was identified next to the signal sequence of AbC1qDC2. The genomic organization of the AbC1qDCs was determined using a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library. It was found that the CDS of AbC1qDC1 was distributed among three exons, while the CDSs of AbC1qDC2 and AbC1qDC3 were distributed between two exons. Sequence analysis indicated that the AbC1qDC proteins shared <40% identity with other counterparts from different species. According to the neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree, the proteins were grouped within an invertebrate group with high evolutionary distances, which suggests that they are new members of the C1qDC family. Higher expression of AbC1qDC1 and AbC1qDC2 was detected in hepatopancreas, muscle, and mantle tissues compare to the other tissues analyzed, using reverse transcription, followed by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) using SYBR Green, whereas AbC1qDC3 was predominantly expressed in gill tissues, followed by muscles and the hepatopancreas. The temporal expression of AbC1qDC transcripts in gills after bacterial (Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Listeria monocytogenes) and lipopolysaccharide stimulation indicated that AbC1qDCs can be strongly induced by both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial species with different response profiles. The results of this study suggest that AbC1qDCs are involved in immune responses against invading bacterial pathogens.

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