Toll receptor response to white spot syndrome virus challenge in giant freshwater prawns (Macrobrachium rosenbergii)

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Toll receptors are evolutionary ancient families of pattern recognition receptors with crucial roles in invertebrate innate immune response. In this study, we identified a Toll receptor (MrToll) from giant freshwater prawns (Macrobrachium rosenbergii). The full-length cDNA of MrToll is 4257 bp, which encodes a putative protein of 1367 amino acids. MrToll contains 17 LRR domains, a transmembrane domain, and a TIR domain. Phylogenetic analysis showed that MrToll was grouped with Drosophila Toll7 and other arthropod Tolls. The transcripts of MrToll are mainly distributed in the heart, hepatopancreas, gills, stomach, and intestine. A low level of MrToll expression can be detected in hemocytes and the lymphoid organ. MrToll expression in gills was gradually upregulated to the highest level from 24 h to 48 h during the white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) challenge. The expression levels of the crustin (Cru) genes Cru3 and Cru7 in gills were relatively lower than those of Cru2 and Cru4. The expression levels of Cru3 and Cru7 were inhibited after the RNA interference of MrToll in gills during the WSSV challenge. The anti-lipopolysaccharide factor (ALF) genes ALF2, ALF3, ALF4, and ALF5 were also regulated by MrToll in gills during the virus challenge. These findings suggest that MrToll may contribute to the innate immune defense of M. rosenbergii against WSSV.

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