MKK7 confers different activities to viral infection of Singapore grouper iridovirus (SGIV) and nervous necrosis virus (NNV) in grouper

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Mitogen-activated protein kinase 7 (MKK7) is one of the major stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK)-activating kinases in response to environmental or physiological stimuli. Here a MKK7 named as Ec-MKK7 was identified from orange-spotted grouper, Epinephelus coioides. The full-length cDNA of Ec-MKK7 was 1853 bp, with an open reading frame (ORF) of 1272 bp encoding a putative protein of 423 amino acids. A characteristic S-K-A-K-T motif was contained in the domain of dual-specificity protein kinase, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 7 (PKc_MKK7). Intracellular localization showed that Ec-MKK7 was localized in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus of grouper spleen (GS) and/or grouper brain (EAGB) cells. Moreover, Ec-MKK7 was universally expressed in all examined tissues and showed expression modulation to challenges of lipopolysacchride (LPS), Singapore grouper iridovirus (SGIV) and polyriboinosinic polyribocytidylic acid (poly I:C) in vivo. A gene targeting strategy over-expressing Ec-MKK7 was performed to examine the activities of MKK7 to viral infection in vitro. Our data showed that Ec-MKK7 was involved in the evasion and replication of SGIV but played an antiviral role to the infection of nervous necrosis virus (NNV). All results demonstrated that Ec-MKK7 could play important roles in grouper innate immunity and show distinct functions on virus infection.

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