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Three serum amyloid A (SAA) genes were identified from the common carp (Cyprinus carpio) by PCR and RT-PCR. Considering both direction and sequence similarity with mammal's orthologs, they were named CcSAA3a, CcSAA3b and CcSAA1. CcSAA3b and CcSAA1 are adjacent on contig LHQP01017858, suggesting that the prototype of or the simplest SAA multigene family have occurred in common carp. A phylogenetic analysis of the SAAs indicated that the fish SAAs were closer to those of invertebrates and Ornithorhynchus anatinus, a primitive mammal, than to mammalian SAAs. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR results displayed different expression profiles of three CcSAAs. The CcSAA3a was detected in all tested tissues, and was most abundant in the muscle; CcSAA3b was predominately expressed in the intestine and liver, and CcSAA1 in the skin. The expression level of CcSAA3a was higher than that of CcSAA3b and CcSAA1 in most tissues. Stimulation with Aeromonas hydrophila dramatically induced the expression of the three CcSAAs in all examined tissues, especially in the liver. Like Epinephelus coioides SAA, all of three rCcSAA fusion proteins could bind to both Gram-negative bacteria (A. hydrophila and E. coli) and Gram-positive bacterium (S. aureus), playing a role in the identification of bacteria. However, only rCcSAA3a showed significantly anti-A. hydrophila and anti-E. coli in vitro antibacterial activity assays. These results suggested that the three CcSAAs were in functional differentiation and play significant roles in the innate immunity of common carp.Cloning and synteny analysis of three SAA family genes in common carp.Expression analysis of CcSAAs in healthy and bacterial infection individuals.Bacterial-binding and anti-bacterial activities of rCcSAAs.