Molecular cloning and characterization of a hemocyanin fromSepiella maindroni

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Hemocyanins are respiratory proteins occurring freely dissolved in the hemolymph of many arthropods and molluscs. Hemocyanin and hemocyanin-derived peptides have been linked to key aspects of innate immunity. In the present study, the full-length cDNA encoding hemocyanin in Sepiella maindroni (SmHc) was cloned and characterized. Bioinformatic analysis predicted that SmHc contains one open reading frame of 10,032 bp and encodes a polypeptide of 3343 amino acids. Sequence analysis showed that the predicted protein sequence of SmHc contained eight functional units (FUs). Phylogenic analysis revealed that SmHc clustered with the mollusc Hcs. Quantitative real-time PCR assay detected SmHc transcripts were in a wide range of tissues, but mainly distributed in gills. After hypoxia or bacterial challenge, the expression level of SmHc in the gills was significantly higher than that of the control group. These results suggested that SmHc might play important roles in oxygen transport and the modulation of immune response in S. maindroni.

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