A novel stimulator of interferon gene (STING) fromLarimichthys croceaand their involvement in immune response to ectoparasiteCryptocaryon irritansinfection

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The marine white spot disease caused by protozoan ectoparasite Cryptocaryon irritans is a severe problem to the large yellow croaker farming industry. To understand the molecular immune mechanisms and improve its immune capacity are particular important. STING, one of the important second messengers in innate immune response process, plays pivotal roles in defensing against different pathogenic microorganisms. Many reports have pointed that STING could not only combine the uncovered dsDNA, ssDNA directly in the cytoplasm from the pathogens or biology itself, but it also could recognize cyclic diguanylate monophosphate (c-di-GMP), cyclic diadenylate monophosphate (c-di-AMP). Based on the STING sequence, a variant of the L. crocea STING (termed LcSTING2) was found by accident. RACE was used to clone the full-length cDNA of LcSTING2 which contained a 5′- UTR of 154 bp, a 3′-UTR of 592 bp and an ORF of 1227 bp encoding 408 amino acids. The predicted protein molecular weight (Mw) was 45.83 KDa and the estimated theoretical isoelectric point (pI) was 6.24. The deduced protein of LcSTING2 contains no signal peptide. One transmembrane motif (TM) in the N-terminal region, a TMEM173 domain and five putative motifs (RXR) found in resident endoplasmic reticulum proteins were also conserved. According to the partial genomic sequence, the unknown sequences were amplified, it contained 6 exons and 5 introns, and all the exon-intron boundaries were in accordance with classical GT-AG rule (GT/intron/AG). The similarity shared with fishes was higher than other high vertebrates. qRT-PCR results showed that LcSTING (two variants) distributed in all examined tissues, and it was the most abundant in gill. After challenged by C. irritans, LcSTING mRNA only appeared instantaneous up-regulation during the infective stage of theronts in the head kidney and was also up-regulated during the whole infectious cycle of C. irritans in the liver, which implied LcSTING gene was likely to be involved in the defensing against C. irritans infection, it is the first time to explore the STING taking part in the immune response to ectoparasite rather than bacterium or viruses.HighlightsA novel variant of STING gene from Larimichthys crocea (LcSTING2) was discovered, and the Full length of LcSTING2 was cloned.The tissue distribution profile of LcSTING (two variants) was detected.The expression patterns were explored after challenged by Cryptocaryon irritans in the immune organ head kidney and detoxification organ liver.It is the first time to study the immune involvement of STING in the parasites rather than bacterium or viruses.

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