A potent tilapia secreted granulin peptide enhances the survival of transgenic zebrafish infected byVibrio vulnificusvia modulation of innate immunity

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Progranulin (PGRN) is a multi-functional growth factor that mediates cell proliferation, survival, migration, tumorigenesis, wound healing, development, and anti-inflammation activity. A novel alternatively spliced transcript from the short-form PGRN1 gene encoding a novel, secreted GRN peptide composed of 20-a.a. signal peptide and 41-a.a. GRN named GRN-41 was identified to be abundantly expressed in immune-related organs including spleen, head kidney, and intestine of Mozambique tilapia. The expression of GRN-41 and PGRN1 were further induced in the spleen of tilapia challenged with Vibrio vulnificus at 3 h post infection (hpi) and 6 hpi, respectively. In this study, we established three transgenic zebrafish lines expressing the secreted GRN-41, GRN-A and PGRN1 of Mozambique tilapia specifically in muscle. The relative percent of survival (RPS) was enhanced in adult transgenic zebrafish expressing tilapia GRN-41 (68%), GRN-A (32%) and PGRN1 (36%) compared with control transgenic zebrafish expressing AcGFP after challenge with V. vulnificus. It indicates tilapia GRN-41 is a potent peptide against V. vulnificus infection. The secreted tilapia GRN-41 can induce the expression of innate immune response-related genes, such as TNFa, TNFb, IL-8, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-26, IL-21, IL-10, complement C3, lysozyme (Lyz) and the hepatic antimicrobial peptide hepcidin (HAMP), in adult transgenic zebrafish without V. vulnificus infection. The tilapia GRN-41 peptide can enhance the innate immune response by further elevating TNFb, IL-1β, IL-8, IL-6, and HAMP expression in early responsive time to the V. vulnificus challenge in transgenic zebrafish. Our results suggest that the novel GRN-41 peptide generated from alternative splicing of the tilapia PGRN1 gene is a potent peptide that defends against V. vulnificus in the transgenic zebrafish model by modulation of innate immunity.

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