Molecular characterization and functional activity of CXCL8_L3 in large yellow croakerLarimichthys crocea

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CXCL8, also called interleukin-8, is a typical CXC chemokine that plays a key role in promoting inflammation. Phylogenetically, fish CXCL8 chemokines can be divided into three subgroups, CXCL8_L1, CXCL8_L2, and CXCL8_L3, of which CXCL8_L3 is a new subgroup. The CXCL8_L3 gene sequences have been reported in many fish species, but their function remains unknown. Here, a CXCL8_L3 (LycCXCL8_L3) gene was cloned from large yellow croaker Larimichthys crocea. Its open reading frame (ORF) was 309 nucleotides long, encoding a peptide of 102 amino acids. The deduced LycCXCL8_L3 protein contains an 18-aa signal peptide and an 84-aa mature polypeptide, which has four conserved cysteine residues (C30, C32, C57, and C73) as found in other known CXCL8 chemokines. Phylogenetic analysis showed LycCXCL8_L3 formed a major clade with CXCL8_L3 sequences from other fish species. The LycCXCL8_L3 transcript was constitutively expressed in all examined tissues and significantly up-regulated in the spleen and head kidney tissues by inactivated trivalent bacterial vaccine. The LycCXCL8_L3 transcript was also detected in peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs), primary head kidney macrophages (PKM), and large yellow croaker head kidney cell line (LYCK), with the highest levels in PKM. Recombinant LycCXCL8_L3 (rLycCXCL8_L3) protein could not only chemotactically attract lymphocytes and eosinophils in PBLs, but also enhance the respiratory burst activity of PKM. These results indicate that LycCXCL8_L3 may play an important role in the inflammatory response of large yellow croaker. To our knowledge, this is the first report on functional study of the CXCL8_L3 in fish.HighlightsA novel member of CXCL8_L3 subgroup (LycCXCL8_L3) was identified in large yellow croaker.LycCXCL8_L3 was constitutively expressed in all tested tissues and significantly up-regulated by bacterial vaccine.Recombinant LycCXCL8_L3 (rLycCXCL8_L3)exhibited chemotactic activity for lymphocytes and eosnophils.rLycCXCL8_L3 enhanced respiratory burst activity of primary head kidney macrophages.LycCXCL8_L3 may play an important role in the inflammatory response of large yellow croaker.

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