Transcriptional profiling, molecular cloning, and functional analysis of C1 inhibitor, the main regulator of the complement system in black rockfish,Sebastes schlegelii

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Abstract

C1-inhibitor (C1inh) plays a crucial role in assuring homeostasis and is the central regulator of the complement activation involved in immunity and inflammation. A C1-inhibitor gene from Sebastes schlegelii was identified and designated as SsC1inh. The identified genomic DNA and cDNA sequences were 6837 bp and 2161 bp, respectively. The genomic DNA possessed 11 exons, interrupted by 10 introns. The amino acid sequence possessed two immunoglobulin-like domains and a serpin domain. Multiple sequence alignment revealed that the serpin domain of SsC1inh was highly conserved among analyzed species where the two immunoglobulin-like domains showed divergence. The distinctiveness of teleost C1inh from other homologs was indicated by the phylogenetic analysis, genomic DNA organization, and their extended N-terminal amino acid sequences. Under normal physiological conditions, SsC1inh mRNA was most expressed in the liver, followed by the gills. The involvement of SsC1inh in homeostasis was demonstrated by modulated transcription profiles in the liver and spleen upon pathogenic stress by different immune stimulants. The protease inhibitory potential of recombinant SsC1inh (rSsC1inh) and the potentiation effect of heparin on rSsC1inh was demonstrated against C1esterase and thrombin. For the first time, the anti-protease activity of the teleost C1inh against its natural substrates C1r and C1s was proved in this study. The protease assay conducted with recombinant black rockfish C1r and C1s proteins in the presence or absence of rSsC1inh showed that the activities of both proteases were significantly diminished by rSsC1inh. Taken together, results from the present study indicate that SsC1inh actively plays a significant role in maintaining homeostasis in the immune system of black rock fish.

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