Molecular cloning and functional analysis of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) in thick shell mussel,Mytilus coruscus

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Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) is one of the key adapter molecules in Toll-like receptor signal transduction that triggers downstream cascades involved in innate immunity. Despite of the well study in vertebrates, there is few data ascribe to this TRAF member in invertebrates, especially in bivalves. In the present study, a novel TRAF6 homologue termed McTRAF6 was firstly characterized in Mytilus coruscus. Like its counterparts in mammals, McTRAF6 shared the domain topology containing one RING domain, two zinc finger domains, one coiled-coil region and a MATH domain. McTRAF6 transcripts predominantly expressed in gills, digestive glands and hemocytes in M. coruscus, and were significantly up-regulated in hemocytes after challenge with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and polyinosine-polycytidylic acid (poly I:C). Further, the subcellular localization in cytoplasm and the activation of Nk-κB or ISRE luciferase reporter by overexpressed McTRAF6 were identified in HEK293T cells. These results collectively indicate that McTRAF6 is a member of TRAF6 subfamily and plays a potential role in immune defense system against pathogenic agents invasions in thick shell mussel. To our knowledge, this is the first report on component of TLR signaling pathway in thick shell mussel, providing further evidence for the existence of TLR pathway in M. coruscus and contribute to clarify the innate immune system of thick shell mussel.

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