Reproductive function of Selenoprotein M in Chinese mitten crabs (Eriocheir sinesis)

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Abstract

Selenoproteins are present in all major forms of life, including eukaryotes, bacteria and archaea. In eukaryotic animals, selenoproteins often function as antioxidants, but rare or absent in other phyla, such as plants and fungi (except for the green alga Chlamydomonas). Selenoprotein M (SelM) is a selenocysteine containing protein with redox activity, which is involved in the antioxidant response. However, information remains limited about SelM physiology and function in marine invertebrates, particularly in crustaceans. Hence, we investigated the reproductive functionality of SelM in the Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis), which is a commercially important yet disease vulnerable aquaculture species. The full-length SelM cDNA (928 bp) strand was cloned by using PCR, based on an initial expressed sequence tag (EST) that was isolated from a hepatopancreatic cDNA library. The SelM cDNA contained a 390 bp open reading frame (ORF) that encoded a putative 129 amino acid (aa) protein. SelM mRNA expression in E. sinensis was (a) tissue-specific, with the highest expression observed in the hepatopancreas, testis, ovaries and intestines. Based on this information, we then detected the different stages of tissue expression for SelM in the testis, ovary, and male crab hepatopancreas and hemolymph, and the enzyme activity of SelM in the testis. Overall, SelM was isolated successfully from the Chinese mitten crab, and its involvement in the regulation of reproduction during the period of rapid development in E. sinensis was confirmed.

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