Differential peptide expression in the central nervous system of the land snailTheba pisana,between active and aestivated

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Hypometabolism is a physiological state of dormancy entered by many animals in times of environmental stress. There are gaps in our understanding of the molecular components used by animals to achieve this metabolic state. The availability of genomic and transcriptome data can be useful to study the process of hypometabolism at the molecular level. In this study, we use the land snail Theba pisana to identify peptides that may be involved in the hypometabolic state known as aestivation. We found a total of 22 neuropeptides in the central nervous system (CNS) that were differentially produced during activity and aestivation based on mass spectral-based neuropeptidome analysis. Of these, 4 were upregulated in active animals and 18 were upregulated in aestivation. A neuropeptide known to regulate muscle contractions in a variety of molluscs, the small cardioactive peptide A (sCAPA), and a peptide of yet unknown function (termed Aestivation Associated Peptide 12) were chosen for further investigation using temporal and spatial expression analysis of the precursor gene and peptide. Both peptides share expression within regions of the CNS cerebral ganglia and suboesophageal ganglia. Relative transcript abundance suggests that regulation of peptide synthesis and secretion is post-transcriptional. In summary, we provide new insights into the molecular basis of the regulation of aestivation in land snails through CNS peptide control.

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