Three STATs are involved in the regulation of the expression of antimicrobial peptides in the triangle sail mussel,Hyriopsis cumingii

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Janus kinase (Jak) and signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) signaling pathway is associated in antiviral and antibacterial immune response. Previous studies primarily investigated the function of STATs in mammals. For most invertebrates, only one STAT was found in each species, such as STAT92E was found in Drosophila melanogaster. The studies, which focus on the functional difference between various STATs in the same species of invertebrate, are limited. In the present study, three STATs (HcSTAT1, HcSTAT2 and HcSTAT3) were identified in triangle shell pearl mussel, Hyriopsis cumingii. Phylogenetic analysis showed that HcSTAT1 and HcSTAT3 were clustered with Homo sapiens STAT5, and HcSTAT2 was clustered with Pinctada fucata STAT and Crassostea gigas STAT6. All three STATs could be detected in all tested tissues (hemocytes, hepatopancreas, gill, mantle and foot), and were induced expression when challenged with Staphylococcus aureus or Aeromonas hydrophilia in hemocytes and hepatopancreas. HcSTAT1 regulated the expression of HcDef, HcWAP, HcThe and HcTNF. The expression of HcWAP and HcTNF was down-regulated in HcSTAT2-RNAi mussel. And HcSTAT3 affected the expression of HcTNF. The study is the first report of different functions in antibacterial immune responses between STATs in mollusks.

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