Molecular cloning, characterization and expression analysis of (B-cell lymphoma-2) Bcl-2 in the orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides)

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Bcl-2 is a pro-survival member of Bcl-2 like superfamily, playing an important role in regulating the apoptotic process. In this study, the full-length Bcl-2 (EcBcl-2) was obtained, consisting of a 5′UTR of 290 bp, an ORF of 699 bp and a 3′UTR of 920 bp. EcBcl-2 gene encoded a polypeptide of 232 amino acids with an estimated molecular mass of 26.12 KDa and a predicted isoelectric point (pI) of 6.93. The deduced amino acid sequence analysis showed that EcBcl-2 consisted of the conserved residues and characteristic domains known to the critical functionality for Bcl-2. qRT-PCR analysis revealed that EcBcl-2 transcript was expressed in all the examined tissues, while the strongest expression level was observed in liver, followed by the expression in blood, gill, kidney, spleen, heart, intestine and muscle. The groupers challenged with V. alginolyticus showed a significant increase of EcBcl-2 mRNA in immune tissues. In addition, western blotting analysis confirmed that the up-regulation of EcBcl-2 protein expression was detected in liver. Subcellular localization analysis revealed that EcBcl-2 was localized in both nucleus and cytoplasm. Overexpression of EcBcl-2 can inhibit the LPS-induced apoptosis and activate the transcription activity of NF-κB and AP-1, while the deletion of BH1, BH2, BH3 or BH4 domain from EcBcl-2 can impede the signaling transduction. These results indicate that EcBcl-2 may play a regulatory role in the apoptotic process.

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