Novel mannose binding natterin-like protein in the skin mucus of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)
This study presents the first report of purification of natterin-like protein (Nlp) in a non-venomous fish. The peptide identities of purified cod Nlp were confirmed through LC-MSMS and matched to a cod expressed sequence tag (EST). A partial cod nlp nucleotide sequence was amplified and sequenced based on this EST. Multiple sequence alignment of cod Nlp showed considerable homology with other teleost Nlps and the presence of an N-terminal jacalin-like lectin domain coupled with a C-terminal toxin domain. nlp expression was higher in skin, head kidney, liver and spleen than in other tissues studied. Hemaggluttination of horse red blood cells by Nlp was calcium dependent and inhibited by mannose. A Vibrio anguillarum bath challenge however, did not alter the expression of cod nlp transcripts in the skin and gills. Further functional characterization is required to establish the significance of this unique protein in Atlantic cod and other teleosts.