Neuropeptide discovery inProasellus cavaticus: Prediction of the first large-scale peptidome for a member of the Isopoda using a publicly accessible transcriptome

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In silico transcriptome mining is one of the most effective methods for neuropeptide discovery in crustaceans, particularly for species that are small, rare or from geographically inaccessible habitats that make obtaining the large pools of tissue needed for other peptide discovery platforms impractical. Via this approach, large peptidomes have recently been described for members of many of the higher crustacean taxa, one notable exception being the Isopoda; no peptidome has been predicted for any member of this malacostracan order. Using a publicly accessible transcriptome for the isopod Proasellus cavaticus, a subcentimeter subterranean ground water dweller, the first in silico-predicted peptidome for a member of the Isopoda is presented here. BLAST searches employing known arthropod neuropeptide pre/preprohormone queries identified 49 transcripts as encoding putative homologs within the P. cavaticus transcriptome. The proteins deduced from these transcripts allowed for the prediction of 171 distinct mature neuropeptides. The P. cavaticus peptidome includes members of the adipokinetic hormone-corazonin-like peptide, allatostatin A, allatostatin B, allatostatin C, allatotropin, bursicon α, bursicon β, CCHamide, crustacean cardioactive peptide, crustacean hyperglycemic hormone/molt-inhibiting hormone, diuretic hormone 31, eclosion hormone, elevenin, FMRFamide-like peptide, glycoprotein hormone α2, leucokinin, myosuppressin, neuroparsin, neuropeptide F, pigment dispersing hormone, pyrokinin, red pigment concentrating hormone, RYamide, short neuropeptide F, sulfakinin, tachykinin-related peptide and trissin families, as well as many linker/precursor-related sequences that may or may not represent additional bioactive molecules. Interestingly, many of the predicted P. cavaticus neuropeptides possess structures identical (or nearly so) to those previously described from members of several other malacostracan orders, i.e., the Decapoda, Amphipoda and Euphausiacea, a finding that suggests broad phylogenetic conservation of bioactive peptide structures, and possibly functions, may exist within the Malacostraca.

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