Molecular cloning, recombinant expression and functional characterization of an antimicrobial peptide, Crustin from the Indian white shrimp,Fenneropenaeus indicus
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) comprise molecules that involve in the defense mechanism of various organisms towards pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. Crustins are generally defined as multi-domain cationic antimicrobial peptides containing one whey acidic protein (WAP) domain at the C-terminus as the functional unit. In this study, we identified and characterized a novel crustin homolog (Fi-Crustin2) with 354 bp fragment cDNA encoding 117 amino acids and an ORF of 100 amino acids with a net charge of +1 from the mRNA of F. indicus haemocytes. This study forms the second report of a crustin isoform from F. indicus. Blast analysis revealed that Fi-crustin2 exhibits similarity to shrimp crustins already reported. The active mature peptide has a molecular weight of 10.61 kDa and pI of 7.59 with a beta sheeted structure. The mature peptide was cloned into pET-32a(+) with a N-terminal hexa-histidine tag fused in-frame, and expressed in Escherichia coli, and the recombinant crustin, Fi-crustin2 inhibited the growth of Gram-negative bacteria with low MIC. All these features suggest that Fi-crustin2 is a potent antibacterial protein against Gram-negative bacteria and could play an important role in the innate immune mechanism of F. indicus.