The first tropical sea cucumber caspase-8 fromHolothuria leucospilota: Molecular characterization, involvement of apoptosis and inducible expression by immune challenge

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In this study, the first tropical sea cucumber caspase-8 named HLcaspase-8 was identified from Holothuria leucospilota. The full-length cDNA of HLcaspase-8 is 2293 bp in size, containing a 245 bp 5′-untranslated region (UTR), a 521 bp 3′-UTR and a 1527 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding a protein of 508 amino acids with a deduced molecular weight of 57.47 kDa. Besides the common signatures of caspase family including conserved cysteine active site pentapeptide motif QACQG, P20 domain and P10 domain, HLcaspase-8 also contains a characteristic DED domain. The over-expression of HLcaspase-8 in HEK293T cells showed that HLcaspase-8 protein could induce apoptosis and the apoptosis could be promoted by TNF-α, indicating that the apoptosis induced by HLcaspase-8 might also be triggered via a receptor-mediated pathway. Moreover, the expression of HLcaspase-8 in in vitro experiments performed in coelomocytes was significantly up-regulated by lipopolysaccharides (LPS) or polyriboinosinic-polyribocytidylic Acid [poly (I:C)] challenge, suggesting that the sea cucumber caspase-8 might play some important roles in the innate immune defense against bacterial and viral infections.

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