Molecular characterization and expression of a novel big defensin (Sb-BDef1) from ark shell, Scapharca broughtonii.Fish Shellfish Immunol 2012; 33(5):1167-73FS
Big defensins, endogenous cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) with antimicrobial activity and immunomodulatory property, play crucial roles in host defense against various microbial pathogens. A novel big defensin (Sb-BDef1) of ark shell Scapharca broughtonii was identified by expressed sequence tag (EST) and RACE techniques. The Sb-BDef1 cDNA contained an open reading frame (ORF) of 336-bp encoding a polypeptide of 111 amino acids with a putative signal peptide of 21 amino acid residues, followed by a putative propeptide of 11 residues and a putative mature peptide of 79 residues. The mature peptide shared the common features of big defensins, including a high hydrophobic residues region (59%) in the N-terminus, a defensin domain in the C-terminus, which perfectly corresponds to the six conserved disulfide-bonded cysteine residues involved in the formation of the internal disulfide bridges (C1-C5, C2-C4 and C3-C6) in all big defensins from mollusk, horseshoe crab and amphioxus. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that the expression of Sb-BDef1 transcript was detected in all the tissues examined from normal ark shells, and the temporal expression of Sb-BDef1 mRNA was remarkably up-regulated at 8, 16 h in hemocytes, and at 16, 24 h in hepatopancreas after Vibrio anguillarum-challenge, respectively. These results suggested that Sb-BDef1 was a constitutive and inducible acute-phase protein and should be involved in immune response of Gram-negative microbial infection in ark shell S. broughtonii.