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Molecular characterization of two isoforms of defensin from hemocytes of the oysterCrassostrea gigas

Developmental & Comparative Immunology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.dci.2006.07.006
  • Mollusc Bivalve
  • Marine Invertebrate
  • Pacific Oyster
  • Hemocytes
  • Antimicrobial Peptide
  • Defensin


Abstract Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are important components of the host innate immune response against microbial invasion. We previously characterized the first AMP from an oyster, a defensin, that was shown to be continuously expressed in the mantle of Crassostrea gigas. In this study, we report the cDNA cloning of two new isoforms of the defensin AMP family ( Cg-defh1 and Cg-defh2) from the hemocytes of the oyster. The deduced amino acid sequences reveal two peptides of 73 amino acid residues with a mature portion consisting of 43 amino acid residues. Cg-Defh1 and Cg-Defh2 share 86% amino acid identity and belong to the “arthropod-molluscs defensin family”. qRT-PCR analyses indicate that Cg-defh2 is continuously expressed in the hemocytes of C. gigas. In addition, after a bacterial challenge, the level of Cg-defh2 transcripts decreases dramatically in the circulating hemocyte population and this decrease can be correlated with an increase of Cg-defh2 transcripts in the gill and the mantle tissue, suggesting a possible migration of the hemocytes expressing Cg-defh2 towards the tissues implicated in the first defense barrier of the oyster. These results would suggest an important role of Cg-Defh2 in the oyster response to a microbial challenge.

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