First molecular cloning of a molluscan caspase from variously colored abalone (Haliotis diversicolor) and gene expression analysis with bacterial challenge
Ren, Hong-Lin（Jilin Univ, Inst Zoonosis, Key Lab Zoonosis Res, Minist Educ, Changchun 130062, Peoples R China）
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Mammal caspases have been demonstrated to possess important functions in apoptosis and immune signaling, but there is less knowledge available on abalone caspases. In the present study, a molluscan caspase gene, abCaspase, was cloned for the first time from the variously colored abalone (Haliotis diversicolor) and its full-length cDNA sequence was 2427 bp, with a 1008 bp of open reading frame encoding a protein of 336 aa. The molecular mass of the deduced protein was approximately 36.97 kDa with an estimated pl of 5.28. The predicted amino acid sequence of abCaspase contained two domains of p20 and p10 which were conserved in the caspase family, including the cysteine active site pentapeptide "QSCRG" and the histidine active site signature "HTVYDCVVVIFLTHG". Homology analysis showed that abCaspase shared high similarity with apoptotic caspases and it was grouped together with vertebrate caspase-8s and caspase-10s using phylogenetic analysis, suggesting that abCaspase belonged to a typical apoptotic caspase and might possess the characteristic of human caspase-8 and -10. The mRNA transcripts of abCaspase were widely distributed in various tissues of H. diversicolor. Expression of the abCaspase gene was significantly induced in the tissues tested, especially in the hemocytes, gill and mantle with bacterial challenge. This study suggested that abCaspase may be an initiator caspase associated with the induction of apoptosis which is potentially involved in the immune defense of H. diversicolor. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.