HC-SPH: A conserved serine protease homolog of S1 superfamily in the triangle-shell pearl mussel (Hyriopsis cumingii)
Keywords:Tryp_SPc domain, Serine protease homolog, S1 superfamily, immune response, mollusk
Serine proteases play central roles in immune defense in invertebrates through innate immunity, and are particularly important complement system in molluscs because their susceptibility to infection due to lack of an adaptive immune ability. A gene encoding the serine protease homolog from the triangle - shell pearl mussel (Hyriopsis cumingii) was identified and designated as HC-SPH in this study. Protein sequence analysis revealed that HC-SPH consists of a typical Tryp_SPc functional domain of serine protease of S1 family lead by a signal peptide, and the molecule shares a highly conserved sequence and structural organization with other members, including a cleavage site, 3 enzymatic active sites and 3 substrate binding sites, so that it was clustered into a trypsin-like serine protease subfamily of the S1 superfamily. Semi - quantitative analysis of the amplicons separated on agarose gel by comparing to the β-actin products revealed that the digestive gland had a strong expression while the gonads were seen as weak expression sites. Infected by Aeromonas hydrophila, the gene expression was significantly up - regulated in the kidney at the 6 hours post challenge (hpc), stomach at 12 hpc and gills at 24 hpc while the expression maintained steadily unchanged in the digestive gland. However, up to 48 hpc, the expression levels in all four tissues reached significantly high, and also joined by a high level of expression in intestine that was down - regulated before 24 hpc, to build up an enhanced immune defense. The complementary up - regulation of the gene expression in these tissues suggested a temporal and spatial reinforce model for HC-SPH in immune response.