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Dev Comp Immunol. 2009 Jul;33(7):838-47. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2009.02.002. Epub 2009 Feb 25.

Molecular characterization and expression profiles in response to bacterial infection of Chinese soft-shelled turtle interleukin-8 (IL-8), the first reptilian chemokine gene.

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  • 1Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China.


In this study, an IL-8 homologue has been cloned and identified from a reptile, Chinese soft-shelled turtle for the first time. The full-length cDNA of turtle IL-8 was 1188bp and contained a 312bp open reading frame (ORF) coding for a protein of 104 amino acids. The chemokine CXC domain, which contained Glu-Leu-Arg (ELR) motif and four cysteine residues, was well conserved in turtle IL-8. The 4924bp genomic DNA of turtle IL-8 contained four exons and three introns. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the amino acid sequence of turtle IL-8 clustered together with birds. RT-PCR analysis showed that turtle IL-8 mRNA was constitutively expressed liver, spleen, kidney, heart, blood and intestine tissues of control turtles. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis further indicated that the turtle IL-8 mRNA expression was apparent in various tissues at 8h and up-regulated significantly during 8h-7d after Aeromonas hydrophila infection. The present studies will help us to understand the evolution of IL-8 molecule and the inflammatory response mechanism in reptiles.

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