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Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2013 Dec;35(6):1797-803. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2013.08.026. Epub 2013 Sep 25.

Cloning, characterization and expression analysis of a caspase-8 like gene from the Hong Kong oyster, Crassostrea hongkongensis.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Bio-resources and Ecology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 164 West Xingang Road, Guangzhou 510301, China.


Apoptosis plays a key role in many biological processes, including homeostasis within the immune system. A family of cysteine proteases, the caspases, constitutes the core of the apoptotic machinery. We have characterized the first bivalve caspase-8 ortholog from the Hong Kong oyster Crassostrea hongkongensis (designated ChCaspase-8). The full-length cDNA is 1945 bp in length encoding a putative protein of 557 amino acids that contains two N-terminal DED domains, and a CASc domain at the C-terminus. ChCaspase-8 is ubiquitously expressed in oysters, with highest expression levels in the gonad and labial palps. Following microbial infection, the expression of ChCaspase-8 increased in hemocytes from 12 to 72 h post-challenge. When expressed in HeLa cells, ChCaspase-8 is located in the cytoplasm, while over-expression of ChCaspase-8 in HEK293T cells activates the transcriptional activities of NF-κB. These results indicate that ChCaspase-8 might play an important role in the immune and apoptotic responses of oysters.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Apoptosis; ChCaspase-8; Crassostrea hongkongensis; NF-κB

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