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Dev Comp Immunol. 2009 Oct;33(10):1070-6. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2009.05.007. Epub 2009 Jun 3.

The genomic structure, alternative splicing and immune response of Chlamys farreri thioester-containing protein.

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  • 1Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China.


CfTEP is a member of thioester-containing protein (TEP) family found in Zhikong scallop Chlamys farreri and is involved in innate immunity against invading microbes. In the present study, the genomic DNA of CfTEP was cloned and characterized. The genomic DNA sequence of CfTEP consisted of 40 exons and 39 introns spanning 35kb with all exon-intron junction sequences agreeing with the GT/AG consensus. The genomic organization of CfTEP was similar to human and mouse C3 rather than ciona C3-1 and Drosophila dTEP2. By RT-PCR technique, seven different cDNA variants of CfTEP (designated as CfTEP-A-CfTEP-G) were cloned from scallop gonad. CfTEP-A-CfTEP-F were produced by alternative splicing of six mutually exclusive exons (exons 19-24), respectively, which encoded the highly variable central region. While in CfTEP-G, the deletion of all the six exons introduced a new translation stop site and might trigger nonsense mediated decay (NMD). The mRNA expression and the proportion of the seven CfTEP variant transcripts were examined in the gonad of scallops after bacterial challenge. The fragments containing the highly variable central region of CfTEP were amplified by RT-PCR and a 100 positive clones were sequenced randomly. The expression profiles of the seven CfTEP variants were different and displayed the sex and bacteria dependent manner. In the blank, sea water and Listonella anguillarum challenged subgroups of male scallops, all the transcripts detected were CfTEP-G isoform. In the Micrococcus luteus challenged subgroup, the isoforms expressed and their proportions were CfTEP-F (54%), CfTEP-B (23%), CfTEP-A (10%), CfTEP-C (7%) and CfTEP-E (6%). However, in the gonad of female scallops, only CfTEP-A were found in blank and sea water challenged subgroups. After L. anguillarum or M. luteus challenge, four and five isoforms were detected, respectively, with CfTEP-F isoform being the most one in the both subgroups. These results suggested that the evolution of TEP genes was very complex, and that the diverse CfTEP transcripts generated by alternative splicing played an important role as pattern recognition receptors in the innate immune defense of scallops.

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