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Genet Mol Res. 2013 Apr 10;12(2):1143-54. doi: 10.4238/2013.April.10.9.

Expression of glutamine synthetase in Tegillarca granosa (Bivalvia, Arcidae) hemocytes stimulated by Vibrio parahaemolyticus and lipopolysaccharides.

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College of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Zhejiang Wanli University, Ningbo, Zhejiang, China.


The blood cockle, Tegillarca granosa, is a widely consumed clam in the Indo-Pacific region. Glutamine synthetase (GS) is an enzyme that plays an essential role in the metabolism of nitrogen by catalyzing the condensation of glutamate and ammonia to form glutamine. We identified the GS of T. granosa (Tg-GS) from hemocytes by 3'- and 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE)-PCR. The full-length cDNA consisted of 1762 bp, with a 1104-bp open reading frame encoding 367 amino acids. Sequence comparison showed that Tg-GS has homology to GS of other organisms, with 79.78% identity with GS from the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas, 71.98% identity with GS from the zebrafish Danio rerio, and 68.96% identity with human Homo sapiens GS. A C-beta-Grasp domain and an N-catalytic domain were identified in Tg-GS, indicating that Tg-GS should be classified as a new member of the GS family. A quantitative RT-PCR assay was used to detect mRNA expression of Tg-GS in five different tissues. Higher levels of mRNA expression of GS were detected in the tissues of hemocytes and the mantle. Up-regulation of GS by challenge with the bacteria Vibrio parahaemolyticus and with bacterial wall lipopolysaccharides showed that GS plays a role in anti-bacterial immunity. We conclude that pathogen infection significantly induces expression level of Tg- GS, and that activation of GS influences the immune response of T. granosa by increasing glutamine concentration.

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