Zoological Research ›› 2016, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (6): 347-355.doi: 10.13918/j.issn.2095-8137.2016.6.347

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Molecular characterization and functional analysis of a piscidin gene in large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea)

Jing YANG1, Xin-Jiang LU1, Fang-Chao CHAI1,2, Jiong CHEN1,2   

  1. 1. Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Marine Sciences, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China;
    2. Collaborative Innovation Center for Zhejiang Marine High-Efficiency and Healthy Aquaculture, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
  • Received:2016-10-08 Revised:2016-11-09 Online:2016-11-18 Published:2016-11-18
  • Contact: Jiong CHEN E-mail:jchen1975@163.com
  • Supported by:

    This project was supported by the National 863 Project (2012AA10A403), the Scientific Research Foundation of Graduate School of Ningbo University (G16089), and KC Wong Magna Fund in Ningbo University


The piscidin family, which includes potent antimicrobial peptides with broad-spectrum activity, plays an important role in the innate immune system of fish. In this study, we cloned piscidin-5-like type 3 (Lcpis5lt3) in large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea). Multiple alignments with other known piscidins revealed amino acid conservation throughout the fish, especially at the signal peptide (22 amino acids). The phylogenetic tree confirmed that Lcpis5lt3 and large yellow croaker piscidin-5-like proteins were grouped together to form a branch. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed that Lcpis5lt3 was expressed in a wide range of tissues, including the brain, muscle, gill, head kidney, intestine, kidney, liver, and spleen. The highest mRNA expression level of Lcpis5lt3 was found in the spleen. After Vibrio alginolyticus infection, mRNA expression was rapidly upregulated in the liver, head kidney, gill, kidney, and intestine at 4, 8, 12, and 24 h post infection (hpi), whereas there were no significant changes in the spleen. The antimicrobial spectrum showed that the synthetic mature peptide of Lcpis5lt3 exhibited different activity in vitro against various bacteria, such as Aeromonas hydrophila, V. anguillarum, V. alginolyticus, V. parahaemolyticus, Staphylococcus aureus, and Listeria monocytogenes. In addition, survival rates from the in vivo assay indicated that the synthetic peptide of Lcpis5lt3 increased the survival rate of large yellow croaker after V. alginolyticus challenge, resulting in a decline in bacterial burden and mRNA expression levels of interleukin-1β, interleukin-10, and tumor necrosis factor-α. These data suggest that Lcpis5lt3 plays an important role in innate immunity in large yellow croaker and might represent a potential therapeutic agent against pathogen invasion.

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